Gerard's research interests centre on 'Cultural Tourism Management'. They focus on integrated heritage management, the value of intangible cultural heritage resources, stakeholder participatory processes, community benefits and sustainable development. He is particularly interested in 'ecomuseums' and similar democratic heritage management projects located in different countries around the world and how these projects relate to the above research interests.
Skills and Expertise
Research Items (15)
Project - DROPS The international platform for ecomuseums and community museums
Have been thinking about the term 'ecomuseology' again recently. Personally, I am becoming more and more interested in how the principles and practices of ecomuseology can be used to understand global challenges in the 'Anthropocene Epoch'. My academic and professional research and engagemnet interests are moving to focus on 'Rivers of the Anthropocene' projects <http://research.ncl.ac.uk/anthropocene/> . With this focus, I have started thinking more and more about the value of using the term Socio-Ecological Museology. I feel that this term may cover what I once proposed with the term 'Holistic Museology'.
- Jan 2014
- Displaced Heritage: Responses to Disaster, Trauma, and Loss
- May 2007
Research carried out by the authors in northern Italy (see Corsane et al., ‘Ecomuseum Evaluation: Experiences in Piemonte and Liguria, Italy’, International Journal of Heritage Studies 13, no. 2 (2007): 101–16) was designed to assess how closely selected ecomuseums met the demands of ecomuseum theory. However, the discussions with ecomuseum personnel at five sites in Piemonte and Liguria also provided an opportunity to explore how these community‐based heritage projects measure their ‘success’. This research indicates that the methods of performance evaluation that are applied to most national or regional museums—criteria such as visitor numbers, the number of new collections that have been acquired, or number of educational activities delivered—have less meaning in an ecomuseum context. This work suggests that success could be measured more effectively in terms of the forms of capital that result from local people’s use of ecomuseological methods to engage with and conserve their heritage.
- Mar 2007
The term ecomuseum has been applied to a wide range of projects that seek to conserve and interpret aspects of tangible and intangible heritage of a defined geographical territory. Ecomuseum theorists have assigned a number of characteristics to these organisations, including in situ conservation, fragmented site interpretation and a democratic, community‐based approach. However, there has been a tendency for the term to be applied casually—sometimes simply as a marketing device—with scant regard to ecomuseum philosophies. To date, little critical evaluation of ecomuseums has been carried out that compares practices at individual sites to the demands of ecomuseum theory. This research examines five ecomuseums in Piemonte and Liguria, northern Italy, to try to discover how far they achieve the tenets of ecomuseum philosophy. Although four of the five sites appear to meet most criteria, the results confirm that a wide variation in ecomuseum practices is inevitable due to local circumstances. Consequently, the ability of any ecomuseum to be a truly democratic organisation and meet all ecomuseum principles is compromised.
- Oct 2006
Robben Island has a number of significant overlapping physical, social, cultural, and political landscapes. The island has been invested with iconic status due to the fact that it was used as the notorious political prison by the apartheid regime in South Africa. After the first democratic elections, the island was officially opened as a national museum in 1997 and in 1999 it was listed as a World Heritage Site. This paper evaluates the initial phase of the Robben Island project using the identified key indicators of the ecomuseum ideal, which has its origins in France in the early 1970s. The ecomuseum movement has challenged many traditional approaches to museum and heritage management internationally, as the new Robben Island Museum has done in South Africa.
- Mar 2004
Abstract In post-apartheid South Africa, the traditional understandings of museums and heritage have been challenged in terms of how meaning making, heritage construction, and knowledge production were conducted in the colonial past. In a series of processes of transformation, new approaches to museum action and heritage management have begun to take shape and develop in South Africa. Central to all of this have been the processes of policy formulation and new legislation that have provided the impetus for change. The aim of this article is to briefly chart some of these processes and the subsequent legislation that have begun to affect the ways in which South African heritage and museums are being reconfigured in a postcolonial and post-apartheid era. This policy formulation and the new legislation have focused on extending what is considered to be heritage by including intangible cultural heritage. It has also looked at empowering local communities, with an emphasis on sustainable development.
This article explores whether or not ecomuseology can provide a model for safeguarding 'spirit of place' in the North East of England. The philosophy of ecomuseums is briefly explained, paying particular attention to the relationship between places, communities and their heritage to explore the idea of how intangible and tangible heritage resources contribute to 'spirit of place'. Expressions of intangible heritage from which senses of belonging, pride and place stem, along with various community-based heritage projects in the rural area of the North Pennines, are described and analysed to examine the community-heritage interaction. The limitations of the more 'traditional' approaches to heritage management and museum work are compared to those embedded in ecomuseum processes.