Accessibility statement

Xuanlin Liu

Research project

Lived or Living? A case study of living heritage in China

Supervisor: Professor John Schofield

In Critical Heritage Studies, heritage is conceptualised as people-centred and future-oriented, and living heritage becomes a buzzword but the current approach needs to be constructed across the boundaries between tangible and intangible heritage. This research will examine how living heritage values are being made by diverse local heritage participants in their use, visits and creation of heritage, and how these could be different from the top-down national “Vitalising Heritage” idea in China. By drawing three different types of heritage in China, this research will also explore how China's understanding and experience of heritage can benefit the conceptualisation of ‘living heritage’, and how continuity can be theorised in the context.



Xuanlin Liu starts her PhD in Archaeology at the University of York from 2019. She holds an MPhil in Archaeological Heritage and Museums at University of Cambridge (2016-2017) and MSc in Sustainable Heritage at University College London (2014-2015). Her research concerns Mongolian Ger as a living heritage and people’s perception of it in the current changing socio-cultural environment of China.

Alongside her academic studies, Xuanlin has joined heritage and museum-related projects with Heritage Malta, Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and some governmental projects in China. She worked as an Intern in Cultural Unit at UNESCO Bangkok in 2018, participated in the project of Asia-Pacific Heritage Conservation Awards, Asia-Pacific Preventing Illicit Tricking and assisted in organising Word Heritage Youth Camp in Thailand. Xuanlin is also a member of ICOMOS China.


Conference Presentations

  • 'The end of ICH or a living heritage? The case of Mongolian Ger in China.’ ICOMOS General Assembly, Advisory Committee Meeting & Scientific Symposium ‘Rural Heritage-Landscape and beyond’, Marrakesh, Morocco, 12th- 18th October 2019.  
  • ‘Reconceptualising Intangible Cultural Heritage: the case of Mongolian Ger, Inner Mongolia of China.’ Association of Critical Heritage Studies Fourth Biannual Conference, HangZhou, China, 1st – 6th September 2018.


Vejo-Rose, D., 2019. Cultural heritage and memory: untangling the ties that bind in Heritage. Translated by Liu, X.L. Nanjing: Nanjing University Press (in press

Xuanlin Liu profile photo

Contact details

Xuanlin Liu
Department of Archaeology
University of York
The King's Manor