Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.819859
Title: Jianchuan Museum Complex : memory, ethics and power in Chinese private heritage entrepreneurship
Author: Zhang, Lisheng
ISNI:       0000 0004 9359 744X
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2020
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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.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.819859  DOI: Not available
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