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Accepted Paper:

Producing/Consuming 'Romantic Scotland' at Nanjing Museum: the Role of State Museums  
Lo Yun Chung (University of Bath) Andrew Manley (University of Bath) Michael Silk (Bournemouth University)

Paper short abstract:

Our paper examines the role of state museums, particularly in answering the political call of cultivating Chinese citizens. Through the case study of Nanjing Museum, we examine the manner through which a particular version of Scottish cultures and identities is constructed and consumed.

Paper long abstract:

Exhibitions offer a space in which to construct and present images of self for recognition in relation to other nations and the eyes of the world; they offer space for contouring or remembering a national past, present and future, whilst simultaneously silencing difference or versions of nation deemed outside of preferred discourse (McLean, 2005; McLean & Cooke, 2003; Prosler, 1996). The persistence of 'national' exhibitions within the global cultural industries in and of itself raises important questions about the active re-shaping and consumption of national culture within a global frame of reference.

As a large national museum, Nanjing Museum actively engages in foreign cultural exchange, as much as dedicating in the protection and communication of cultural relics. Promoting and interpreting foreign cultural heritage for the public, Nanjing Museum's practice of constructing national identities using specific cultural signifiers to cater for Chinese audience offers an opportunity to interrogate the role of state museums in relation to cross-cultural representation, in which the impact of specific cultural values on visitor experiences should be considered (Ballantyne & Packer, 2011).

This paper seeks to capture the experience and the manner through which cultural relationships capture, forge and describe the understanding of national cultures (Ritchie et al., 2011). We interrogate the negotiating process through which a particular version of Scotland is crafted and presented to Chinese audience through the exhibition 'Romantic Scotland: Castle, Land and Sea' at Nanjing Museum in 2017. We reflect on the intended and perceived role of Chinese state museums, and how Scotland is re-imagined through the lenses of Chinese audience.

Panel P037
Museums as contested terrains: Memory work and politics of representation in Greater China
  Session 1 Sunday 3 June, 2018, -