Emerging landscapes of heritage

Authored by: David Harvey

The Routledge Companion to Landscape Studies

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  February  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415684606
eBook ISBN: 9780203096925
Adobe ISBN: 9781136220609


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Recent years have witnessed a growing interest in both heritage and landscape; as categories of scholarship and education, of experience and performance, of entertainment and commerce, of policy engagement, and as markers of identity. Indeed, the two often fit nicely together, tagged as being cultural and/or natural; tangible and/or intangible; personal and/or collective, and especially national; as mutual reference points within popular, policy and scientific narratives. Not surprisingly, therefore, the recent histories of heritage and landscape studies have been closely intertwined, with their epistemological, ideological and methodological twists and turns progressing amid a common, broad and interdisciplinary intellectual space. This has not been a co-dependent evolution as such, although their trans-disciplinary connections would seem to relate to a common theoretical resource. Rather, our enquiry into landscape and heritage would appear to be a mutually supporting and sometimes parallel endeavour of intellectual effort, which explores their significance as meaningful categories of emergence and process. Furthermore, this recognition of both heritage and landscape as dynamic processes would seem to be at odds with a commonly cited (and often reactionary) aspiration to fix; to preserve; to stabilize and otherwise monopolize the meaning of both categories. While other chapters in this collection implicitly cover the emerging heritage of landscape studies from a variety of perspectives, therefore, this chapter reviews the terrain of a dynamic relationship between these categories. Rather than seeking to reify a series of dualities, the chapter traces the co-ordinates of how such relations can be blurred, what consequences this line of thinking has, and what opportunities heritage and landscape scholars have.

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