“Compelling, energizing, and foundational. Opens up an anthropological orientation, one which is welcome and exhilarating. Lafrenz Samuels’s equally significant introduction of the transnational as a new orientation in heritage studies offers an escape route from the conception of heritage as monopolized by the nation-state.”—Denis Byrne, author of Counterheritage: Critical Perspectives on Heritage Conservation in Asia
Mapping out emerging areas for global cultural heritage, this book provides an anthropological perspective on the growing field of heritage studies. Kathryn Lafrenz Samuels adopts a dual focus—looking back on the anthropological foundations for cultural heritage research while looking forward to areas of practice that reach beyond national borders: economic development, climate action, democratic practice, heritage rights, and global justice. Working around the traditional authority of the nation-state and intergovernmental treaty–based organizations such as UNESCO, these issues characterize heritage activity in transnational networks.
Lafrenz Samuels argues that transnational heritage involves an important shift from a paradigm of preservation to a paradigm of development. Responding to this expanding developmental sensibility, she positions cultural heritage as a persuasive tool for transformative action, capable of mobilizing and shaping social change. She shows how anthropological approaches help support the persuasive power of heritage in the transnational sphere.
Kathryn Lafrenz Samuels, assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Maryland, is coeditor of Heritage Keywords: Rhetoric and Redescription in Cultural Heritage.
A volume in the series Cultural Heritage Studies, edited by Paul A. Shackel