The Dignity of Heritage
Routledge – 2015 – 224 pages
The Dignity of Heritage makes a radical break with routinised accounts and definitions of cultural heritage and with the existing or ‘established’ canon of cultural heritage texts. Jacques Derrida’s rallying call to ‘restore heritage to dignity’ is taken as an alternative guiding metaphor by which this book critically re-visits the core question – what constitutes cultural heritage? Engaging with concerns (notably the moral-ethical issues) that shape and define the possible futures of cultural heritage studies, the book aligns with a wider ‘anthropological perspective’ on cultural heritage studies. It chimes with scholarship committed to disrupting the ‘Eurocentrism’ which continues to underpin cultural heritage theory/ practice and also with a contemporary ‘politics of recognition’ which is bound up in articulating new, alternative or ‘parallel’ characterisations of heritage value.
The Dignity of Heritage provides the intellectual impetus and critical frame-work by which cultural heritage discourse can undergo a process of radical reflection, fundamental re-conceptualisation and engage in a subsequent reconstruction of its core heritage values, practices and ethics. The Dignity of Heritage is of transformative value in outlining and creating new and future agendas within cultural heritage discourse
1. Approaches to Cultural Heritage and Critical Museologies 2. The Rise of Cultural Heritage 3. Archival Imagination and Cultures of Collecting 4. Globalisation and Heritage Value 5. Cultural Repatriation 6. Heritage as Performance 7. Crimes against Culture’ and Heritage Healing 8. Cultures in Motion 9. Heritage Methodologies and Ethics 10. Conclusions: The Dignity of Heritage
Beverley Butler is Senior Lecturer in Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies
Michael Rowlands teaches cultural heritage and museum anthropology at the Department of Anthropology, University College London.