New Book | Re-imagining Heritage Interpretation (& Happy 4th)

Posted in books by Editor on July 4, 2014

Anyone anticipating a proper Fourth of July posting might have a look back at the notice posted in May for Magna Carta: Cornerstone of Liberty, which just opened at Boston’s MFA. Less directly, this book from Ashgate might stimulate broader thoughts on issues of heritage interpretation, a field that in the United States too rarely comes into art historical conversations. In any case, a happy Fourth of July to all of you who mark the day. -CH

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Russell Staiff, Re-imagining Heritage Interpretation: Enchanting the Past-Future (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2014), 202 pages, ISBN: 978-1409455509, $110.

9781409455509_p0_v1_s600This book challenges traditional approaches to heritage interpretation and offers an alternative theoretical architecture to the current research and practice. Russell Staiff suggests that the dialogue between visitors and heritage places has been too focused on learning outcomes, and so heritage interpretation has become dominated by psychology and educational theory, and over-reliant on outdated thinking. Using his background as an art historian and experience teaching heritage and tourism courses, Russell Staiff weaves personal observation with theory in an engaging and lively way. He recognizes that the ‘digital revolution’ has changed forever the way that people interact with their environment and that a new approach is needed.

Russell Staiff holds a PhD in art history from the University of Melbourne where he was the foundation lecturer in the postgraduate visual arts and tourism program. He began his life in heritage and tourism as a guide in Italy. Currently, he teaches in the heritage and tourism program at the University of Western Sydney and Silpakorn University, Bangkok. He researches the various intersections between cultural heritage, communities and tourism with a particular emphasis on Southeast Asia.

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Prologue: the known, the unknown and other ruminations
1  Anecdotes and observations
2  Tilden: beyond resurrection
3  The somatic and the aesthetic: embodied heritage experiences
4  Visual cultures: imagining and knowing through looking
5  Narratives and narrativity: the story is the thing
6  Digital media and social networking
7  Conversing across cultures
8  Enchantment, wonder and other raptures: imaginings outside didacticism

Call for Papers | River Cities: Historical and Contemporary

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on July 4, 2014

From H-ArtHist (with the full call for papers available as a PDF file here). . .

River Cities: Historical and Contemporary
Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C., 8-9 May 2015

Proposals due by 14 September 2014

The dynamic relationships between cities and their rivers, a landscape of potentially critical adaptability and resilience, is the focus of the 2015 Garden and Landscape Studies Symposium at Dumbarton Oaks. Building on the emergence of urban humanities and urban landscape history, we propose to consider the urban river as a city-making landscape deserving of careful reading and analysis: past, present, and future.

The subject of this symposium builds on a new multi-year initiative in urban landscape studies, which Dumbarton Oaks is launching in 2015 with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Its principal goal is to create a dialogue between designers and scholars to address the landscape consequences of advancing urbanization. With this task in mind, the 2015 symposium aims to bring together the work of contemporary designers with the historical perspectives of scholars, encouraging practitioners and historians to bridge the gaps between their modes of thinking. We consider historians to include those in art history, urban history, and architectural history among others. We would particularly welcome proposals for collaborative or paired presentations by designers and historians working on similar topics or the same city.

Please submit a 300-word abstract to Thaisa Way (tway@uw.edu) by September 14, 2014 to be considered for the 2015 Dumbarton Oaks Garden and Landscape Studies symposium: River Cities: Historical and Contemporary. If accepted, full papers will be due on March 1, 2015 for presentation in May 2015 (most likely May 8–9, 2015). For more information, contact Thaisa Way, University of Washington, tway@uw.edu.

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