A Representation of Nationhood in the Museum: 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

A Representation of Nationhood in the Museum

1st Edition

By Sang-hoon Jang


126 pages | 13 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781138367463
pub: 2020-01-28
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780429424090
pub: 2020-01-20
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A Representation of Nationhood in the Museum examines how the National Museum of Korea, as a national repository of material culture and the state’s premier exhibition facility, has shaped and been shaped by Korean nationalism.

Exploring the processes by which the museum has discovered and interpreted material culture, using concepts of ethnic nationalism in the historical and political contexts of South Korean society, the book analyses how this nationalist interpretation has regulated South Koreans’ understanding of their material culture. Issues considered include: cultural and political relations with China; Japanese colonial rule, cultural imperialism and its legacy; the division of Korea since 1945; the Korean War and nation building since liberation in 1945; and domestic political upheavals, including military coups in 1961 and in 1979. Demonstrating that authoritarian regimes’ emphasis on the promotion of national unity drove national museums to establish national identity through material culture, Jang argues that international political and diplomatic factors also affect the process of the formation of national identity in a specific political context.

Concerning itself with issues such as the relationship between politics and identity, museums and authoritarian regimes, this book should be essential reading for academics, researchers and postgraduate students in museum studies, nationalism studies, Asian studies and history departments.

Table of Contents


1. Japanese cultural imperialism, museums and Koreans

2. Independence, the National Museum and the US

3. Ethnic nationalism and museum narrative

4. National narrative and South Korean society

Conclusion: The museum and representation of nationhood

About the Author

Sang-hoon Jang is a curator at the National Museum of Korea. Dr. Jang completed a PhD at the University of Leicester in 2015.

About the Series

Routledge Research on Museums and Heritage in Asia

This new and thought-provoking series will provide researchers, students, policymakers and practitioners with the latest thinking on museums and heritage across Asia. With contributions from international experts, titles in the series will be relevant to those working in a wide-range of disciplines, including museum and heritage studies, Asian studies, tourism, anthropology, sociology and politics.

To submit proposals, please contact the Routledge Editor, Heidi Lowther ([email protected]).

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ART / Museum Studies
HISTORY / Asia / Korea
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Library & Information Science / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Nationalism