Heritage and authenticity with Confucian discursive ethics: Reflecting on two ongoing heritage recovery projects in China
Wu Zongjie, School of International Studies, Zhejiang University, China
The subject of Chunqiu was the affairs of Qihuan and Jinwen, and its style was the historical, but its ethical meaning I venture to steal. ---- Confucius
Room G.03, 20 Cromer Terrace -
The lecture focuses on two ongoing projects for recovering indigenous meanings of heritage, aimed at transforming the cultural landscape of heritage interpretation and preservation in China. Historical ethnography imbued with Confucian discursive ethics was conducted to collect cultural memories in the form of discourse fragments, and scrutinize the authenticity of their cultural meanings which could otherwise be covered up by universalized discourses of heritage. For revealing the authenticity and particularities of local heritage we adopted an Confucian way of narration by drawing upon Sima Qian's strategy of historical writing in terms of "authentic recording" (shilu) and "wording delicately with deep meaning" (weiyan dayi). Participants will be invited to interpret, critique, and advise on the two ongoing research projects and their potential global implication on heritage practice.
Bionotes: Wu Zongjie
is Professor at the School of International Studies, Zhejiang University, Director of Institute of Cross-Cultural Studies, and researcher in the Centre for Intangible Cultural Heritage Studies. Received his doctorate degree from Lancaster University in the area of discourse studies, he develops his discourse interest relating to intangible heritage, ritual hermeneutics and politics, Chinese approach to ethnographic writing and Confucianism pedagogy, among which studies on how to make the traditional Chinese discourse intelligible and relevant in the modern society are of special significance. His research in general aims to promote cultural diversity and cross-cultural understanding of Chinese traditional value. He is the author of Teachers' Knowing in Curriculum Change (Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press, 2005), and Cultural Diversity of Discourses: Facilitate Coexistence and Harmony (Zhejiang University Press, 2006). Recent articles contributions in both Chinese and international journals include "Deconstructing and Reconstructing Metahistorical Discourse"(Journal of Wuhan University); "Ritual Hermeneutics as an Alternative to Reason"(China Media Research); "Discourse Turn in the Study of Chinese Cultural Anthropology" (Journal of Zhejiang University); "Discursive Transformation of Chinese Traditional Medicine" (Medicine and Philosophy); "Being, Understanding and Naming" (International Journal of Educational Research); "Cultural Transformation of Educational Discourse in China: Perspectives of Multiculturalism/Interculturalism" (Book chapter in Intercultural and Multicultural Education, Routledge); His grass-rooted ethnographic projects on Dongwushan Heritage Village and Quzhou Shuitingmen Heritage studies have received great attention from local government, Chinese media and academia. He has been invited to lecture in universities around the world.