1st Edition

Rethinking Heritage in Precarious Times Coloniality, Climate Change, and Covid-19

Edited By Nick Shepherd Copyright 2024
    376 Pages 18 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    376 Pages 18 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Rethinking Heritage in Precarious Times sets a fresh agenda for Heritage Studies by reflecting upon the unprecedented nature of the contemporary moment. In doing so, the volume also calls into question established ideas, ways of working, and understandings of the future.

    Presenting contributions by leading figures in the field of Heritage Studies, Indigenous scholars, and scholars from across the global north and global south, the volume engages with the most pressing issues of today: coloniality, the climate emergency, the Covid-19 pandemic, structural racism, growing social and economic inequality, and the ongoing struggle for dignity and restitution.Considering the impact of climate change, chapters re-imagine museums for climate action, explore the notion of a world heritage for the Anthropocene, and reflect on heritage and posthumanism. Drawing inspiration from the global demonstrations against racism, police violence and authoritarianism, chapters explore the notion of a people’s heritage, draw on local and Indigenous conceptualizations to lay out a notion of heritage in the service of social justice and restitution, and detail the precariousness of universities and heritage institutions in the global south. Analysing the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, chapters also explore the changing nature of life under lockdown, describe its effects on theories of urbanity, and reflect on emergent Covid
    socialities and heritage-in-the-making.

    Rethinking Heritage in Precarious Times argues that we need the deep-time perspective that Heritage Studies offers, as well as its sense of transgenerational conversations and
    accountabilities, in order to respond to these many challenges—and to craft open,
    creative, and inclusive futures. It will be essential reading for academics and students
    engaged in the study of heritage, anthropology, memory, history, and geography.

    Introduction: Rethinking heritage in precarious times.

    Nick Shepherd

    SECTION 1: ‘The Heritage through my Window’ and Stateless Heritage

    Chapter 1 The Heritage through my Window: Some reflections on teaching in the Brazilian Amazon during the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Marcia Bezerra

    Chapter 2 Covid Heritage Imperatives as New Pharmacologies of Care: Revelations of ‘Heritage Beyond Power’ and ‘What Makes Life Worth Living’.

    Beverly Butler

    SECTION 2: More-than-human Heritage

    Chapter 3 Heritage and Posthumanism: Seeking harmony in a precarious and unstable world.

    John Schofield and J. Kelechi Ugwuanyi

    Chapter 4 River Love: Decolonizing heritage along the Meuse.

    Christian Ernsten

    SECTION 3: Climate Action and the Anthropocene

    Chapter 5 The Speculative and the Profane: Reimagining heritage and museums for climate action.

    Rodney Harrison and Colin Sterling

    Chapter 6 Towards a World Heritage for the Anthropocene

    Cornelius Holtorf


    SECTION 4: Heritage Violence and Extractivism


    Chapter 7 Rural Landscapes, Extraction and Heritage Violence in the Middle East.

    Ömür Harmanşah

    Chapter 8 Reckoning with Extractivism: Towards an Anti-Colonial Heritage.

    Emma Waterton, Hayley Saul and Divya P. Tolia-Kelly

    SECTION 5: Anti-Racism, People’s Heritage, and ‘Difficult Heritage at the Door’

    Chapter 9 Heritage, Social Justice and Black Lives Matter in Ireland during Covid-19.

    Laura McAtackney

    Chapter 10 A People’s Heritage: Engaging the traumas of marginalization.

    Christopher N. Matthews

    Chapter 11 Difficult Heritage at the Door: Doing heritage research in precarious times.

    Duane Jethro and Sharon Macdonald

    SECTION 6: Coloniality, Peace Building, and Social Justice

    Chapter 12 Entries in an Apocryphal Diary: Heritage, crisis, turbulent times.

    Cristóbal Gnecco

    Chapter 13 Heritage, Reconciliation and Peacebuilding in Australia and New Zealand.

    Cressida Fforde, Steve Hemming, Merata Kawharu, Lia Kent, Laura Mayer, Daryle Rigney, Laurajane Smith and Paul Tapsell

    SECTION 7: Unsettled Urbanisms and Emergent Internationalisms

    Chapter 14 Unsettling the Heritage of Urbanity: Urbanism and urban spaces in pandemic times.

    Sybille Frank, Georg Krajewsky and Jochen Schwenk

    Chapter 15 Covid-19, Black Lives Matter and Heritage Futures.

    Tim Winter

    SECTION 8: Heritage Futures and ‘News from Nowhere’

    Chapter 16 Covid-19 and Heritage in Southern Africa: Precariousness, resilience, and the future of heritage.

    Jesmael Mataga

    Chapter 17 Dreaming of Utopia in Times of Trouble: Nowherian heritage inspiration and radical nostalgia during lockdown.

    David C. Harvey

    Conclusion: When the taps run dry.

    Nick Shepherd


    Nick Shepherd is an associate professor of heritage studies at Aarhus University, Denmark, and an extraordinary professor at the University of Pretoria, South Africa.