Report on AFS's Third China-US Intangible Cultural Heritage Conference
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Posted by: Tim Lloyd
On November 17-18, 2012, the AFS, Vanderbilt University, and
the National Research Center of Cultural Industries of Central China Normal
University sponsored the third in a series of four China-US intangible cultural
heritage conferences, on the topic of "Productive Safeguarding.”
The conference—which took place at the Yifu International
Conference Center on the CCNU campus in Wuhan, the capital city of Hubei
Province—was supported by funding from the Henry Luce Foundation and four CCNU
units: the School of Chinese Language and Literature, the Scientific Research
Office, the Graduate School, and the International Office.
Professor Huang Yonglin—Vice President of CCNU, Vice
President of the China Folklore Society, and Director of the National Research
Center of Cultural Industries—was the conference host. Some 60 people,
primarily folklore studies scholars and students, participated in and attended
All participants and attendees at the conference.
The conference opened with presentations by CCNU President
Ma Min, AFS Executive Director Tim Lloyd, Bill Ivey of Vanderbilt University,
Song Junhua of Sun Yat-Sen University, President Fu Guangdian of the Hubei
Society for Folk Literature and Art Study, and Vice Director Li Yaohua of the
Hubei Provincial Department of Culture.
L-R: Judith Sacks (Kenyon College), Liu Shouhua (Central China Normal University), Amy Kitchener (Alliance for California Traditional Arts), Betsy Peterson (American Folklife Center, Library of Congress), Marsha MacDowell (Michigan State University Museum), Wang Xiaobing (Sun Yat-Sen University), Howard Sacks (Kenyon College), Xiao Fang (Beijing Normal University). Photo by Tim Lloyd.
L-R: Song Junhua (Sun Yat-Sen University), Jiang Mingzhi (Sun Yat-Sen University), and Xiao Fang (Beijing Normal University). Photo by Tim Lloyd.
Over the following two days, four Chinese folklore studies
scholars and four from the US made presentations, each of which was followed by
prepared comments from a discussant and lively, engaged general discussion. The
speakers, their affiliations and topics, and the discussants were:
Amy Kitchener (Alliance for California Traditional Arts):
Recognizing the Practice of Tradition in Community Well-Being: A Model of
Sustainable Intangible Cultural Heritage (discussant: Lin Jifu, Central
University of Nationalities)
Liu Shouhua (CCNU): The Charm of a Wild Flower: A Brief
Survey of "Saye’erhe” (discussant: Judith Sacks, Kenyon College)
Liu Xiaochun (Sun Yat-Sen University): How Are the
Inheritors To Choose?: Examining Reproductive Protection From an Emic
Perspective (discussant: Xie Mohua, Yunnan Nationalities Museum)
Marsha MacDowell (Michigan State University): The "American”
Quilt: Intersections and Challenges of Preservation and Safeguards To a
Traditional Cultural Heritage Form (discussant: Diao Tongju, Shandong
Betsy Peterson (American Folklife Center): Creating Cultural
Capacity Through the Preservation of Intangible Cultural Heritage: Two Case
Studies From the American Folklife Center (discussant: An Deming, Chinese
Academy of Social Sciences)
Howard Sacks (Kenyon College): Engaging Modernity
(discussant: Song Junhua, Sun Yat-Sen University)
Xiao Fang (Beijing Normal University): Some Thoughts On the
Productive Safeguarding of ICH (discussant: Kurt Dewhurst, Michigan State
Zhang Shishan (Shandong University): Who Produces and How To
Safeguard?: On "Safeguarding by Producing” for Chinese Intangible Cultural
Heritage (discussant: Bill Ivey, Vanderbilt University)
Outdoor dinner on Jiqing Street in Wuhan: L-R: Xie Mohua (Yunnan Nationalities Museum), Tim Lloyd (AFS), Song Junhua (Sun Yat-Sen University), Bill Ivey (Vanderbilt University), Chen Xi (Sun Yat-Sen University. Photo by Liu Rong.
But all was not work at the gathering, the organizers having
planned several social events for those present: a boat tour on the Yangtze
River; visits to the East Lake, the Hubei Provincial Museum, and the Yellow
Crane Tower; and local cuisine at all meals, including an alfresco dinner on
Wuhan’s Jiqing Street, shown in the image just above. For attendees who were able to schedule it, a
post-conference tour visited Taoist and martial arts sites on Mount Wudang.
A PDF of the conference program book, including abstracts for all presentations, is available via a link from here.
The fourth and final conference in the series is set for
Washington, DC, on May 22-24, 2013. For more information on these conferences,
or on the larger China-US Forum on Intangible Cultural Heritage of which they
are a part, please contact Executive Director Tim Lloyd of AFS.