“Provides innovative and exciting insights into heritage identity, meaning, and belonging from a global perspective. A welcome addition to the growing heritage literature.”—Dallen J. Timothy, author of Cultural Heritage and Tourism: An Introduction
“A critical collection of international heritage case studies that represents a wide range of issues and exemplifies its complexities and contradictions vividly.”—A. V. Seaton, coeditor of Slavery, Contested Heritage, and Thanatourism
Bringing together high-profile cultural heritage sites from around the world, Heritage at the Interface: Interpretation and Identity shows how the term heritage has been used or understood by different groups of people over time. For some, heritage describes a celebration of a particular culture and history or a sense of identity, ownership, and belonging. However, for others it is frequently connected with social privilege and exclusion, made all the more complicated due to its relationship with the tourism industry.
These case studies are taken from America, Britain, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, India, China, and the Caribbean. The varied approaches to heritage range from the Nazi regime’s vision of German national history to the present-day push to recover Native American culture from outdated Hollywood portrayals. The contributors argue that heritage has a central yet sometimes problematic purpose: creating divisions, contesting identities, and constructing narratives of history that may not be seen as accurate by all. Exploring the benefits of cultural inheritance, this volume also acknowledges the ways that heritage operates in places with clashing viewpoints about what exactly that heritage represents. The essays argue that although heritage and tourism may help to alleviate poverty and create opportunity, they can also become a burden by compromising cultures and landscapes.
Featuring a tribute to Sir Gregory Ashworth, whose influential work drew attention to the contested meanings of heritage, this volume illuminates a fascinating international debate.
Glenn Hooper, lecturer in tourism and heritage at Glasgow Caledonian University, is the author of Travel Writing and Ireland, 1760–1860: Culture, History, Politics.