HIST434: Critical Heritage Studies

Available 2017/18

Course Convenor: Dr Chris Donaldson

This module examines the objects and spaces through which history is presented to the public. Students will be required to engage with the scholarly criticisms of heritage practises and gain insight into the workings of public institutions.

What are the processes through which history becomes heritage? By what means are objects gathered together and arranged in order to present, and preserve, ‘the past’? How are the meanings of these objects controlled and communicated to the public?

Students will be required to engage critically with the means through which ‘the historical temper’ is cultivated in both institutions and public spaces and, in particular, how and why the presentation of the past has changed over time. 

The module will combine seminars and site visits to regional collections. The site visits will be coordinated with local and national institutions and repositories. Students will be guided around the site and will have access to the records and store rooms. 

Taught: Michaelmas term