This article examines the changing relationship between museums and heritage using a number of Dutch cases. It argues that if heritage was once defined as being museological in character, this order of precedence is under revision as museums themselves are recursively transformed by heritage dynamics. Such dynamics include the display of renovation work-in-progress; the enhancement of historical collections by relocation to prominent new sites and buildings; the transformation of old industrial sites into new art and public spaces; and a mutual reinforcement between the urban landscape setting and the institutions that compose it by virtual means. Postcolonial heritage practices worldwide enfold museums in a further set of transformatory dynamics: these include claims on cultural property that was removed in colonial times, but also the strategic transformation of cultural property into heritage for didactic purposes. Museums are subject to the recursive dynamics of heritage, which are turning them inside out.
Renovation, Relocation, Remediation, and Repositioning Museums
Elizabeth C. Macknight
This article presents two case studies, from Scotland and the Scottish Islands, of communities' engagement with archives and their attitudes toward heritage. The case studies arise out of knowledge transfer between an historian employed in an academic role at a Scottish university and two “third sector“ organizations. By comparing the perspectives of historians, archivists, and community organizations the article shows the different ways in which these separate interest groups perceive the value of archives. It then points to some of the possibilities and challenges of working collaboratively to deepen understanding about the past and to create wider opportunities, now and in the future, for historical interpretation, teaching, learning, and research. In the era of digital technologies, it is recommended that undergraduate students be taught the key concepts of archival theory and practice, while also being encouraged to experience working with original archival documents.
The Politics of Identity of East European Immigrants to the U.S.A.
This article provides a fieldwork-based case study for the application of identity empowerment through heritage as a research perspective for the analysis of East European transnationalism seen in Lithuanian immigration in the U.S.A. Two patterns of reclaiming European heritages, 'diasporic' and 'recognitionist', are discussed. The 'diasporic' pattern among more recent migrants embraces a transatlantic heritage in which culture stands for the nation. It is instrumentalised as a claim to retain essential Lithuanianness, and reinforced by the moral imperative to return to the homeland. The 'recognitionist' pattern is exemplified by descendants of earlier East European immigrants, and is focused on family roots, as well as on ethnic history and culture. Transatlantic roots and ethnic heritages of the Lithuanian 'Texas pioneers' are reinforced by belonging to the local United States as migrants strive to achieve re-inscription of that heritage as one that has long been rooted in the local history of Texas.
Tuuli Lähdesmäki, Sigrid Kaasik-Krogerus and Katja Mäkinen
Th is article investigates the genealogy of the concept of heritage in the European Commission’s (EC) policy discourse from 1973 to 2016. Based on conceptual analysis of 2,412 documents gathered from the EUR-Lex database, the uses of the concept in the EC’s policy discourse were categorized into seven thematic areas: nature, environment, and biodiversity; human habitats; economy and employment; agricultural products and foodstuffs; promotion of societal development and stability; audiovisuality and digitalization; and European identity and integration. In the EC’s discourse, heritage develops in the context of intertwined phases of EU integration and cultural Europeanization. The study indicates how the EC governs heritage mostly through implicit cultural policies included in diverse policy sectors other than culture.
The Impact of Processes of Policy Formulation and New
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.
Hemme, D., M. Tauschek and R. Bendix (2007) (eds), Prädikat ‘Heritage’. Wertschöpfung aus kulturellen Ressourcen (Berlin: LIT), 368 pp., Pb: €29.90, ISBN-13: 978-8258-9892-2.
Kockel, U. and M. Nic Craith (2007) (eds), Cultural Heritages as Reflexive Traditions (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan), 240pp., Hb: £52.00, ISBN- 13: 978-1-4039-9748-7.
By looking at the numerous small palace museums founded in the Cameroonian Grassfields since the early 2000s, this article interrogates the meaning and function of displays of objects and narratives in the shifting social, political, and economic landscape of contemporary Cameroon. Museums in postcolonial Africa stem from very specific colonial premises, which are still relevant to the understanding of national narratives and displays. However, palace museums in the Grassfields engage in a different and somewhat contrasting use of objects and collections to present a more nuanced and complicated image of local societies. Through their eclectic and non-canonical display, these museums challenge ethnographic taxonomies and linear narratives, while serving effectively as ways to enhance the visibility and prestige of local kingdoms both nationally and internationally.
The Challenge for Europe
Máiréad Nic Craith
Heritage has traditionally been associated with material objects, but recent conventions have emphasized the significance of intangible culture heritage. This article advocates a holistic approach towards the concept and considers key challenges for Europe's heritage at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Reflecting on the notion of 'European', it considers the question of how one defines European heritage and which European heritage is to be protected. It explores links between national and European conceptions of identity and heritage and queries issues of ownership, language and representation. A number of ethical issues are raised - such as the role of women in the transmission of heritage and the implications of information technology for copywriting traditional practices. The author also asks how one ensures that the process of globalisation facilitates rather than eliminates local cultural heritages? How does one enhance the local so that it becomes glocal and not obsolete?
Evaluation of Twenty Years Work and Protection
France awoke fairly late to the realisation that specific protection was required for its Jewish heritage. For many years, the only thought was to safeguard a few eighteenth-century buildings of exceptional quality without considering their value as representatives of the Jewish inheritance. Thus, in 1924, the synagogues under threat at Carpentras and Cavaillon were saved by being classified as historic monuments. It was not until the 1980s that a campaign to research and protect this heritage got under way. The regional Departments for the Preservation of Historic Monuments were given the idea of ‘recent heritage’ by their supervising ministerial department.
A New Paradigm in Response to Current Developments
The current discourse of heritage interpretation, based on Tilden’s book Interpreting Our Heritage (1957), centres on ideas of education, materiality of heritage, expert knowledge and conservation. As such, it shares in the key characteristics of the Authorised Heritage Discourse (Smith 2006) and is subject to the same challenges that stem from definitions of heritage as immaterial, as a process and as a key factor in creating futures. The inadequateness of the Interpretive Authorised Heritage Discourse to respond to these challenges has become more apparent due to the size and speed of recent migrations. In response, I propose a new paradigm of heritage interpretation that is based on Mouffe’s (2013) concept of agonistics. Agonistic interpretation seeks to make visible the representations, meanings and emotions that underpin heritage, and to provide an infrastructure that visitors to heritage sites and museums may use to continue to build their identities and futures.