126 pages | 19 B/W Illus.
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Classical Heritage and European Identities examines how the heritages of classical antiquity have been used to construct European identities, and especially the concept of citizenship, in Denmark from the eighteenth century to the present day. It implements a critical historiographical perspective in line with recent work on the "reception" of classical antiquity that has stressed the dialectic relationship between past, present and future.
Arguing that the continuous employment and appropriation of lassical heritages in the Danish context constitutes an interesting case of an imagined geography that is simultaneously based on both national and European identities, the book shows how Denmark’s imagined geography is naturalized through very distinctive uses of classical heritages within the educational and heritage sectors. It does so by exploring three significant and interrelated arenas where the heritages of classical antiquity are used to shape Danes as European citizens. Together, these three cases emphasize different but interconnected ways in which classical heritages are being put to use in order to construct Denmark’s own distinctive national identity within Europe. Finally, the book also sheds light on some of the challenges that face unified and homogenous conceptions of European heritage and identity, as well as the notion of the "classical" itself.
Classical Heritage and European Identities is the first English-language monograph to situate the Danish case within the wider European context. As such, the book should be essential reading for researchers and students engaged in the study of heritage and museums, classics, education and modern European history.
1. Classical Heritage and European Identities: Introducing the Danish Case
2. Classical Antiquity in the Danish Classroom: "Oldtidskundskab" as Heritage
3. The Imagined Geographies of Collecting: Displaying Classical Antiquity in Danish Museums
4. Excavating a Wonder of the Ancient World: Danish Classicism in the Field
5. Becoming European: The Critical Heritage of Danish Classicism
The Critical Heritages of Europe series seeks to explore the cultural and social politics of the European past in the present. Bridging theoretical and empirical research, the series accommodates broad understandings of Europe – a shifting and historically mutable entity, made both of internal tensions and exogenous encounters, re-imaginings and influences. ‘Heritage’ too is taken as an expansive paradigm, made in myriad practices where the past is valorised for the present, from folk traditions to museums and memorials, the management of historic sites and traditions, and everyday matters such as education, political discourse, home life, food consumption and people’s relations with place.
Books in the series engage with European heritages in critical times – in all senses – when Europe and mobilizations of its heritages and memories are called upon to solve problems, and when contests over the meanings of the past are part of wider social and political relations and tensions. Heritage practices are variously informed by civil and uncivil visions, the politics of difference and co-presence, difficult pasts, relations with the ‘outside’, borders, margins, and migrations. Critical questions include: