Culture, Heritage and Representation: Perspectives on Visuality and the Past, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Culture, Heritage and Representation

Perspectives on Visuality and the Past, 1st Edition

By Steve Watson

Edited by Emma Waterton


296 pages

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The 'visual' has long played a crucial role in forming experiences, associations, expectations and understandings of heritage. Images convey meaning within a range of practices, including tourism, identity construction, the popularization of the past through a variety of media, and the memorialization of events. However, despite the central role of 'the visual' in these contexts, it has been largely neglected in heritage literature. This edited collection is the first to explore the production, use and consumption of visual imagery as an integral part of heritage. Drawing on case studies from around the world, it provides a multidisciplinary analysis of heritage representations, combining complex understandings of the 'visual' from a wide range of disciplines, including heritage studies, sociology and cultural studies perspectives. In doing so, the book provides a comprehensive overview of the theoretical and methodological tools necessary for understanding visual imagery within its cultural context.


'The obsession in heritage studies with monumentality and materiality has often led to the negligence of the emotional and visual affect that heritage can have. The range and breadth of chapters in this book offer an exciting and stimulating new way of considering and exploring the affect heritage has and its consequences for social debates and conflicts. This book contributes significantly to those debates in heritage studies that are working to re-theorize our understanding of heritage and its cultural significance.' Laurajane Smith, editor, International Journal of Heritage Studies 'This fascinating collection of essays firmly locates the visual at the heart of heritage studies. A multidisciplinary approach provides significant insights into the ways in which visual imagery shape and give meaning to encounters with the heritage. Henceforth visuality is an active participant in the on-going dialogue between the past and the present.' Catherine Palmer, University of Brighton, UK 'Culture, Heritage and Representation effectively introduces readers to the status of visual culture studies within heritage tourism and provides the apparatus to move debates forward. It is predominantly a book for an academic readership, particularly applicable to those researching and teaching heritage and tourist studies, although it may also be of use for those working within museum and heritage sectors.' Urban Studies

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction: a visual heritage, Steve Watson and Emma Waterton; Part I Relocating the Visual: Inside/outside: ways of seeing the world, Tony Schirato and Jen Webb; People-place-past: the visitor experience of cultural heritage, Martin Selby; The perpetual performance and emergence of heritage, David Crouch. Part II Representation and Substitution: The popular memory of the Western Front: archaeology and European heritage, Ross Wilson; Historiography and virtuality, Jerome de Groot; Visualizing the past: Baudrillard, intensities of the hyper-real and the erosion of historicity, Richard Voase. Part III Visual Culture and Heritage Tourism: 'Wild on' the beach: discourses of desire, sexuality and liminality, Annette Pritchard and Nigel Morgan; Authenticity, the media and heritage tourism: Robin Hood and Brother Cadfael as Midlands tourist magnets, Roy Jones; Branding the past: the visual imagery of England's heritage, Emma Waterton; Time machines and space craft: navigating the spaces of heritage tourism performance, Tom Mordue; The tourist as juggler in a hall of mirrors: looking through images of the self, Tom Selwyn. Part IV Constructing Place: The story behind the picture: preferences for the visual display at heritage sites, Yaniv Poria; Site seeing: street walking through a low-visibility landscape, Tim Copeland; Constructing Rhodes: heritage tourism and visuality, Steve Watson; Index.

About the Author/Editor

Dr Emma Waterton is RCUK Academic Fellow in Heritage and Public History at the Research Institute for the Humanities, Department of History, Keele University, UK. Dr Steve Watson is Principal Lecturer at the Business School, York St John University, UK

About the Series

Heritage, Culture and Identity

Heritage, Culture and Identity
This series explores all notions of heritage - including social and cultural heritage, the meanings of place and identity, multiculturalism, management and planning, tourism, conservation, and the built environment - at all scales from the global to the local. Although primarily geographical in orientation, it is open to other disciplines such as anthropology, history, cultural studies, planning, tourism, architecture/conservation, and local governance and cultural economics.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / Geography