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2021-2022 Colloquium Series

The Tourism Studies Working Group is pleased to announce

Red Tourism as Cultural Governance—Curating the Long March Memorial site in Tibetan Sichuan

Yanqi Wei (Ph.D. candidate, Minzu University of China, Beijing,
and visiting scholar, UC Berkeley, 2019-2021)

Friday, November 5, 5PM-7PM PDT

A Hybrid Presentation, join us
In person: Gifford Room, Anthropology and Art Hall, UC Berkeley
Or virtually: on Zoom [click here] *no password needed

Prior to attending in person, please:

  • Go to the UC Berkeley Daily Symptom Screener, on your desktop/laptop or phone
  • Answer all questions on the survey
  • Take a screenshot of the confirmation page
  • Keep this with you on your phone, in case you are asked to present it

For those attending in person, please join us after Yanqi Wei’s talk for dinner and continued conversation at Chengdu Style Restaurant (at Bancroft and Bowditch)

Since the early 20st century, heritage, museums and monuments have come to play a significant role in building and constructing national memories of the nation-state and ethnic minority groups. As a distinct form of heritage tourism, Red Tourism plays an important role in the economic and political development of China in the 21st century. Visiting a Red Tourism site is a tradition for Chinese citizens. Since the founding of modern China in 1949, trips have been organized by workplaces (almost all state-owned at the outset), educational institutions, and CCP branches with the intention of honoring the memory of the Communist heroes, martyrs, leaders and their trials and tribulations. In other words, Red Tourism can be better described as kind of tourism built on political pilgrimage, through learning revolutionary history to boost national prestige.

 Many heritage sites have emerged from oblivion during and since the reform period, among them the former residence of the Tibetan Chief Suo Guanyin in west of Sichuan. Once a local teachers college, it is now a protected heritage site, Long March memorial museum and tourist attraction, whose multifaceted history implicates it in complex issues of ethnicity, nation-making, and political contestations as relevant to the present as to the past. State orthodoxies of history and heritage coexist with collective memory and untold stories, as site managers navigate challenging dilemmas of interpretation and meaning of the site: What is the story at Suo’s residence and whose story can be told there?

Speaker Bio:
Yanqi Wei is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Ethnology and Sociology at the Minzu University of China, Beijing, and she is a visiting scholar in the Departments of Art History and Anthropology at UC, Berkeley in 2019-2021, specializing in Museum anthropology and Cultural anthropology. She majored in ethnology for her BA at South Central Minzu University, Wuhan, and was awarded an MA in ethnology at Southwest University, Chongqing.

Her PhD dissertation project is based on narratives of space and power relationships in China’s Revolution Memorial Halls (“Red Tourism”); her field work was undertaken in Tibetan and Chiang ethnic areas of Sichuan Province. But she has also carried out important research on “Chinese Identity and Memory in Taiwan” in an original study of the major “national” museums in Taipei since the Qing Dynasty in the 19th century.

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