International Journal of Heritage Studies

Published by Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Online ISSN: 1470-3610
Publications
Article
Prisons play an important role in the Australian psyche. As places in which the lawless element of society is incarcerated they possess a resonance that harks back to the stereotyped and mythologised convict foundations of the Australian nation. Many former places of confinement have been transformed into publicly accessible heritage sites and museums, but visitor numbers often do not reflect the widespread public interest in confinement. It is not at all clear how to engage the public with the individual histories of these places. This paper examines this issue by reference to the public display of Fannie Bay Gaol prison museum in Darwin. Changing themes and foci in the display of this site are discussed. The role of the historian and archaeologist is examined in the context of the public presentation of narratives of the Gaol's past.
 
Waanyi Women's History Committee and the authors at Boodjamulla National Park. Shown in the photo are left to right, front row: Iris Hogan, Irene Kelly, Noelene Hills, unnamed (now deceased), Nancy George, Sally O'Keefe, Nancy Gregory, Mavis Rockland, Mary Lorraine, Diane O'Keefe, Eunice O'Keefe, Muriel Timothy, Junie Ryan, Shirley Chong (back turned), back row: Laurajane Smith, Anna Morgan and Nancy Carlton. [Photo: A. van der Meer.] 
The research area: Boodjamulla National Park, including Riversleigh World Heritage Palaeontological Area. [Drawn by Sven Schroeder.] 
Sally O'Keefe fishing during fieldwork for the Waanyi Women's History Project. [Photo: A. Morgan.] 
Article
Community involvement in heritage management is an issue that is increasingly being debated within heritage studies and management agencies. This paper examines a case study from Queensland, Australia, of a community-initiated and controlled heritage project. The paper outlines and discusses the implications that this project has to an understanding of the nature of heritage, the processes of its management and the role of expertise within management. It argues that the development of a management process that is meaningfully inclusive at a community level must overthrow the ways in which heritage is defined and understood. Not only must concepts of intangible heritage be developed, but also concepts of heritage must usefully incorporate an understanding of the nature of intangible experiences and values that are associated with the physical aspects of heritage. Moreover, it is important to understand that these experiences and values are themselves open to management and regulation. Subsequently, an inclusive management process requires a self-conscious evaluation of the role of heritage managers in the process and a conscious decision to support, or otherwise, local community aspirations.
 
Article
This is an ethnographic study depending on long-term fieldwork for a better understanding of the way in which remembrance would be affected by the social change and the political environment involved, especially with the self-awareness of indigenous identity among local inhabitants brought by heritage preservation. In this paper I seek to examine the emergence of Hong Kong Heritage and how its establishment reflects the relationships interwoven between the indigenous inhabitants of the New Territories and Hong Kong government. Moreover, I will focus on several episodes collected in Ping Shan, where Hong Kong's first heritage trail is located, to explore the socio-political meanings of heritage preservation and gain a closer look at how heritage recalls a collective memory transforming a traditional settlement into a political arena of heritage.
 
Article
Building a cultural landscape involves deep political and social processes. Discussions relating to decisions about preservation reveal cultural values at a particular moment and explain the character of the surviving landscape. This study analyses how one community in Western Australia defined its sense of place and identity. In the 1930s, on a wave of historical consciousness, Western Australians sought to enshrine the desire to preserve a range of historical materials in legislation, and conducted debates about the very survival of the buildings and documents. This paper investigates why legislation to preserve buildings and documents failed, and how the community understood the relationship between these two forms of heritage. Bringing together the two series of discussions, about the values inherent in and surrounding documents and buildings, highlights the way in which meanings are invested in places and things, and the values and processes through which the cultural landscape is shaped.
 
Article
There is currently a lack of provision for, and research into, the intellectual accessibility of heritage sites. This paper explores some possible ways forward. It examines recent research with people described as having Down syndrome and uses the syndrome’s identified characteristics to create good practice guidelines. It assesses these guidelines against an audio tour written for people with learning difficulties. In conclusion, the paper suggests that drawing upon a generalised model of Down syndrome and these good practice guidelines will allow sites to identify some potential barriers and enablers to intellectual accessibility, but that fully to appreciate the effectiveness of their provision they must still institute site‐specific research by people with learning difficulties.
 
Article
This article explores how older visitors use meanings created through encounters with contemporary visual art in art galleries for identity maintenance and revision processes. The analysis is based on the results of a 28-month study of the responses of older people to contemporary visual art in art galleries in north-east England, UK. The identity processes used in this study are those defined as maintenance and revision as understood by Kroger (2002) Identity processes and contents through the years of late adulthood. Identity, 2, (1), 81-99, Kroger and Adair (2008) Symbolic meanings of valued personal objects in identity transitions of late adulthood. Identity, 8, (1), 5-24. and Marcia (2002) Identity and psychosocial development in adulthood. Identity, 2, (1), 7-28. Respondents who did not have an existing identity-defining commitment towards art and who had less ability to decode the art works used the art to make symbolic links to aspects of their identity. The meanings created were then used to help satisfy current identity needs. In contrast, those with an existing commitment to art used the experience of the visits to deepen their current knowledge. Engaging with contemporary visual art facilitated identity processes that contributed to participants’ well-being. This study contributes to studies on identity by exploring how content and identity processes interact and provides new perspectives on the role of art in identity formation for older people. It also has significance for museum, gallery and heritage policy and practice.
 
Article
Tate Britain’s 2011 poster campaign boldly states ‘This is Britain’ and reproduces two works from the collection, one historic, one modern or contemporary, with a strip of Union Jack flag at the bottom. The design suggests a sense of coherence in the collection and in British art in general. This article questions the purpose of this supposed coherence, by questioning its art historical basis, and focusing on its consequences for the reception and perception of historic, modern and contemporary British art amongst Tate’s audience, both within and without the gallery space. The ideas presented draw on press commentary, visitor statistics and museum advertising practice and look at three points in Tate’s history: the Millbank gallery’s 1897 opening, the 2000 rebrand as Tate Britain and the current moment of this poster campaign. This article will argue that the transhistorical juxtapositions seen in these posters are a central tenet of how Tate builds its own identity and that of British art, and that these posters are used as a satellite exhibition space, but with a curatorial approach other to that of the gallery itself, so that the collection is displayed to attract the maximum potential audience.
 
Article
This paper investigates the use of aesthetic value as a criterion by which the significance of heritage places is assessed. It is argued that current heritage management practice has not engaged with the extensive discourse relating to aesthetics, and therefore confines aesthetics to a particular class and culture, and an inert view of only one of our sensory experiences. Historical records relating to the Great Barrier Reef are used to show how aesthetic appreciation of the area has changed over time.The data suggest that the failure to recognise an aesthetic that is primarily non-visual can lead to changes in landscape and loss of associated value. It also suggests that aesthetic values change rapidly and are influenced by social and technological factors.
 
Article
This article investigates the power of things and materials in the context of historical re-enactment. Based on ethnographic fieldwork among costumed re-enactors reinvigorating the American Civil War, it explores participants’ close connections to specific objects and ensembles of objects and the crucial role awarded to ‘experience’ and ‘touch’ in this genre of relating to the past. It is argued that three interrelated propositions derived from my analysis allow a better understanding of this popular heritage practice: (1) Re-enactment can be understood as a human-material ‘patchworking’ process, (2) Re-enactment comprises a ‘holistic’ enterprise and (3) A key motivation in re-enactment derives from its ‘unfinishedness’. By attending to these dimensions through a detailed analysis that takes the role of objects and their experiential potential seriously as going beyond ‘representation’, I argue that the re-enacted Civil War serves as an often implicit and non-verbal – but, precisely, enacted – critique of conventional approaches to learning about and exhibiting history and heritage, such as those epitomised by the conventional museum.
 
Article
It is a commonplace that cultural heritage is not only a highly contested concept of modern times, full of nationalistic undertones, cultural stereotypes and essentialist topoi such as past grandeur and enduring cultural purity. Cultural heritage has also become the easiest and most profitable prey for today’s global tourism industry. These observations apply with particularly dramatic consequences to young emerging, postcolonial nation states with a rich repertoire of built (tangible) and performed (intangible) culture – especially if elements of this repertoire are branded ‘UNESCO World Heritage’ without considering their contested formation histories. Few other iconic heritage sites are more instructive in showcasing these observations than the temple site of Angkor, by charting the transcultural trajectories of Cambodia’s heritage construction through the processes of French colonial reinvention, postcolonial/nationalist essentialisation, and global commodification. This paper focuses on the ‘Royal Khmer Ballet’ as cultural performance and heritage re-enactment in combination with the twelfth-century temple of Angkor Wat as architectural stage. References to similar ‘heritagisation’ processes in the (post)colonial Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) will help to anchor this transcultural enquiry.
 
Article
The paper explores the use of ancient and historic material cultures and architectures within the recent resurgence in public commemoration in the UK. Using the case study of the National Memorial Arboretum (Staffordshire), the study focuses on how ancient designs (including prehistoric, classical and medieval styles and forms) interleave with the arboreal, geological and celestial themes of the memorial gardens. Together these designs serve to create a multitude of temporal poises by which auras of commemorative perpetuity and regeneration are projected and sustained. The paper proposes that archaeologists can bring their expertise to bear on the investigation of the complex, varied allusions to the past within contemporary landscapes of memory.
 
Article
This is the author's postprint version of an article whose final and definitive form has been published in the International Journal of Heritage Studies, Volume 11, Number 4 (2005), pp. 269-288. Available online at http://www.informaworld.com In the context of recent media, governmental, academic and popular attention and enthusiasm for debates surrounding the construction and meaning of the British countryside, this paper outlines the potential for oral history to make a contribution. Working in Devon, the authors outline how an oral history methodology can engage with the fields of landscape archaeology and heritage studies. As well as augmenting and supporting more traditional approaches to landscape, oral history techniques can be used to challenge and destabilise existing knowledge, thereby moving the process of 'democratisation' in knowledge construction of the rural landscape from practices of scientific 'complicity' towards one of critical engagement.
 
Article
This article uses the Women’s Liberation Music Archive (WLMA) as a case study to explore re-enactment as the performative ‘doing’ of history. As an archive composed of music-making processes rather than commercial ‘products’, the article argues this is an invitation to consider the time of history as one of action and enlivenment. The article frames the dissemination of material in the WLMA as a delayed event that is made possible by the digital technologies, in particular free web tools, such as blogs. It explores the implications of the resurfacing of marginal cultural histories within the present moment, and how this can transform conceptions of historicity and time. Finally, the article asserts the value of digital archives within the context of music histories, thus challenging the notion that effective historical encounters can only occur through engagement with original objects.
 
Article
Collaborative conservation between Aboriginal people and archaeologists in Australia presents new and innovative opportunities for community control in cultural heritage management practice. Community approaches to heritage emphasise cultural landscapes and Indigenous relationships to land and sea. In this paper we illustrate the value of a community-led cultural heritage management project in a case study from North Stradbroke Island, southeast Queensland, Australia. We document the process whereby Aboriginal traditional owners worked collaboratively with archaeologists to design and implement a method for a cultural heritage assessment that met not only legislative requirements relating to archaeological sites but also Indigenous needs regarding culturally significant landscapes. Our results demonstrate that places of Aboriginal community heritage value exist even where no sites of archaeological significance occur. In our case study we demonstrate that effective heritage management can be undertaken in accordance with appropriate Aboriginal law and community control.
 
Article
This article examines how popular music and its material culture have been exhibited within museums. More specifically, it is concerned with how decision-making and processes within museums impact on how materials are interpreted and presented to museum visitors. The article uses one central case study relating to a highly mythologised moment within popular music history, claimed as the starting point of the Beatles. On 6 July 1957, John Lennon, member of the Quarrymen, was introduced to Paul McCartney at St Peter’s Church fete in Liverpool. Consideration will be given to how the church stage on which the Quarrymen played, along with a sound recording of their performance, have been presented within displays by National Museums Liverpool. Drawing on interviews with staff, the article will discuss how the curatorial and conservation treatment of the stage aimed to intensify its connection to a moment in history. It will also discuss to what extent a sound recording can capture and communicate the ‘presentness’ of a musical performance. The article raises a number of issues concerned with the production of authenticity, the ‘reliability’ of material evidence, and the extent to which sound recordings and material culture can enable museums to represence the past.
 
Article
Bolsover Castle is a 17th‐century mock‐medieval castle built for the Cavendish family. First impressions suggest that its Pillar Parlour has survived with little alteration for nearly four centuries. In reality, there have been minor but telling changes to its fabric. The 18‐century Cavendishes venerated the castle as a shrine to their ancestors. Bolsover’s 19th‐century tenants recreated a romantic Olden Time appearance. The public bodies responsible for the castle in the 20th century used archaeology to reconstruct its 17th‐century form. In each case, these custodians aimed to present the site ‘authentically’, but their work reveals their own contemporary readings of the castle’s history. This evidence, gathered for a Conservation Plan, allowed English Heritage’s re‐display of the castle (1996–2001) to take a more reflective and positive approach to creating new meanings. This use of history to create local important meanings should give good cheer to those managing similar small but significant sites across the world.
 
Article
The Drought and Rain dance trilogy, by Vietnamese–French choreographer Ea Sola, evokes memory, history and everyday practices through song, stylised gesture and stark, graceful images. The performances aim not to represent ancient and wartime Vietnamese pasts as much as call attention to the ways in which the present and past invigorate and co-create each other. The unsettled, recursive and processual nature of Ea Sola’s performances suggest it is necessary to periodically re-encounter the continuing legacies of violence. The performances enact a different form of historical (re)productivity, not predicated on a linear materialism, but based on processes of temporal turn and re-turn. I employ the most recent performance in the series, Drought and Rain 2011, as both subject and lens for exploring the unfinished dynamics of memory–history, and as a site and practice of cultural heritage. Embodying a hybrid mix of multiple re-performance categories, the Drought and Rain performances stretch current notions of heritage and are cross-border in terms of culture, nationality, arts genre and aesthetics and political implication. Primary points of focus include: the non-originality of performance, the unfinished nature of the past, and the way in which the Drought and Rain performances propose a counter-memory of the future.
 
Article
This study discusses the politics of urban planning and heritage in the city of Skopje, Macedonia. I compare three phases of urban reconstruction under three political systems: the inter-war Kingdom of Serbs Croats and Slovenes, the communist regime and present-day ‘democracy’. I show that the ambiguous marginalisation of Ottoman heritage has been a continuous practice, despite today’s reading of communist planning as ‘open’. Through a discussion of Yugoslav politics towards religious and national ‘minorities’, I show that Ottoman heritage has been preserved only insofar as it fits within the state’s definition of power. I specifically detail how the construction of ‘European’, ‘secular’ public space has worked as a tool through which state/nation building established new hierarchies of power. I show how this is reflected most clearly in the specific politics of heritage by discussing the creation, regulation and management of ‘Čaršija’, the ‘old Turkish’ neighbourhood of Skopje.
 
Article
The paper argues that, although the musée du quai Branly in Paris, inaugurated in 2006, may be tainted through the history of its collections as well as the political imperatives that brought it into existence in the Chirac era, it has the potential to make a radical break with its genre history. The paper takes up a metaphor adopted by one of the museum’s curators that sees it as infected but not incurably stricken by the virus common to all ethnological museums. Through an examination of the predominant themes of some of the temporary exhibitions created since its inception, the paper argues that curators at the musée du quai Branly are conscious of the ethnological ‘malaise’ and have attempted, in novel and politically sensitive ways to break with what Tony Bennett described as the ‘stigmatic othering’, symptomatic of nineteenth and early twentieth century museums.
 
Article
This paper explores the commonly used metaphor of the palimpsest prevalent in urban studies, and suggests that there are realities in the field that are overshadowed by the dominant use of the metaphor. Whilst the palimpsest is a useful metaphor to illustrate chronological superimposition or traces of the past that remain hidden, it is inadequate in describing sites that feature material, spatial and temporal juxtapositions. To remedy this gap, the paper introduces the concept of brecciation, inspired by Sigmund Freud, to provide an alternative means to consider how the accumulation of materials affects planning in the city. Examples from two specific sites in Rome illustrate how brecciation enhances an understanding of the sites and enables to evaluate the practices of urban heritage in recent urban initiatives. By way of conclusion, the paper highlights the benefits of engaging with a concept that reveals concatenations at a site, and suggests that further work on brecciation could be expanded to include the exploration of intangible entanglements.
 
Article
Since its inception, modern conservation has derived the significance of a heritage asset from the identification and prioritisation of distinct classes of values. Different systems of values have been proposed, and the focus of the debate has been on the competing merits of such systems, with little attention paid to the genealogy of their theoretical foundation. If such values-based systems were ever appropriate, they are increasingly out of step with other areas of cultural life, and the resulting tensions are particularly manifested when considering change to historic buildings and environments. The currently under-theorised state of conservation is positively harmful both to the conservation professions and to the buildings we seek to protect. It is increasingly urgent therefore that we understand conservation’s philosophical origins, that we question the application of a late-nineteenth-century modernist approach to culture, and that we seek a better theoretical foundation.
 
Article
This paper outlines a theoretical approach to the rationale for conservation of built environment that suggests that psychological factors may be as important as political or aesthetic issues. Within the context of conservation of historic buildings and townscapes, it examines the notion of ontological security and the importance of the physical world in its construction and takes case studies from post-war Europe and contemporary South Korea to illustrate its propositions.
 
A new estate: the Hoven in Dordrecht. The water sets the appartment blocks apart from the rest of the neighbourhood. 
Haverleij in 's Hertogenbosch. The strategy of concentration leaves the landscape open. 
The variation of facades in the centre of Brandevoort, Helmond 2011. 
Article
This article deals with the question of why the architecture of new gated communities includes references to built heritage. The emergence of ‘gated communities’ in the Netherlands is especially interesting because its diffusion is not primarily driven by distinct urban segregation and the gap between rich and poor. ‘Gated communities’ in the sense of exclusive communities with rigid boundaries are basically seen as ‘un-Dutch’ by the planning community and the public media. This paper examines, firstly, the local sensibilities to these residential places in the context of a strong institutional spatial planning practice and, secondly, the reasons why ‘gated communities’ were nevertheless embraced by middle-income households. These groups identify with the reference to built heritage-like walled towns and castles and use them for purposes of social distinction. Moreover, they perceive historical as a symbolic marker for like-minded fellow residents.
 
Article
This paper explores the situation of community engagement in the heritage sector in China, which is facing increasing international pressure particularly through donor agencies. It is argued that government-led residents’ committees do not essentially serve the interest of the local communities, whilst grassroots civil societies and NGOs are, to a great extent regulated, by the prevailing political power. Given the situation of insufficient community involvement in the sector of cultural heritage conservation in China, local government has adopted the international approach introduced by donor agencies, but this has not resulted in power sharing and the state constrains community involvement within certain limits. This paper examines the situation of community involvement in heritage management in the city of Yangzhou.
 
Article
Hong Kong and Macao were once European colonies. A unique, hybrid culture of East and West now flourishes in these two Special Administrative Regions (SARs) of China. Both cities opened new history museums in 1998, but they adopted remarkably different approaches in their representation of their complicated and politically sensitive history. The Hong Kong Museum of History (HKMH) represents history by closely following the orientation of traditional Chinese nationalism. The postcolonial characteristics adopted by the Macao Museum to reproduce history, in contrast, are likely amongst the richest of all history museums in China. What are the reasons behind the different historical representations by Hong Kong and Macao, which were both promised a ‘One country, Two systems’ policy by the Chinese central authority? This paper argues that both museums reveal two faces of a rising China; the one in Hong Kong emphasises national dignity, and the people’s identification with and loyalty to the nation when it is engaged in state building. The one in Macao emphasises the multiple roles in finding a balanced position to coexist with superpowers, forging friendships with developing countries and building an idealised image of a (re-)rising nation through historical construction. The difference between these two museums indicates the exceptional flexibility of China’s postcommunist regime in engaging in soft power diplomacy.
 
Article
This paper is an attempt to integrate heritage and museum studies through exploring the complex relationship between the materiality of architecture and social memories with a house museum of return migration in Guangdong, PRC as a case study. It unveils that the ongoing process of memory is intrinsically intertwined with spatial and temporal dimensions of the physical dwelling and built environment and the wider social-historical context and power relations shaping them. I argue that it is the house as ‘object of exhibit’ just as much as the exhibits inside the house that materialises the turbulent and traumatic migratory experience of Returned Overseas Chinese, embodies their memories and exposes the contested nature of museumification. By looking at the socially and geographically marginalised dwelling of return migrants, the house draws people’s attention to the often neglected importance of conceptual periphery in re-theorising what is often assumed to be the core of heritage value. It points to the necessity to integrate displaced, diasporic, transnational subjects to heritage and museum studies that have been traditionally framed within national and territorial boundaries.
 
Article
Jan Pieterszoon Coen (1587–1629) is a controversial figure in Dutch history. As the governor general of the Dutch United East India Company (Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie), he founded the basis for the Dutch colonial enterprise in south-east Asia. In the late nineteenth century, Coen was seen as a national hero and his statue erected on the central square of his home town. Since then, appreciation of Coen has changed considerably. In 2011, a group of citizens petitioned the local authority to have the statue removed because they considered him responsible for genocide. After much discussion, the local authority decided to leave the statue in place and replace the old text on the statue with a new description of Coen. The local museum organised an exhibition about Coen in the form of a trial, asking visitors to vote on whether he deserves a statue or not. Following Ashworth et al. the selective ways in which Coen’s statue has been used as a heritage resource are explored. In particular, reference is made to the concept of heritage dissonance. The ways in which the local authority and museum acted to renegotiate meanings ascribed to the statue and reduce the levels of dissonance are described and analysed.
 
Article
Intangible cultural heritage, according to a UNESCO definition, is 'the practices, representations, expressions as well as the knowledge and skills that communities, groups and in some cases individuals recognise as part of their cultural heritage'. Using a case study of Shirakami-sanchi World Heritage Area, this paper illustrates how the local community's conservation commitment was formed through their long-term everyday interactions with nature. Such connectivity is vital to maintaining the authentic integrity of a place that does not exclude humans. An examination of the formation of the community's conservation commitment for Shirakami reveals that it is the community's spiritual connection and place-based identity that have supported conservation, leading to the World Heritage nomination, and it is argued that the recognition of such intangible cultural heritage is vital in conservation. The challenge, then, is how to communicate such spiritual heritage today. Forms of community involvement are discussed in an attempt to answer this question.
 
Temple of Hou Wang, Atherton. The appearance of the temple belies its significance to the residents of the Chinatown in the early 1900s. [Photograph: Gordon Grimwade].
Orientation sign at the Cooktown Botanic Gardens. The interpretive signs explain how, in the early 1900s, botanic gardens were a focal point for recreational activity. [Photograph: Gordon Grimwade].
Interpretive sign at Grassy Hill, Cooktown. The signs at Cooktown use extant fabric to explain context. [Photograph: Gordon Grimwade].
Article
In heritage site management, there is often a strong reliance on preservation, sometimes to the exclusion of contemporary use.The result is a tendency to remove heritage sites from the experience of the community who 'owns' the heritage. At the site level, heritage management does not always use the full range of available tools; largely because of the emphasis on preservation. Case studies from rural Queensland, Australia, show that even relatively recent industrial and historical archaeology sites can be conserved and presented to benefit both the sites and local communities. There are several components to ultimate success, broadly encompassing a broader recognition of site values, pragmatic management and pro-active presentation. Smaller heritage sites may be modest in appearance, but they are still worthy of conservation. They may not attract large numbers of visitors like Stonehenge or the Acropolis but they are capable of providing socio-economic advantages for local communities and transferring knowledge of the past to future generations.
 
Local people reciting Buddhist sutras at a recovered 'heritage' site Photograph: the author, 1 October 2012. 
Article
China has developed, over thousands of years, a unique way of representing, valuing and using the past. However, it has silenced, ignored and even denied many aspects of this tradition when dealing with its own heritage in recent decades. This paper seeks to explore a non-western approach to the meaning-making of Chinese heritage by presenting a case of a grassroots project to record and make meanings of heritage in an ordinary village in China. Specifically, it will demonstrate how the Confucian discourse of narrating the past could be appropriated and deployed in Chinese heritage practice to interweave fragments of the past and present by means of holistically embracing the narrative of villagers’ lives in a subtle, transparent and critical way. By doing so, a locally situated way of managing heritage is sought in order to transcend the boundaries of the tangible and intangible heritage categories and to achieve a morally and spiritually enriched heritage experience.
 
Article
This is the author's post-print version of an article accepted for publication in International Journal of Heritage Studies. © 2008 Informa plc. The definitive publisher-authenticated version (Vol.12 (3), May 2006, pp.234-254) is available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13527250600604498 Town walls have always played a critical role in shaping the identities and images of the communities they embrace. Today, the surviving fabric of urban defences is a feature of heritage holding great potential as a cultural resource but in management terms one that poses substantial challenges, both practical and philosophical. Town walls can be conceptualised as a 'dissonant' form of heritage whose value is contested between different interest groups and whose meanings are not static but can be rewritten. Evidence is gathered from walled towns across Europe, including member towns of the WTFC (Walled Towns Friendship Circle) and inscribed UNESCO World Heritage Sites, to explore the cyclical biographies of town walls in their transformation from civic monuments, through phases of neglect, decay and destruction to their current status as cherished cultural resources. To explore this area of interface between archaeology and tourism studies, the varying attitudes of populations and heritage agencies to walled heritage are reviewed through examination of policies of conservation, preservation, presentation and restoration. Areas of commonality and contrast are thus identified.
 
Article
This paper proposes an alternative way of evaluating heritage values in the assessment of an abandoned school building in Lakhnu, a small rural Indian village in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Its aim is to re-think the appropriateness of professionally assessed methodologies, such as the Australian ICOMOS Burra Charter, and find others which are more inclusive and sensitive of community views and aspirations. Villagers claim this building as a key part to their cultural heritage, and view its desertion and disintegration with frustration. As part of a larger scheme to improve village infrastructure and to enable its empowerment, the aim is to assess the significance of this place to the villagers, facilitate its conservation and investigate possible outcomes for its use through community participation. In this context, the concept of narrative is offered as means to establish the community meaning of a place. Narratives are powerful ways in which people understand their environment and structure a view of the world. Using stories told by villagers about their relationship with the building, this paper argues that narrative can offer an alternative method of understanding heritage significance.
 
Damaged DAI building after the 1990–1991 Gulf War (courtesy of the DAI).  
Article
Museums are often sites for the fabrication of hegemonic discourse. They represent the political nature of heritage construction and the instruments used to support these narratives. This paper traces the appropriation of museums as symbols of national projects and argues that not all museums achieve this political end. The Kuwait National Museum designed by Michel Écochard will be examined as a case study for this argument. Écochard’s project demonstrates the many challenges that develop between nationalist politics, heritage production and competing centres of power.
 
Article
This paper examines the processes involved in a participatory inclusive research project in Liverpool and Merseyside, UK. The project involved 25 people with learning difficulties - the Heritage Forum - visiting 13 cultural and heritage sites on more than 50 occasions across a 15-month period. The research provides a much needed resource at a time when there is a lack of provision for, and research into, the intellectual accessibility of cultural and heritage sites in the UK and globally. This paper details the research approach taken by the Heritage Forum, providing a flexible protocol about ways of working with groups and individuals with learning difficulties. It also reports on the Heritage Forum's general findings about the cultural and heritage sites, providing some initial guidance about how to best include this diverse population.
 
Article
Historic architectural heritage is important to sustainable urban planning policy, particularly in cities that have heritage sites and/or themselves have ancient archaeological value. Delhi is one of the oldest living cities in the world. However, the vision of its planning policy is limited to valuing heritage for itself and for its economic value instead of also exploring the ways in the city’s heritage might contribute to the social organisation and utilisation of the urban public space. Particularly, like most national policy documents on heritage, it ignores the heritage/gender nexus, which has implications for the identity and status of women in Delhi, community development and ecological preservation. But twenty women practioners and scholars of development in Delhi referred to heritage as a challenge as well as opportunity for gender and urban sustainability when asked for their perspectives on the most important sustainability issues in the city. I argue that Delhi’s urban planning strategies must acknowledge the gender/heritage nexus to enable holistic and gender-inclusive urban development for the present and future generations of its citizens, which is an important thrust of the sustainability agenda.
 
Singapore Conservation Areas and National Library.
Singapore's National Library Building, Stamford Road.
National Library Building under demolition, September 2004.
Dutch bridge, Batavia.
Article
The former colonial port cities of Southeast Asia are complex in both their landscapes and their collective memories. Centuries of European imperial domination have left a mark on their townscapes and, more so in some cases than in others, on their contemporary political and social cultures. During the colonial period, the integration of these port cities into global trade networks also fostered inter‐ and intra‐regional migration and, thus, the development of complex cultural mixes in their demographic composition. In recent decades, and following the attainment of political independence, this region has experienced spectacular economic growth and the development of a range of nationalisms, both of which have had a considerable impact on the recent transformation of their (capital) cityscapes. Singapore and Jakarta are presented here as case studies of the ways in which economic, political and cultural forces have interacted to produce cityscapes in which elements of the past are variously eliminated, hidden, privileged, integrated and/or reinvented.
 
Article
Global media represents and transmits the intangible cultural heritage of nation states officially safeguarded by UNESCO. Intangible heritage sanctioned by this international institution is disseminated on YouTube videos featured on UNESCO’s online intangible heritage lists including its representative list as well as within the social space of this video-hosting service. As YouTube is in large part produced by user-generated content, it has the potential to continuously store heritage as it occurs in lived circumstances, to a certain extent capturing the shifting nature of embodied practice. Whereas the UNESCO YouTube videos posted on the online representative list freeze intangible heritage (often in accordance with nationalist aims of current governments), the proliferation of user-generated YouTube videos of the very practices officially safeguarded potentially re-enacts heritage as it changes and takes on new shapes. This possibility is based upon YouTube’s status as a new archival structure that transmits information through video content that produces narratives as well as through algorithms that generate lists. The claim that narratives and lists on YouTube might counter the fossilising of representations of national intangible heritage is explored through the case study of the Mevlevi Sema Ceremony of Turkey, which was officially safeguarded by UNESCO in 2005.
 
Article
Museums in New Zealand are not a homogeneous group in terms of their level of income generating activity or the nature of those activities. As a result of this situation, and the gap in knowledge it has resulted in, the National Services unit of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, commissioned primary research into the 'revenue generation' activities of the sector. This paper presents the results of that research, specifically the data gathered through a questionnaire. The results provide a profile of respondents in relation to their operating contexts, the sources of financial and non-financial support they received (from the local community, local authorities and central government), and the types of income generating activities they undertook. The results contribute to a better understanding of both how organisations within the sector generate income (from traditional sources and new, more innovative activities) and what factors influence their ability to do so.
 
Article
In 2002, the World Heritage Committee declared heritage to be 'an instrument for the sustainable development of all societies'. The term 'sustainable development', however, is inscribed with a complex economic, environmental and social agenda that challenges contemporary World Heritage management practice. This paper draws on a content analysis of six industrial UK World Heritage Site management plans. The analysis focuses on the extent that each plan integrates four key sustainability dimensions. Findings indicate that the planning frameworks and collaboration processes in operation at each site ensure conservation of the historical physical fabric but limit the development of a sustainable local cultural economy. A sustainable heritage management framework is presented based on the adoption of a long-term strategic orientation and extensive local community participation in decision making. The framework is relevant to other complex heritage sites such as historic towns and cultural landscapes.
 
Article
A response to conceptions of heritage as process, this paper puts forward a (re)enactment of heritage (studies) in which the lively materiality, temporality and mobility of an event become entangled with the performance of its research. The event in question is the Lord Mayor’s Show in London. First established eight centuries ago, the Show is an annual ritual and touristic performance of The City; London’s historic heart and today’s global financial centre. One day each year, City life is temporarily suspended by the passing of the new Lord Mayor in his State Coach accompanied by a procession of well over one hundred participating organisations with an audience of tens of thousands lining the route. 2011 was a particularly event-ful year for the Show taking place as it did amidst a global financial crisis and the Occupy London Stock Exchange protest movement camped outside St Paul’s Cathedral, disrupting the regular processional route. In drawing on aspects of non-representational theory from human and cultural geography, a more performative sense of doing heritage studies emerges that attends to the lived process and actions of heritage.
 
Article
This is the author's postprint version of an article whose final and definitive form has been published in International Journal of Heritage Studies, Volume 7, Number 4 (2001), pp. 319-338. Available online at http://www.informaworld.com With the apparent focus of work carried out by the heritage 'community' very much directed towards heritage practices in the present, the potential historical scope for the discipline as a whole, becomes ever-more temporally closed. This paper makes space for a longer historical analysis of the development of heritage as a process. The paper ranges over the evolution of a medieval sense of heritage and how it is related to transitions in the experience of space and place, and also explores some early modern developments in the heritage concept, relating them to societal changes associated with colonial (and post-colonial) experience. This deeper understanding of the historically contingent and embedded nature of heritage allows us to go beyond treating heritage simply as a set of problems to be solved, and enables us to engage with debates about the production of identity, power and authority throughout society.
 
Article
Heritage studies is yet to have a debate about its theorisation at the global level. Many of the core ideas that shape the field are rooted in the contexts of Europe and the USA and geographically rolled out in normative ways. This paper argues it is important we embark on pluralising how heritage is studied and theoretically framed, in ways that better address the heterogeneous nature of heritage, for both the West and the non-West. The themes of modernity, cities and international cultural policy provide evidence of why we need to better position the academic study of heritage in relation to the rapid geo-political and geo-cultural shifts now taking place.
 
Article
This paper is about how the emphasis of the archaeological open-air museum at Lejre, Denmark, has been shifting from a research institution towards an archaeological theme park. I am discussing how material culture and associated skills and perceptions have been facilitating time-travel experiences at Lejre from 1964 until today. My main focus is on the prehistoric families who each summer have been inhabiting the full-size model of the Iron Age village known as Lethra. In 2011, I conducted participant observation in the village. This paper presents some of my observations and insights. I am also asking what the discernible trends and transformations over time, imply for how we are to understand contemporary forms of living history and related genres. The discussion explores some implications of my study regarding the nature of authenticity and how the past ‘comes to life’ at Lethra. I conclude by exploring some important trends for cultural heritage and heritage tourism in our age that arise from my study.
 
Article
World Heritage Site (WHS) status is becoming a highly valued accolade in both developed and developing countries alike.The diversification and expansion of theWorld Heritage List has led to a more inclusive and representative approach to both designation and inscription. Although this could be perceived as a positive development, questions should still be raised about the meaning and significance of WHS status given the apparently indefinite expansion of the List. The paper will firstly examine the motivations, which appear to underpin the quest for WHS status in an international context, before proceeding to an analysis of Maritime Greenwich, which was inscribed on the List in 1997. Although it is acknowledged that generalisations about the significance of this global accolade are not always useful, the chosen case study exemplifies some of the generic impacts that WHS status can bring in its wake, particularly in historic towns.
 
Top-cited authors
Emma Waterton
  • Western Sydney University
Laurajane Smith
  • Australian National University
Robert Shipley
  • University of Waterloo
John Pendlebury
  • Newcastle University
Tim Winter
  • University of Western Australia