Heritage, Memory, and the Affective Turn: 

Performing and Consuming the Past

(Anthropology 26825)


This course examines the increasingly popular trend toward privileging affective engagements with the past and challenges participants to think about whether, and why, somatic experience has come to be prized over knowledge as a form of understanding. It explores the relationship among heritage, history, and memory as entangled imaginaries of the past and their role in the construction of identity and community. Readings illuminate a variety of practices, spaces, and media through which the past is performed, consumed, and embodied, and a selection of contemporary cases of contested understandings of heritage serve to focus analysis. Themes include "living history" museums and historical reenactment, historical theme parks, heritage tourism, festivals, memory sites and objects, cinema and television roles in memory, and so forth.

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