1st Edition

Cultural Heritage and the Future

Edited By Cornelius Holtorf, Anders Högberg Copyright 2021
    300 Pages 58 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    300 Pages 58 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Cultural Heritage and the Future brings together an international group of scholars and experts to consider the relationship between cultural heritage and the future.

    Drawing on case studies from around the world, the contributing authors insist that cultural heritage and the future are intimately linked and that the development of futures thinking should be a priority for academics, students and those working in the wider professional heritage sector. Until recently, the future has never attracted substantial research and debate within heritage studies and heritage management, and this book addresses this gap by offering a balance of theoretical and empirical content that will stimulate multidisciplinary debate in the burgeoning field of critical heritage studies.

    Cultural Heritage and the Future questions the role of heritage in future making and will be of great relevance to academics and students working in the fields of museum and heritage studies, archaeology, anthropology, architecture, conservation studies, sociology, history and geography. Those working in the heritage professions will also find much to interest them within the pages of this book. 

    List of figures

    List of tables

    List of contributors


    Cornelius Holtorf and Anders Högberg

    1. Introduction: Cultural heritage as a futuristic field

    Cornelius Holtorf and Anders Högberg

    Section 1: The future in heritage studies and heritage management

    2. Heritage practices as future-making practices

    Rodney Harrison

    3. Heritage, thrift, and our children’s children

    Sarah May

    4. Perceptions of the future in preservation strategies (Or: why Eyssl von Eysselsberg’s body is no longer taken across the lake)

    Cornelius Holtorf and Anders Högberg

    5. The future and management of ICH in China from a legal erspective

    Luo Li

    Section 2: The future in cultural heritage

    6. Decolonizing the future: Folk art environments and the temporality of heritage

    Alfredo González-Ruibal

    7. The spectre of non-completion: An archaeological approach to half-built buildings

    James Dixon

    8. An archaeology of Cold War armageddonism through the lens of Scientology

    Robert Charlotte Maxwell

    9. Future visions and the heritage of space: Nostalgia for infinity

    A dialogue between Alice Gorman and Sarah May

    Section 3: Re-thinking heritage futures

    10. What lies ahead? Nuclear waste as cultural heritage of the future

    Cornelius Holtorf and Anders Högberg

    11. The future in the past, the past in the future

    Rosemary A. Joyce

    12. Radioactive heritage of the future: A legacy of risk

    Marcos Buser, Abraham Van Luik†, Roger Nelson and Cornelius Holtorf

    Section 4: Heritage and future-making

    13. Sustainability, intergenerational equity, and pluralism: Can heritage conservation create alternative futures?

    Erica Avrami

    14. Palliative curation and future persistence: Life after death

    Caitlin DeSilvey

    15. The future, atemporality and heritage: "Yesterday´s tomorrow is not today"

    Paul Graves-Brown

    16. Heritages of futures thinking: Strategic foresight and critical futures

    Richard Sandford and May Cassar

    17. Final reflections: The future of heritage

    Anders Högberg and Cornelius Holtorf



    Cornelius Holtorf is Professor of Archaeology and holds a UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures at Linnaeus University in Kalmar, Sweden, where he is also directing the Graduate School in Contract Archaeology (GRASCA). In his research, he is particularly interested in contemporary archaeology, heritage theory and heritage futures, with numerous international publications in these areas. He also likes sailing.

    Anders Högberg is Professor of Archaeology at Linnaeus University and Associated Researcher at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. He has broad research interests, and is currently working with projects on heritage futures, migration and cognitive evolution.

    "This book is … about the various ways to engage with cultural heritage in the light of ‘futures thinking’. Through its carefully selected mix of theoretical and practical case studies, it will undoubtedly become a flagship text for anyone interested in exploring the interconnections between cultural heritage and the future." - Antiquity

    "The book is illuminating and provides a valuable compendium and a fascinating timeline for the last decade of thinking." - News in Conservation, International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works