In Chinese Heritage in the Making: Experiences, Negotiations, and Contestations
(Amsterdam University Press, 2018),
edited by Christina Maags
and Marina Svensson
, gathers authors from a variety of disciplines to examine the growing emphasis on heritage in contemporary China. Since China began its heritage turn in the 1990s, and especially since 2004 when it became the sixth nation to ratify the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, the Chinese state’s enthusiastic promotion of safeguarding traditions, objects, and sites has empowered communities to carefully engage with the cultural practices. Using an approach that draws from the young discipline of critical heritage studies and featuring chapters examining festivals, museums, architecture and more, this volume shows how attention to the dynamic engagements between local stakeholders, government representatives, and cultural specialists can provide important perspectives on cultural forms in China and beyond. These questions are particularly important both for understanding both culture work in twenty-first China, and in the field of folklore studies.
Timothy Thurston is Lecturer in Chinese Studies at the University of Leeds. His research examines language at the nexus of tradition and modernity in China’s Tibet.