1st Edition

Heritage, Affect and Emotion Politics, practices and infrastructures

Edited By Divya P. Tolia-Kelly, Emma Waterton, Steve Watson Copyright 2017
    338 Pages 29 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    320 Pages 29 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Heritage and its economies are driven by affective politics and consolidated through emotions such as pride, awe, joy and pain. In the humanities and social sciences, there is a widespread acknowledgement of the limits not only of language and subjectivity, but also of visuality and representation. Social scientists, particularly within cultural geography and cultural studies, have recently attempted to define and understand that which is more-than-representational, through the development of theories of affect, assemblage, post-humanism and actor network theory, to name a few. While there have been some recent attempts to draw these lines of thinking more forcefully into the field of heritage studies, this book focuses for the first time on relating heritage with the politics of affect. The volume argues that our engagements with heritage are almost entirely figured through the politics of affective registers such as pain, loss, joy, nostalgia, pleasure, belonging or anger. It brings together a number of contributions that collectively - and with critical acuity - question how researchers working in the field of heritage might begin to discover and describe affective experiences, especially those that are shaped and expressed in moments and spaces that can be, at times, intensely personal, intimately shared and ultimately social. It explores current theoretical advances that enable heritage to be affected, released from conventional understandings of both ’heritage-as-objects’ and ’objects-as-representations’ by opening it up to a range of new meanings, emergent and formed in moments of encounter. Whilst representational understandings of heritage are by no means made redundant through this agenda, they are destabilized and can thus be judged anew in light of these developments. Each chapter offers a novel and provocative contribution, provided by an interdisciplinary team of researchers who are thinking theoretically about affect through landscapes, practices of commemoration, visitor experience, site interpretation and other heritage work.

    Heritage, Affect and Emotion

    Divya P. Tolia-Kelly, Emma Waterton and Steve Watson

    1. Making Polysense of the World: Affect, Memory, Heritage

    Joy Sather-Wagstaff

    Part I: Memories

    2. Race and Affect at the Museum: The Museum as a Theatre of Pain

    Divya Tolia-Kelly

    3. Affecting the Body: Cultures of Militarism at the Australian War Memorial

    Jason Dittmer and Emma Waterton

    4. Affect and the Politics of Testimony in Holocaust Museums

    Steven Cooke and Donna-Lee Frieze

    5. Museum Canopies and Affective Cosmopolitanism: Cultivating Cross-Cultural Landscapes for Ethical Embodied Responses

    Philipp Schorch, Emma Waterton and Steve Watson

    6. Constructing Affective Narratives in Transatlantic Slavery Museums in the UK

    Leanne Munroe 

    Part II: Places

    7. Overlooking Affect? A Geo-Sensitive Heritage at Malakoff Diggins, California

    Gareth Hoskins

    8. The Castle Imagined: Emotion and Affect in the Experience of Ruins

    Duncan Light and Steve Watson

    9. From Menie to Montego Bay: Documenting, Representing and Mobilizing Emotion in Coastal Heritage Landscapes

    Susan Mains

    10. Touching Time: Photography, Affect and the Digital Archive

    László Munteán

    11. Commemoration, Heritage and Affective Ecology: The Case of Utøya

    Britta Timm Knudsen and Jan Ifversen

    12. Social Housing as Built Heritage: The Presence and Absence of Affective Heritage

    Sophie Yarker

    Part III: Practices

    13. "Please Mister President, We Know You Are Busy, But Can We Get Our Bridge Sorted?"

    Keith Emerick

    14. Dark Seas and Glass Walls: Feeling Injustice at the Museum. Practitioner Perspectives: Rosanna Raymond

    Rosanna Raymond


    Divya P. Tolia-Kelly is Reader in the Department of Geography at Durham University, UK.

    Emma Waterton is Associate Professor in the Geographies of Heritage at Western Sydney University, Australia.

    Steve Watson is Professor of Cultural Heritage at York St John University, UK.