Displaying China by Jessica Harrison-Hall, British Museum, 26 October 2018

Public Lecture – Postgraduate Network of the Scottish Centre for China Research
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Displaying China
Jessica Harrison-Hall, British Museum
6.30pm, Friday 26 October 2018
Lecture Theatre, Sir Charles Wilson Building, Kelvin Way, University of Glasgow
In a museum context, when we think about interpreting China we are considering how to present visually a very long and diverse series of histories. This illustrated presentation uses the narrative of the new China galleries at the British Museum as a case study, and through a curatorial lens examines some of the critical choices that are encountered ­when displaying China. The talk introduces the major figures who have shaped China displays of the past and highlights the changing audiences that the displays serve. It also prompts and opens up discussions about how to present difficult or contested histories. The British Museum treads a fine line between a research institute and a tourist attraction, within it China is displayed to ignite the imaginations and satisfy the most critical of eyes.
Jessica Harrison-Hall is Head of the China Section, Curator of Chinese Ceramics, the Sir Percival David Collection, Chinese Decorative Arts and Vietnam at the British Museum. Her research interests are in the material culture of the Ming and Qing dynasties, and China’s global relationships. Her most recent publication is China: A History in Objects (2017). She was Principal Investigator of an AHRC project with Professor Craig Clunas of Oxford University, investigating early Ming connections with the wider world (2012–2016), resulting in the exhibition and book, Ming: 50 Years That Changed China (2014), popular bookMing: Art, People and Places (2014), and conference proceedings Ming China: Courts and Contacts 1400-1450 (2016).
All welcome. This event will be preceded by a reception in the foyer from 6pm.
This public lecture is held as part of the conference "Understanding China: Challenges and New Perspectives" organized by the Postgraduate Network of the Scottish Centre for China Research. This conference is supported by the Chancellor's Fund, the New Initiatives Fund, the MacFie Bequest and the Confucius Institute of the University of Glasgow.

First published: 18 October 2018

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