Heritage: dissonant, Dark, Di!cult, Painful, Shameful, Toxic, Contested … About Problematizing Adjectives

Vic Bervoets, Marc Jacobs

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Abstract

In this selective review of recent scholarly literature in museum and
(critical) heritage studies, a whole series of adjectives linked to the
concept of heritage (or memory) are presented and interpreted:
dissonant, dark, difficult, painful, shameful, toxic, contested. The
importance of several protagonists like Gregory Ashworth and John E.
Tunbridge (dissonance), Tony Seaton (thanatourism), John Lennon and
Malcolm Foley (dark tourism), Suzie Thomas (dark heritage), Sharon
MacDonald (difficult heritage), William Logan and Keir Reeves
(painful difficult heritage), Laurajane Smith (emotional heritage) and
Gustav Wollentz (toxic heritage, difficult heritage), is highlighted.
A flood of adjectives, including “controversial” keeps on coming, for
instance in the leading International Journal of Heritage Studies. We suggest
considering the use of “controversies” (as an eye- or can-opener, in the sense controversies mapping and actor-network theory are exploring
the concept) and going beyond the limitations of a!aching adjectives to
the concept of heritage.
Translated title of the contributionHeritage: dissonant, Dark, Di!cult, Painful, Shameful, Toxic, Contested … About Problematizing Adjectives
Original languageDutch
Pages (from-to)277-296
Number of pages20
JournalVolkskunde
Volume123
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2022

Keywords

  • controversial
  • controversial heritage
  • dark heritage
  • toxic heritage
  • UNESCO
  • dissonant
  • contested

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