UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Jianchuan Museum Complex: Memory, Ethics and Power in Chinese Private Heritage Entrepreneurship

Zhang, Lisheng; (2020) Jianchuan Museum Complex: Memory, Ethics and Power in Chinese Private Heritage Entrepreneurship. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

[thumbnail of Thesis Final_Lisheng Zhang.pdf]
Preview
Text
Thesis Final_Lisheng Zhang.pdf

Download (25MB) | Preview

Abstract

This thesis delineates and reflects upon an emerging phenomenon of private heritage entrepreneurship in China, through the examination of the Jianchuan Museum Complex (JMC), the country’s largest private museum project. Adopting an ethnographic approach, I seek to offer critical insights into how, in the context of state dominance of social remembrance, difficult and contentious histories are addressed through ambiguous and evocative narratives at the Jianchuan Museum Complex. One of my core concerns is to critically understand how different interests, powers, relations and moral commitments are involved and mobilised in this enterprise, and what is implied about the social and political role of the museum, in a relationship with the state that it maintains through constant adjustments and changes. In doing so, I explore the complexity of the project through multiple aspects of its design and operation. By tracing the personal history of Fan Jianchuan, the founder and director of the JMC, I consider the different social personas he occupies to unpack the moral ethical discourse surrounding a ‘historical responsibility’ to collect and remember ‘national memories’ that he professes through the museum project, as crystallised in the construct of himself as a charismatic public figure. I present my analysis of the museums in a historicised framework that I call a genealogy of the JMC from its establishment in 2003 to 2015, which demonstrates significant shifts over the course in both its curation and strategical focus. I also draw on my ethnographic experience to address the consulting business which has become a crucial sector in the project’s operation. And I attend to the social life within the JMC pertaining particularly to the tensions between the museum’s position as an ethical project of remembering and a shifting dynamics of power relations in the museum’s management of labour.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Jianchuan Museum Complex: Memory, Ethics and Power in Chinese Private Heritage Entrepreneurship
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2020. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
Keywords: heritage, museum, memory, China
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10110157
Downloads since deposit
92Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item