Project Details

Different forces of nationalism in greater China cities: Comparing the political re-presentation in history museums at Hong Kong, Macau and Taipei

Museum may help to reshape the image of the city and foster citizenship and national identity, for example National Museum of History in Taipei city has a clear social mission on national education. Colonial states used history museums to legitimize their rule by displaying their version of their subjects’ past, such political functions inherited by independent post-colonial states as they forge nation-states and national identities – What about the post-colonial cities without independence? What makes Hong Kong and Macau so interesting to be investigated and compared is that both cities were colonies of imperialism for centuries and handover to Chinese sovereignty in late 1990s under the political principle of “one-country-two systems”. While developments at the Hong Kong Museum since the handover bear witness to a crucial new role in attempts to promote a state-centered patriotism, Macau Museum displays the city as a dynamic, pluralistic meeting point of “East-meets-West”. Creating the sense of Chinese nationalism and “the end of national humiliation” over modern China mainly rely on the exhibits in Hong Kong Museum, but Macau Museum shoulders the diplomatic function of nurturing friendship with western Europe and Portuguese-language countries. In contrast, Taiwan is experiencing a different practice of the building of national identity and citizenship. “Nationalism” is an important issue for Taiwanese. They try to build up a conscious of nation-state, which is a more traditional form of nationalism. For the National Museum of History in Taipei, it works on emphasizing the role and uniqueness of Taiwan in Chinese history and culture. It claims as “an open field for interpreting the history of our nation (Taiwan).” As these museums unfold, they provide a clearer picture of the need and the opportunity to recreate and/or reinvent the past to define, celebrate, or serve the present.

Commencement Date : 2011/4
Completion Date : 2012/8
Chief Investigator(s) : Dr LAW, Kam Yee 羅金義 [SSC]

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