Professor Evans’s study focuses on three local initiatives to preserve and transmit cultural heritage in the ethnically and culturally diverse region of southwestern China where the ‘heritage industry’ is a pillar of local development strategy. It examines the socio-economic, political and cultural institutions, practices and processes facilitating or restricting the emergence of local alternatives, including involvement of and reception by the respective local communities. Professor Evans asks, can mainstream heritage practices protect local cultural and ethnic identities and respond to local demands for cultural and ethical recognition? China joined UNESCO’s Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2004. Professor Evans’s research investigates how heritage practice in China is transforming local social, economic and cultural life as well as reshaping domestic and global notions of China's national identity.
Professor Evans’s research entitled ‘Conflicts in Cultural Value: Localities and Heritage in Southwestern China’ focuses on three local projects.