Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics
Discourse, Heritage and Cultural Memories: A Project of Recovering Intangible Heritage in a Chinese Village
Professor Wu Zongjie
School of International Studies, Zhejiang University
Date: 28 April 2010, Wednesday
Time: 4:30 - 6:00 pm
Venue: G7619 (Lift 3, 7/F, Green Zone), Academic Building, CityU
The lecture explores the relationship between discourse and intangible cultural heritage by presenting a case of heritage study in Dongwushan, a small village neighboring the resort city, Hangzhou, for recuperating the aura of the heritage and exploring leisure resource with its memories. Historical ethnography was used to collect cultural memories from the local villagers in the form of discourse fragments, and critical discourse analysis was conducted to scrutinize the authenticity of their cultural meanings which could otherwise be covered up by contemporary discourses of reasoning, interpreting and describing. For revealing the dialogical and situated meanings of local heritage we adopted an indigenous way of narration by drawing upon Sima Qian’s strategy of historical discourse in terms of “authentic recording” (shilu) and “wording delicately with deep meaning” (weiyan dayi). It turned out that the recovered cultural memories not only made a great impact on the village’s development programme, but also came up with diversified concepts of heritage, leisure and tourism in the perspective of Chinese traditional value and culture.
Wu Zongjie is Professor at the School of International Studies, Zhejiang University, Director of Institute of Cross-Cultural Studies, Deputy Director for the Centre of Contemporary Chinese Discourse Studies, and researcher in Centre for Intangible Cultural Heritage Studies. He received his doctorate degree from Lancaster University, UK in the area of linguistics. His current research interests are on intangible heritage, ritual hermeneutics and politics, language of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), Chinese approach to ethnographic writing and Confucianism pedagogy, among which studies on how to make the traditional Chinese discourse (such as TCM) intelligible in the modern society and the paradigm shift of cultural heritage study 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, Routledge); His grass-rooted ethnographic project on Dongwushan Heritage Village and rural economic development has received great attention from local government, Chinese media and academia. He has been invited to lecture in universities around the world.