The `visual' has long played a crucial and formative role in structuring the experiences, associations, expectations, and understandings of heritage. Images are used to convey meaning within a range of practices, including tourism, identity construction, the popularization of the past through a variety of media, and the memorialization of events and experiences. However, despite the fact that the `visual' plays such a central role in these contexts, it has largely been neglected in heritage literature.
This edited collection is the first of its kind explicitly to explore the production, use, and consumption of visual imagery as an integral part of heritage within its broader social and political context. Drawing on case studies from England, Hong Kong, Greece, Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, Scotland, Israel, America, and the Caribbean, it provides a multidisciplinary analysis of heritage representations by weaving together complex understandings and experiences of the `visual' from a wide range of disciplines including heritage studies, sociology, and cultural studies perspectives. In doing so, the book provides a comprehensive overview of the theoretical and methodological tools necessary for understanding visual imagery within its cultural context.
The volume is organized around four central themes: Relocating the Visual in theoretical terms; Identity and Popular Memory; Visual Culture and Heritage Tourism; and the Construction of Place. Each theme is explored from a range of disciplines, using case studies that provide unique perspectives on the `visual' in theory and in context.
The obsession in heritage studies with monumentality and materiality has often led to the neglect of the emotional and visual affect that heritage can have. The range and breadth of chapters in this book offers an exciting and stimulating new way of considering and exploring the affect heritage has and its consequences for social debates and conflicts. This book contributes significantly to those debates in heritage studies that are working to re-theorize our understanding of heritage and its cultural significance. Laurajane Smith, International Journal of Heritage Studies