Understanding Authenticity in China’s Cultural Heritage Conference 16-20 Mar, 2021

Understanding Authenticity in China’s Cultural Heritage Conference 16-20 Mar, 2021

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Please join us online 16-20 March, 2021, for a discussion on the construction of “authenticity,” both historically and today, in relation to China’s cultural heritage. Registration is free, attendance is open to all, via submission of a short survey here

This conference is being organised by Anke Hein and Christopher Foster and will be hosted virtually via the Zoom platform. The keynote by Prof. Lothar von Falkenhausen will be live. Video recordings of all other presentations will be made available ~1 week prior to the start of the conference. Attendees are expected to view these recordings beforehand. The live panel sessions will then be dedicated solely to questions & discussion on each of the presentations. 

What we deem to be genuine or fake is not an objective determination, but something that we agree upon as communities. Debates about authenticity, moreover, are often intimately bound to question who owns the past and its representation. The “Understanding Authenticity in China’s Cultural Heritage” conference this March will explore these issues and more. From contesting narratives about the mother trees of Big Red Robe tea, to the restoration of Qin terracotta soldiers; from the experience of visiting a replica Eiffel Tower in Hangzhou, to US-China diplomatic tensions over "originality" and "shanzhai 山寨 (imitation)” – "Understanding Authenticity in China's Cultural Heritage” brings together specialists from a broad range of fields and backgrounds, to explore how questions about “authenticity” impact their work on objects, texts, and intangible cultural heritage in China.

Download a PDF of the conference programme here:


For enquires please email understandingauthenticity@gmail.com