Good news! Professor Tracey L-D Lu is publishing her second book in 2013 entitled “Museums in China: Power, Politics and Identities” on November 28. This book belongs to the Routledge Studies in the Modern History of Asia series, and is now ready for pre-order on Amazon. It is also being used as one of the readings for her course Museum and Anthropology taught in fall 2013-2014. Please find more information of the book below.
The origin and development of museums in mainland
differ significantly from
those in the West. The occurrence of museums in mainland China in the late
nineteenth century was primarily a result of internal and external conflicts,
Westernization and colonialism, and as such they were never established solely
for enjoyment and leisure. China
Using a historical and anthropological framework and based on extensive archive studies and fieldwork, this book provides a holistic and critical review on the establishment and development of museums in mainland China from 1840 to the present day, and argues that museums in mainland China have been used by a wide range of social, political, and state actors for a number of economic, religious, political and ideological purposes, ranging from reinforcing social segmentation, to influencing the economy, to protecting cultural heritage and the construction and enhancement of ethnic identities and nationalism. Further, museums have throughout their history helped the powerful to govern the less powerful or the powerless. The book also provides comparative insights on museology and heritage management, and questions who the key stakeholders are, how museums reflect broader social and cultural changes, and the relationship between museum and heritage management.