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What is heritage?
What is heritage? This unit will introduce you to the concept of heritage and its...
What is heritage? This unit will introduce you to the concept of heritage and its critical study, exploring the role of heritage in both past and contemporary societies.
This unit will:
- introduce you to the global scope of heritage
- introduce you to the ‘material’ and ‘non-material’ aspects of heritage
- develop your awareness of heritage as a ‘process’ as well as a ‘product’ of certain activities in the present
- introduce you to heritage studies as a specific field of study
- introduce you to the idea of the authorised heritage discourse (AHD).
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Introducing heritage
- 2 Explaining heritage
- 3 ‘There is no such thing as heritage’
- 4 What does heritage do?
- 5 Themes in heritage studies
- 6 Conclusion
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What is heritage?
This unit introduces the concept of heritage and examines its various uses in contemporary society. It then provides a background to the development of critical heritage studies as an area of academic interest, and in particular the way in which heritage studies has developed in response to various critiques of contemporary politics and culture in the context of deindustrialisation, globalisation and transnationalism. Drawing on a case study in the official documentation surrounding the Harry S. Truman Historic Site in Missouri, USA, it describes the concept of authorised heritage discourses (AHD) in so far as they are seen to operate in official, state-sanctioned heritage initiatives.
This unit is an adapted extract from the course.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Wednesday, 18th May 2011
Last updated on: Monday, 31st March 2014
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