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Exhibiting the PastHistorical Memory and the Politics of Museums in Postsocialist China$
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Kirk A. Denton

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780824836870

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824836870.001.0001

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Commodification and nostalgia

Commodification and nostalgia

Revolutionary History in the Era of the Market Economy

(p.74) Chapter 3 Commodification and nostalgia
Exhibiting the Past

Kirk A. Denton

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter looks at some of the ways in which modern history museums have adapted their exhibits and displays to make them relevant to the rapidly changing present. Responses to this challenge include outreach (especially to schools); making the museum more than just spaces for the transmission of narrow political education but rather for relaxation, entertainment, and reflection; adopting new, more popular modes of exhibition; tying the museums into the local economy; and enhancing the inherent cultural value of revolutionary artifacts and relating the message to the culture and social issues of the present. Another significant response is the development of “red tourism,” promoted by national and local governments beginning in 2004 and itself a way of bringing revolutionary history alive for young audiences.

Keywords:   Chinese revolutionary, history museums, red tourism, modern history

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