Research into the ways in which the past is constructed and consumed in the present is now reaching a mature stage. This maturity derives from the general acceptance that heritage as a social and cultural construct is closely connected to the making and maintaining of identity at all spatial scales. This unique book contributes to the developing discourse by focusing on 'heritage from below' in a field where the literature on the relationship between heritage and identity has, rightly, been focused on national identity. Never before have the contemporary manifestations and the theoretical structuring framework of the idea of heritage from below been discussed in the depth offered by this book. The authors first establish the concept and then engage with the actual practice and practitioners of heritage from below in the UK, Europe, Australia and North America.
A Yankee Book Peddler UK Core Title for 2012 'Internationalist in its scope, this timely and imaginative volume offers thoughtful analyses of ordinary people creating their own histories and heritage. This is a welcome addition to the growing body of work criticising conventional approaches to heritage. The collection provides engaging insights for public historians and heritage practitioners alike.' Hilda Kean, former Dean and Director of Public History, Ruskin College, Oxford, UK 'Heritage from Below reminds us that heritage is much more than the usual castles and palaces, it includes the ordinary and the mundane which often transmit the voices of the dispossessed.' Gregory Ashworth, University of Groningen, The Netherlands 'Heritage from Below is a stimulating mix of interdisciplinary and international scholars whose contributions advance debate in critical heritage studies. They offer a considered challenge to the Authorized Heritage Discourse, and illustrate the importance of heritage expressions that attempt to counter hegemonic and consensus constructions of heritage. The authors each provide thought-provoking arguments that affirm and demonstrate the role of heritage in contemporary political struggles.' Laurajane Smith, Australian National University, Canberrra, Australia