Reinventing China's Porcelain Capital: From Mass Production to Heritage
Open lecture with Maris Boyd Gillette, Des Lee Professor of Museum and Community History Studies and Director of the Museum Studies program at the University of Missouri – St Louis.
China has long been known for producing porcelain, and its most celebrated wares are from Jingdezhen, the city known to many as China’s “porcelain capital.” Yet while Jingdezhen is renowned for making wares for emperors, export, and domestic consumers, the city’s porcelain industry has fallen behind newer ceramics producers in south China. Central government officials removed from Jingdezhen the title of “China’s Porcelain Capital” in 2004, awarding it to the city of Chaozhou, which produces much of the tableware and sanitary ceramics labeled “made in China” today. Since then, Jingdezhen officials, redevelopers, and entrepreneurs have reinvented the city as China’s capital for ceramics heritage, attracting millions of domestic tourists and thousands of artists each year. In this talk we will examine which heritage locals promote, why, how, and to whose benefit.
Maris Boyd Gillette is a sociocultural anthropologist and filmmaker who has studied porcelain workers and entrepreneurs in Jingdezhen (southeast China) and urban Chinese Muslims in Xi’an (northwest China). Recent publications include China’s Porcelain Capital: the Rise, Fall, and Reinvention of Ceramics in Jingdezhen (London: Bloomsbury, 2016) and “Muslim Foodways” in The Handbook of Food and Anthropology, eds. Jakob Klein and James L. Watson (London: Bloomsbury, 2016). She works regularly with museums on exhibitions, public history, and education, most recently the Campbell House Museum, the St Louis Art Museum, and the Missouri History Museum. Gillette has participated in numerous community engagement initiatives, including the community history and digital media project Muslim Voices of Philadelphia, for which she received a Courage in Media Award from the Council on American Islamic Relations in 2012.
About the event
2 February 2017 15:15 to 16:30
Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies, Asia Library, Sölvegatan 18, Lund
marina [dot] svensson [at] ace [dot] lu [dot] se