In this presentation Dr. Lai will focus on the evolution of the concepts of “cultural heritage” and other related notions in modern China from a historical and legal perspective. “Wenhua yichan” (“cultural heritage”) was a neologism that was used officially in the 1990s, but the related concepts such as “gudong” (“antiques”), “guwan” (“curios”), “guji” (“historic monuments”), “guwu” (“ancient relics”), “wenwu” (“cultural relics”) have a long history in China. He will trace the development of these concepts in major legislative documents on cultural heritage since the late Qing (1644-1911) and discuss the process of the transformation of cultural property from imperial and mostly private ownership in traditional China to public and state stewardship in the Republic (1911-1949) and the People’s Republic periods (1949-) through the use of state legislations and administrative orders. Finally he will discuss the impact of the expansion of the antiquities market and auction houses in recent decades on the legal protection of cultural heritage in China.
The Humanities Brown Bag Series features informal talks by the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere’s (CHPS) Rothman Summer Fellows. Faculty fellows will speak for 20-30 minutes in length about their summer work, leaving ample time for questions and discussion. Please feel free to bring your own lunch, and the CHPS will provide coffee and dessert.
Center for the Humanities
and the Public Sphere
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
200 Walker Hall
P.O. Box 118030
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611