Living heritage in China today
Sharon Macdonald (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
Xiaoyang Zhu (Peking University)
Survival and Extinction
Kanaris Theatre, Museum
Wednesday 7 August, 9:00-10:00, 14:00-15:00, 14:30-15:30 (UTC+0)

Short abstract:

This panel is concerned with the lived experience of cultural heritage policies and globalization in contemporary China. It invites contributions based on in-depth ethnographic research that explore the social consequences of current heritage developments, conflicts and practices.

Long abstract:

The aim of this panel is to look at some of the pressing questions of the globalization of cultural heritage through presenting recent research on the lived experience of cultural heritage policies in China today. China has an extensive system of laws and policies aimed at preserving intangible and tangible heritage at both national and regional/city levels, as well as numerous institutions and practices for preserving or enhancing cultural heritage. These range from academic departments dealing with cultural heritage management techniques and the development of conservation, through to associations for training in certain forms of traditional artistic production, and support for travel by dance troupes or musicians. A growth of tourism - both by domestic and international tourists - has also encouraged the maintenance and performance of traditional culture. At the same time, however, major building programmes - that simultaneously entail the destruction of older buildings or areas - are underway in many parts of China. There is also continuing urbanization and movement of young people in particular away from rural areas, thus weakening traditional forms of transmission of cultural knowledge and offering alternative ways of living.

The panel convenors invite contributions based on in-depth research that explore different dimensions of the lived experience heritage developments, conflicts and practices in contemporary China.