Re-Imaging an Ancient, Emergent Superpower: 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Public Memory, and National Identity
On August 8, 2008, Beijing orchestrated a grand opening ceremony for the Twenty-Ninth Olympic Games. Amid the People's Republic of China's inexorable emergence as a superpower in the world, the ceremony provided a valuable glimpse into contemporary Chinese political and social circumstances.
Employing public memory as the conceptual framework to unravel this momentous spectacle, this essay argues that the Chinese government erected a new national identity, through historico-cultural invocations and reconfigurations of Chinese and global memories. Yet such rhetorical exploits also
betrayed the Chinese government's intense pursuit of politico-ideological legitimacy in the globalizing world, which has increasingly been challenged by Chinese and global publics.