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Title: An Objective Identity: The Role of the National Palace Museum in the ROC and Taiwanese Narratives
Authors: Mintzer, Brandon
Advisors: Chen, Guangchen
Shields, Anna
Department: East Asian Studies
Class Year: 2020
Abstract: The National Palace Museum in Taipei was established in its current location in 1967, yet its origins trace back to the early 1900s in Mainland China. Similarly, the Museum’s objects themselves were taken from the Mainland. How does this affect the objects’ narrative and the meaning of the Museum as a whole? This thesis explores the development of the NPM and its role in the development of Taiwan, its identity, and its culture. Following the KMT’s removal from the Mainland in 1949, the Republic of China (ROC) found itself claiming power over China from afar. This thesis explores the methods used by the State to mitigate challenges of legitimacy and displacement, specifically in a museum context. Over time, these methods changed, along with the general sentiments across the island, as individuals and institutions practiced self-expression. Such developments can be divided into multiple museum periods: pre-NPM founding (1949-1967), the KMT era (1967-1980s), the DPP era (1980s-2008), the second KMT era (2008-2016), and the second DPP era (2016-Present). As we will see, each era brought with it a new set of debates and challenges, namely that of internationalization 國際化guojihua versus localization本土化bentuhua of Taiwan vis-à-vis the Museum. By looking at the Museum’s narratives and actions throughout these eras, this thesis works to contextualize Taiwan’s development since 1949.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en
Appears in Collections:East Asian Studies, 1951-2020

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