Exhibiting the Past: Historical Memory and the Politics of by Kirk A. Denton

Posted by

By Kirk A. Denton

Through the Mao period, China's museums served an specific and uniform propaganda functionality, underlining authentic celebration background, eulogizing innovative heroes, and contributing to kingdom development and socialist development. With the implementation of the post-Mao modernization software within the overdue Seventies and Nineteen Eighties and the arrival of globalization and marketplace reforms within the Nineties, China underwent an intensive social and financial transformation that has resulted in a enormously extra heterogeneous tradition and polity. but China is ruled by means of a unmarried Leninist occasion that keeps to count seriously on its progressive background to generate political legitimacy.

With its messages of collectivism, self-sacrifice, and sophistication fight, that historical past is more and more at odds with chinese language society and with the state's personal neoliberal ideology of rapid-paced improvement, glorification of the industry, and entrepreneurship. during this ambiguous political surroundings, museums and their curators needs to negotiate among progressive ideology and new types of historic narratives that replicate and spotlight a neoliberal present.

In Exhibiting the Past, Kirk Denton analyzes different types of museums and exhibitionary areas, from progressive heritage museums, army museums, and memorials to martyrs, to museums devoted to literature, ethnic minorities, and native historical past. He discusses crimson tourism-a country subsidized application constructed in 2003 as a brand new kind of patriotic schooling designed to make innovative background come alive-and city making plans exhibition halls, which venture utopian visions of China's destiny which are rooted in new conceptions of the prior. The booklet considers the range of the way country museums are responding to the dramatic social, technological, and cultural adjustments China has skilled during the last 3 many years.

Show description

Read or Download Exhibiting the Past: Historical Memory and the Politics of Museums in Postsocialist China PDF

Similar industries books

Julius Rosenwald: The Man Who Built Sears, Roebuck And Advanced the Cause of Black Education in the American South (Philanthropic and Nonprofit Studies)

"This is the 1st critical biography of the exuberant guy who reworked the Sears, Roebuck corporation into the country's such a lot vital store. He was once additionally one of many early twentieth century's amazing philanthropists. . . . The richness of basic proof regularly delights. " --Judith Sealander, writer of non-public Wealth and Public lifestyles "[No] mere philanthropist [but a] sophisticated, stinging critic of our racial democracy.

Behind the Scenes at the Science Museum

What is going on in the back of closed doorways at museums? How are judgements approximately exhibitions made and who, or what, rather makes them? Why are definite gadgets and sorts of exhibit selected when others are rejected, and what elements effect how museum exhibitions are produced and skilled? This e-book solutions those looking out questions through giving a privileged glance ‘behind the scenes’ on the technological know-how Museum in London.

Locality and inequality : farm and industry structure and socioeconomic conditions

This e-book explores how the new restructuring of farming and has affected monetary and social equality within the usa. the writer explains how the farm region has gone through a dramatic restructuring with profound results. Moderate-size relatives farms, the mainstay of yankee agriculture, have declined through the postwar interval and at the moment are below serious monetary tension.

Additional info for Exhibiting the Past: Historical Memory and the Politics of Museums in Postsocialist China

Sample text

Just as we entered, a large glass case (I would later learn that this was called a diorama) attracted our attention. In the case, there were mountains, a river, and about ten “primitive men” each about the size of a fist. They weren’t wearing clothes and their bodies were covered with long hair. Some held long sticks, with which they were striking the fruit in trees, and some were carrying back dead deer. We thought it was all very fresh and new. (in Qi Jixiang 2001, 39) Within a year, the Xia, Shang, and Zhou sections of the exhibit were added.

Similarly, the exhibit ranges back and forth between extolling the folk tradition (advances in agriculture, handicrafts, and pottery) and the elite cultural tradition (literature, philosophy, science, and government). In 1969, at the height of the Cultural Revolution, the Museum of Chinese History merged with the Museum of the Chinese Revolution and was officially called the Museum of the Chinese Revolution and History (Zhongguo geming, lishi bowuguan). The merger and new name suggest a radically different conception of the relationship between ancient and modern histories, with the two now brought together into a single narrative line.

The heavily politicized Maoist critique of the imperial past has given way to a glorification of empire and imperial history that has important political ramifications in the era of China’s rise on the global stage. 14 The Museum of Chinese History traces its origins back to 1912, when the new Ministry of Education, headed by Cai Yuanpei, set up a preparatory committee. In his position with the ministry, the writer Lu Xun was involved in preparatory work (Sun Ying 1979, 43–45; Shi Shu­ qing 1956) and apparently chose the location of the new museum: Guozijian, the Imperial College and site of the Confucian Temple in the northern part of Beijing (Qi Jixiang 2001, 37).

Download PDF sample

Rated 4.20 of 5 – based on 20 votes