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Heritage as an action word: Uses beyond communal memory

Susan Shay, Kelly M. Britt (Eds.)

by Susan Shay (Heritage Research Centre, University of Cambridge), Kelly M. Britt (Brooklyn College and The Graduate Center, City University of New York, United States), Uzi Baram (New College Public Archaeology Lab at New College of Florida; Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, in Sarasota, Florida), Bishnupriya Basak (University of Calcutta, India), Ifeyinwa Emejulu (Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria), Tanja Hoffman (University of York, Heritage for Global Challenges ), Vladimir Ionesov (Samara Institute of Culture, Russia; International School for Advanced Research in Cultural Studies, Samara, Russia; International Organization of Folk Art, Russia; Regional Center on Urgent Anthropological Research in Samara, Russia; Samara Society for Cultural Studies, Russia), Natasha Lyons (Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada; Ursus Heritage Consulting), Roma Lyon (Katzie knowledge holder, Katzie First Nation, British Columbia, Canada)

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There is no limit to what constitutes heritage. By definition, heritage is the use of the past for present purposes. Yet, to any given group or population, heritage can be a multitude of things and can serve a variety of purposes. Based on shared memory, heritage can be tangible or intangible, boundless in variety and scope: it can be, for example, objects, landscapes, food or clothing, music or dance, sites or statues, monuments or buildings. Importantly, however, heritage also has many and varied uses and powers. It can be used to control, to unite, to engage, and to empower people, communities, and nations.
In this interdisciplinary volume, authors from around the world explore how different communities, nations, and groups intentionally and creatively use heritage, both tangible and intangible, in a wide variety of ways to positively address social and environmental issues. Significantly, these studies demonstrate how heritage can be an exceptionally valuable tool for political, economic, and social change. Insightful studies are presented pertaining to heritage as social memory, including the nationalistic political use of heritage, heritage as resistance to political powers, traditional knowledge as environmental science, heritage for legal and community action, heritage for building peace, heritage for Indigenous and minority empowerment, and heritage for exploring the past through phenomenological methods. The goal of this volume is to move beyond seeing heritage as only social memory, a mere interpretation of static past events, people or places, and instead explores critically the variety of ways heritage is engaged in the present and can be in the future.

List of figures
Introduction
Susan Shay
Heritage Research Centre, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

Fostering collective memory
Chapter 1
Visualization of memory in cultural practices of representing heritage: reevaluating the past in images of war and peace
Vladimir I. Ionesov
Samara Institute of Culture, Russia; International School for Advanced Research in Cultural Studies, Samara, Russia; International Organization of Folk Art, Russia; Regional Center on Urgent Anthropological Research in Samara, Russia; Samara Society for Cultural Studies, Russia
Chapter 2
Sensing the city: historic landscapes empowering future communities
Kelly M. Britt
Brooklyn College and The Graduate Center, City University of New York, United States
Chapter 3
Archaeology at the frontlines of rising sea levels: heritage as social action for repairing the world/Tikkun Ha-Olam
Uzi Baram
New College Public Archaeology Lab at New College of Florida; Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, in Sarasota, Florida, United States

Activating indigenous heritage
Chapter 4
Mobilizing indigenous heritage in cultural keystone places for climate change action
Tanja Hoffmann
Heritage for Global Challenges, University of York, United Kingdom
Natasha Lyons
Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada; Ursus Heritage Consulting
Roma Leon
Katzie knowledge holder, Katzie First Nation, British Columbia, Canada
Chapter 5
Challenging the authorized past: heritage, identity and empowerment in Hawai'i
Susan Shay
Heritage Research Centre, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

Repurposing heritage
Chapter 6
The preservation of the Uku festival as cultural heritage in Umuchu, Anambra State, Nigeria
Ifeyinwa Emejulu
Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria
Chapter 7
Heritage, ritual, and power—the making of a sacred space in an east Indian village
Bishnupriya Basak
University of Calcutta, India

Conclusion: The future of heritage
Susan Shay
Heritage Research Centre, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Kelly M. Britt
Brooklyn College and The Graduate Center, City University of New York, United States
Contributors
Index

Susan Shay, PhD, AIA, is an Affiliated Scholar of the Heritage Research Centre at the University of Cambridge and a US Registered Architect. Her research investigates how participation in legal processes both impacts Indigenous heritage and is a meaningful tool for Indigenous empowerment. She has advised communities and non-profits on the development of preservation and empowerment programs, including technical and cultural exchange and disaster response and recovery initiatives. Prior to pursuing academic research, Susan had an extensive career in private and public practice as a Registered Architect, specializing in historic preservation, adaptive reuse, and disaster recovery, mitigation, and redevelopment. She holds a Doctorate in Heritage Studies from the University of Cambridge, a master’s degree in Historic Preservation from Columbia University, and attended Cambridge University’s Judge Business School for mentorship in the development of new business initiatives.

Kelly M. Britt, PhD, RPA, is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology (Brooklyn College and The Graduate Center, CUNY) as well as the Director of the Center for Brooklyn and Chair of the Museum and Cultural Organizational Studies minor (Brooklyn College). Her collaborative projects are located in urban settings and focus on gentrification, climate change, and trauma. These include community-based work with the United Order of Tents Eastern District #3, the oldest Black women’s benevolent society in the United States, and the Flatbush African Burial Ground Coalition. She also works in a collective of anthropologists exploring COVID-19 materiality as a response to trauma, and with the Van Cortlandt Park archaeological legacy/orphaned collection from the NYC’s LPC’s Archaeological Repository: The Nan Rothschild Research Center. These research themes are highlighted in her writing, including her latest co-edited volume on 'Archaeology and Advocacy: Urban Intersections' that was published in the spring of 2023.

Activism, Advocacy, African American, Archaeology, Authorized Heritage Discourse, Black, Climate Change, Community Engagement, Cultural Heritage, Critical Heritage Studies, Futures-thinking, Empowerment, Heritage, Heritage Studies, Indigeneity, Indigenous, Museums, Native, Peace, Peace Museums, Preservation, Resilience, Sustainability, Traditional, Traditional Knowledge, Transformation

Bibliographic Information

Book Title
Heritage as an action word: Uses beyond communal memory
ISBN
978-1-64889-882-2
Edition
1st
Number of pages
242
Physical size
PDF
Illustrations
20 B&W
Publication date
April 2024
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