On 17 September the Centre for the Humanities organises the public lecture Heritage, History and Politics: A Global Perspective with Prof Keir Reeves (Federation University). This talk examines the nexus between heritage, history and politics. It will consider a number of global examples and discuss the changing uses of heritage over time.
With Keir Reeves
Public lecture: Heritage, History and Politics. A Global Perspective
As cultural historian John Gillis has observed, memory is as central to modern politics as politics is central to modern memory. The idea of contested memory provides one way of explaining interpretations of the past and management of heritage sites in the present day. Yet a tension emerges as history is a discipline that studies the past, whereas heritage is the constructed depiction of the past in the present day usually understood through built and intangible forms.
While they are often spoken of as having an intellectual commonality in terms of their concern with understanding the past, methodologically history and heritage are increasingly odd bed-fellows. Yet both history and heritage have, and continue to be, deployed for political purposes and directly influence the ways that communities and, for that matter, nation states remember the past.