Quarterly ACHS Newsletter Issue 4 - February 2017

President's Message

Dear ACHS Member,

Borders, it seems, have come to the fore again.  I'm sure many of you have stared at your screens this past week bewildered at what's going on in the United States. In these frantic days of signatures and protests about entry visas and the construction of a wall, borders have become the immediate focus of a charged and volatile struggle over rights, identities and national futures. In a new Trump era, airports and concrete once again speak to a desire for protection and security, in ways that undermine respect, reject difference, repel the foreign, and offer a seeming resolution to fear. It’s clear that the forms of nationalism, which seek assurance through increasingly rigid and policed frontiers will continue to define the politics of western liberal democracies in 2017, particularly in the Anglophone sphere. In stark contrast, China is busy building trade, infrastructure and cultural links across borders in its ‘Belt and Road’ ambitions to create an interconnected Asia for the 21st Century.

It’s within such contexts and changing times that I am pleased to announce our highly topical and timely conference Heritage Across Borders, hosted by Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China, 1-6th September, 2018. We are now opening the Call for Session Proposals - and welcome proposals that use the theme of borders in imaginative and open ways. As the Sub Themes in the Call for Sessions indicate, working with, through, across and along borders can help us rethink and challenge some of the key analytical categories and boundaries that shape discussions of heritage today. What is the future of heritage, and for that matter heritage studies, in this shifting world order? What disciplinary boundaries do we need to cross to grasp the complexities of today?
This first newsletter of 2017 also gives you links to recent book reviews by ACHS members, details about a new Early Career Researchers Network for the Association, Chapter news and updates on jobs, conferences etc. As of last month, the Association has over 2,000 members and some upcoming announcements will provide details of events planned for this year.

Finally, I would just like to thank the team at Zhejiang University for their efforts in getting this exciting conference off the ground. We look forward to receiving your Session Proposals in the lead up to the March 31st deadline. After that a separate Call For Papers will be announced.


Tim Winter,
ACHS President

Professor Lucie Morisset welcomes delegates to the ACHS 2016 Conference

2018 Hangzhou Conference Update

Call for Session Proposals for the 2018 ACHS Biannual Conference Now Open

Website: Click Here

Email:  2018achs@zju.edu.cn

Call for Session Proposals:

The global rise of heritage studies and the heritage industry in recent decades has been a story of crossing frontiers and transcending boundaries. The 2018 Association of Critical Heritage Studies conference, held in Hangzhou, China, thus takes 'borders' as a broadly defined, yet key, concept for better understanding how heritage is valued, preserved, politicised, mobilised, financed, planned and destroyed. Thinking through borders raises questions about theories of heritage, its methodologies of research, and where its boundaries lie with tourism, urban development, post-disaster recovery, collective identities, climate change, memory or violent conflict. Held in the city of Hangzhou, China, Heritage Across Borders will be the largest ever international conference in Asia dedicated to the topic of heritage. It has been conceived to connect international participants with local issues, and in so doing open up debates about the rural-urban, east-west, tangible-intangible and other familiar divides.

Borders tell us much about the complex role heritage plays in societies around the world today. Historically speaking, physical and political borders have led to ideas about enclosed cultures, and a language of cultural property and ownership which marches forward today in tension alongside ideals of universalism and the cosmopolitan. More people are moving across borders than ever before, with vastly different motivations and capacities. What role can heritage studies play in understanding the experiences of migrants or the plight of refugees? And what heritage futures do we need to anticipate as the pressures of international tourism seem to relentlessly grow year by year?

Heritage Across Borders will consider how the values of heritage and approaches to conservation change as objects, experts, and institutions move across frontiers. It will ask how new international cultural policies alter creation, performance, and transmission for artists, craftspersons, musicians, and tradition-bearers.

What are the frontiers of cultural memory in times of rapid transformation? How can museums engage with increasingly diverse audiences by blurring the distinctions between the affective and representational? And do digital reproductions cross important ethical boundaries?

One of the key contributions of critical heritage studies has been to draw attention to the role of heritage in constructing and operationalising boundaries and borders of many kinds-national, social, cultural, ethnic, economic and political.  In what ways do international flows of capital rework indigenous and urban cultures, and reshape nature in ways that redefine existing boundaries?

We especially welcome papers that challenge disciplinary boundaries and professional divides, and explore cross-border dialogues. What lessons can be learned from Asia where the distinctions between the tangible and intangible are less well marked? And how can researchers bridge cultural and linguistic barriers to better understand these nuances?

Organised by Zhejiang University this major international conference will be held in Hangzhou, China on 1-6 September 2018. We welcome session proposals which address the conference theme of boundaries and borders, and cluster around the following suggested sub-themes:



  • Heritage Trafficking

  • Negotiating linguistic borders

  • Heritage and human/non-human relations

  • Museums challenging boundaries

  • Crossing the indigenous/non-indigenous divide

  • The heritage of diaspora and refugees

  • The planned and unplanned spaces of heritage

  • Boundaries of digital reproduction

  • Memory and forgetting

  • Geographies of Craft

  • Asia and the world

  • Extraterritorial heritage


  • Heritage across disciplines

  • Nations, Regions, Territories

  • Theorising heritage as border

  • Tangible and intangible

  • Connecting the rural and urban

  • China and the region (One Belt One road)

  • Cross cultural methodologies

  • Nature-cultures

  • Cross border conflicts and cooperation

  • Bridging practice and academia

  • Past/present/future

  • Gender and heritage

Regular Sessions will be allocated one or more standard blocks of 1.5 hours, which will usually consist of four papers of 20 minutes duration (normally 15 minutes for each paper with 5 minutes following each paper for discussion and the remaining ten minutes in each block used for introductory and concluding remarks). Proposals for regular sessions should include the following details:

  • session type (i.e. regular session);

  • a session title;

  • the names, affiliations and contact details of one or more session organisers/co-organisers; 

  • up to 300 word session abstract; 

  • a list of confirmed speakers, contact details and paper titles;

  • an indication of whether the session will be closed or open to advertisement for further participation via the conference website when we call for individual paper submissions.

Panel Discussions will be allocated a standard block of 1.5 hours and will normally consist of a discussion amongst a group of 4-5 panellists around a specific set of questions or themes. Proposals for panel discussions should include the following details: 

  • session type (i.e. panel discussion);

  • a panel title;

  • the names, affiliations and contact details of one or more panel session organisers/co-organisers;

  • up to 300 word panel session abstract; 

  • a list of 4-5 confirmed speakers and their affiliations and contact details.

Please send your session proposals to 2018achs@zju.edu.cn by the 31st of March 2017.

For more information please visit the website.

Membership and Chapter News

Membership Update

Membership of the Association continues to grow with us reaching over 2000 members at the start of 2017. This includes chapter membership for Australia/New Zealand (239); Canada (119); Germany (63); India (40); United Kingdom (393) and United States of America (190), as well as 820 Members of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Network.

The map below shows the worldwide distribution of our 2100 members as of February 2016.


Chapter Update

Early Career Researchers Network

The ACHS Early Career Researchers Network (ECR) aims to connect researchers and practitioners, in the early stages of their careers, who are interested in the interdisciplinary field of critical heritage studies. The network is predominantly aimed at postgraduate research students, postdoctoral researchers and those starting out in professional heritage practice, but is open to anyone who self-identifies as "early career".

Still in the early stages of development, the Early Career Researchers Network plans to develop a newsletter and listserve to allow members of the network to share news, opportunities and resources, with a particular emphasis on fostering international and interdisciplinary collaboration. If you would like to join the ECR mailing list, please contact Harald Fredheim (lhf506@york.ac.uk) with your name and email address.

To learn more about the Early Career Researchers Network please visit their page on the ACHS website.


Created in 2016, the ACHS-Norway has been focusing on strengthening their membership and presence through the creation of their new website http://achs-norway.niku.no/ and facebook page under the heading Association of Critical Heritage Studies- ACHS- Norwegian Chapter (@achsnorway), https://www.facebook.com/achsnorway/ .  In addition, the chapter has reached out to different research centers and universities in Norway, resulting in the creation of a comprehensive email list of about 70 members by the end of 2016 who have been encouraged to join ACHS and invited to gather for a meeting on December 13, 2016, in NIKU Oslo. The aim of this meeting was to discuss the goals for this chapter, elect a national board for the chapter, and plan desirable events for the upcoming year(s). The chapter is currently preparing their first annual meeting on April 20th at the University of Oslo, Museum of Cultural History, with the title “What is critical heritage research in Norway?”. For more information, email Dr. Torgrim Guttormsen (torgrim.guttormsen@niku.no)


Co-sponsored by the U.S. Chapter of the Association of Critical Heritage Studies, the meeting Connecting (to) Heritage Studies in the U.S. will be held June 15-18th 2017 at Arkansas State University (Jonesboro, Arkansas). The meeting, composed of both roundtable and regular paper sessions, seeks to further develop an interdisciplinary community in the U.S. that is interested and/or already involved in cultural heritage related work. The meeting will convene scholars, professionals, and students from a diversity of fields, disciplines, and sectors around the concept and uses of ‘cultural heritage’ and potential connections that can be made to the thriving international heritage discourse, the discipline of heritage studies, and to each other. Participants will give presentations and help foster discussions on topics such as: Connecting to Heritage Studies: Theory and Practice, which will convene scholars and practitioners in anthropology, applied anthropology, archaeology, folklore and public folklore, ethnomusicology, museum, library and archive studies, cultural policy, public health, and environmental studies, among others; Heritage Studies and University Programs; Universities and Community Partnerships; Heritage and Media; and Intangible Cultural Heritage. For more information, email Dr. Gregory Hansen (ghensen@astate.edu) or Dr. Michelle Stefano (mstef@loc.gov).

ACHS Francophone Network / Réseau francophone

During last ACHS congress in Montreal, more than 65 members interested in francophone research on heritage and heritagization process decided the creation of a network to share, promote and disseminate French-language research. After a few months of consultation, we were pleased to create of the ACHS Francophone Network at the end of 2016.

For the last twenty years, research in French has produced many studies that have brought to light the notion of "heritagization." In an epistemological perspective that promotes an approach to heritage through its attributed values, these works have been the source of a paradigm shift toward a vision of heritage as a social construction, and have anchored heritage studies in this theoretical framework.

  • This network is open to anyone interested in heritage studies in French and the paradigm on which they are based, regardless of country or language of origin.
  • If you’re interested in being a member, please select, ‘francophone’ as one of your research interests under your member profile in the ACHS Member Directory.
  • Every member is invited to send his/her information about current research projects on heritage involving inter-university cooperation or international partnerships.
  • For more information, please contact Cyril Isnart (isnartc@gmail.com) or Mathieu Dormaels (mat_dormaels@yahoo.com), co-chairs of the network.

Lors du dernier congrès d’ACHS à Montréal, plus de 65 chercheurs intéressés par la recherche francophone sur le patrimoine et la patrimonialisation ont décidé la création d’un réseau pour partager, promouvoir et diffuser la recherche en français. Après quelques mois de consultations, nous avons eu le plaisir de créer, fin 2016, le réseau francophone d’ACHS.

La recherche en langue française sur les patrimoines a produit depuis une vingtaine d’années de nombreux travaux qui ont fait émerger la notion de « patrimonialisation ». Dans une perspective épistémologique qui favorise une approche du patrimoine par les valeurs qui lui sont attribuées, ces travaux ont constitué un changement de paradigme qui affirme la construction sociale du patrimoine et ancre les études patrimoniales dans ce cadre théorique.

  • Ce réseau est ouvert à toute personne intéressée par les études patrimoniales menées en français et le paradigme sur lequel elles reposent, quel que soit sa langue ou son pays d’origine.
  • Si vous êtes intéressé et souhaitez rejoindre ce réseau, veuillez sélectionner « francophone » dans la liste de vos intérêts de recherche dans votre profil dans le répertoire des membres d’ACHS.
  • Tous les membres sont invités à envoyer leurs informations concernant des projets de recherches en cours sur e patrimoine et qui implique une coopération interuniversitaire ou des partenariats internationaux. Pour plus d’information, vous pouvez contacter Cyril Isnart (isnartc@gmail.com) ou Mathieu Dormaels (mat_dormaels@yahoo.com), co-responsables du réseau.

Other Events

Calls for Papers

Tenth International Conference on the Inclusive Museum
Dates: 15-17 September 2017
University of Manchester in Manchester, UK

Founded in 2008, the International Conference on the Inclusive Museum brings together a community of museum practitioners, researchers, and thinkers. The key question addressed by the conference: How can the institution of the museum become more inclusive? In this time of fundamental social change, what is the role of the museum, both as a creature of that change, and perhaps also as an agent of change?
We invite proposals for paper presentations, workshops/interactive sessions, posters/exhibits, colloquia, virtual posters, or virtual lightning talks. The conference features research addressing the annual themes and the 2017 Special Focus: "Diaspora, Integration and Museums."
Submit your proposal by 15 February 2017 
Web Link: The inclusive museum

HERITAGE, Tourism and Hospitality 3rd International Conference
Narratives for a World in Transition
27-29 September 2017
Pori, Finland

Call for Papers closes 20 February 2017
The Heritage, Tourism and Hospitality conferences focus on the leading question “How can tourism destinations succeed in attracting tourists while simultaneously engaging all stakeholders in contributing to the preservation of natural and cultural heritage?”
Web Link: https://heritagetourismhospitality.org

International NGO Forum on World Heritage - Call for Papers
Dates: 30 June - 1 July 2017
Location: Krakow, Poland

The Forum will present cases of World Heritage Sites where there is a concern for their safeguarding and management, and which should be brought to the attention of the World Heritage Committee and the general public. The presentations will provide information about sites which is new and relevant for the safeguarding of the site; has not received adequate consideration; or reflects the perspective of the local population at the site and its involvement in its management; in order to help the World Heritage Committee and its Advisory Bodies to have a more comprehensive assessment of the site and thus arrive at better decisions during its session. Please send your full paper by 25 March 2017 to contact@world-heritage-watch.org in English, German, Russian or Spanish language. 
Organisers: UNESCO World Heritage Committee in partnership with World Heritage Watch
Website: www.world-heritage-watch.org

The Twelfth International Conference of Young Researchers in Heritage - Call for papers
September 28–30, 2017
Université du Québec à Montréal

Invitation for young researchers across all disciplines and nations to submit proposals for 20–minute papers based on any aspect of heritage communities, from case studies to theoretical analyses.
Proposals should be no more than 500 words, accompanied by a title and a short biography, and must be sent to patrimoine@uqam.ca by April 10, 2017
Proposals and papers can be in either English or in French.


Forthcoming Conferences

Heritages of Migration: Moving Stories, Objects and Home
Dates: 6-10 April 2017
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina

In their movements between old and new worlds, migrant communities carry with them practices, traditions, objects and stories that are transmitted across new communities and through generations. This conference seeks to explore the layering of global cultures that has been produced by centuries of global migration, and its effect on memory, identity and belonging, as well as its effects on tangible and intangible heritage. The conference is designed encourage provocative dialogue across the fullest range of disciplines. Please see the conference website for full details.
Organisers: Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage (University of Birmingham), Collaborative for Cultural Heritage Management and Policy (University of Illinois)
Web linkwww.heritagesofmigration.wordpress.com 

BRIDGE: The Heritage of Connecting Places and Cultures
Dates: 6-10 July 2017
City, Country: Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site, Shropshire, UK

Bridges physically and symbolically connect places, communities and cultures; they remind us of division while at the same time providing the means for unification. This conference seeks to explore heritage of bridges –not only as remarkable physical structures connecting places and cultures but also as symbolic and metaphorical markers in the landscape. Please see the website for full details and call for papers. 
Organisers: Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage (University of Birmingham), Collaborative for Cultural Heritage Management and Policy (University of Illinois)
Web Linkwww.bridgeconference.wordpress.com

SHARING CULTURES 2017 - 5th International Conference on Intangible Heritage
Dates: 6-8 September 2017
Barcelos, Portugal

The 5th Sharing Cultures Conference will be held in Barcelos, Portugal from 6-8 September 2017. The Conference aims to further the discussion on Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH), under the main topics proposed by the UNESCO Convention adding some new field of discussion, namely on what concerns management and promotion of ICH, educational matters and musealization.
As with the previous conferences, SHARING CULTURES 2017 will include a number of activities promoting local experiences to all Delegates who will have the opportunity to learn traditional know-how from its owners and practitioners.
The Conference includes papers and presentations on field work, case studies and theoretical approaches to ICH. In 2017 the conference has a special focus on research in the field of Pilgrimage Routes as an expression of Intangible Cultural Heritage whose authenticity needs to be carefully preserved facing the pressure of touristic and other economic activities.
Web Linkhttp://sharing.greenlines-institute.org/en/home

Publication outcomes from ACHS Conferences

The ACHS Executive Committee would like to recognise that several ACHS panel convenors from the 2012 Gothenburg Conference and the 2014 Canberra Conference have successfully collated panel papers and published in special issues of journals, in edited manuscripts, and in the form of book chapters. We would like to acknowledge these to showcase the already substantial discourse that ACHS supports. Please contact the ACHS team if you have had a previous panel paper from an ACHS conference published and would like to share it on our website.

You can see a full list of the publications on our conference publication page.

Book Reviews

Labadi, Sophia and William Logan (eds) 2016  Urban Heritage, Development and Sustainability:  International Frameworks, National and Local Governance.  London:  Routledge.

In Urban Heritage, Development and Sustainability, editors Sophia Labadi and William Logan assemble 15 essays exploring contemporary understandings of sustainable development from the perspective of heritage professionals.  The volume’s essays address tangible and intangible heritage as an urban condition within the context of continuing development, conflict, and change to societies around the globe.  This conflict and change shapes the core questions in each essay’s case examples.  Additionally, Labadi and Logan aim for the volume to address these questions through consideration of sustainability.  They assert that sustainable heritage can improve social conditions, as well as ecological and economic situations, while noting that the ideas of sustainability and heritage are often misapplied and abused for other purposes.  Their conclusion—that sustainability “should serve as a fundamental principle for negotiating an acceptable balance between development and conservation”—represents one of the most significant issues facing heritage professionals and broader society in our current world.

The greatest shortcoming of the volume emerges from its greatest strength:  the definition (and application) of sustainability to heritage.  Labadi and Logan (2016: 1) provide the reader with a broad description of the link in their introductory essay.  Sustainability requires:

Innovative approaches to management of development pressures faced by urban heritage, as well as…ways in which taking an ethical, inclusive and holistic approach to urban planning and heritage conservation may create a stronger basis for sustainable growth.

They further associate their perspective with the Brundtland Report and Donella Meadows’ approach to systems theory.  This definition and purpose for the volume recognizes the essential and difficult realities that (1) heritage conservation efforts are often exclusionary and culturally damaging and (2) the relationships of people through tangible and intangible heritage relies on a deep context of issues beyond history.  Holistically responding to this definition is a difficult challenge for any practitioner or scholar.  The authors contributing to the volume bring a range of international and subject-area experiences that is essential for the topic with each author demonstrating deep localized knowledge.  The necessary systems viewpoint should push us far beyond consideration of the world as tangible or intangible heritage and history.  While the selected essays each respond to the broad concerns of heritage and sustainability, few advance the relationship within a holistic sense of sustainability and systems thinking.  More than one of the essays leave the impression that heritage should never or rarely compromise—an attitude that seems to contradict the definition advanced by the editors.  Importantly, the essays address the hierarchical nature of power within heritage and sustainable development discourse and applications.  The importance of inclusive, less hierarchical governance processes emerges as a common concern.

The volume, in its entirety, would provide a useful reader for an advanced course in heritage or preservation theory and practice.  The discussion that should emerge from students analyzing and discussing the collected essays in relation to each other will rouse critical thought about the future of heritage policy and actions.  Individual essays by Sophia Labadi and William Logan; Kristal Buckley, Steven Cooke and Susan Fayad; Janet Blake; Matthew J. Hill and Maki Tanaka; William Logan; Pham Thi Thanh Huong; and Yamini Narayanan could stand alone as provoking readings.  For professionals, the essays showcase multiple examples that can be read as cases to guide planning in local settings.  Taken as a whole, the essays in this volume frame a bigger picture of heritage and sustainability in the contemporary world, but the reader must bring a critical perspective to make the most of the challenge the editors present.

Bryan D. Orthel, Ph.D., College of Human Ecology, Kansas State University


Smith, Jeffrey K.  2014 The Museum Effect:  How Museums, Libraries, and Cultural Institutions Educate and Civilize Society.  Lanham, MD:  Rowman & Littlefield,  Xiii. +201, photographs, illustrations, references, afterword, and index. 

Official opening of the achs2016 conference, montreal

Official opening of the achs2016 conference, montreal

Jeffrey Smith author does not provide the first use of the term “the museum effect.”  Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett uses the concept in her essay ““Objects of Ethnography”  to explore how the experience of visiting a museum canaffect how we experience other displays in our culture in ways similar to attending a museum.  This pseudo-event phenomenon, for example, becomes evident when we visit a grocery store and interpret the layout and placement of objects on shelves as if they were components of an exhibit arranged by a museum curator.  Smith’s use of the term is relevant to Kirshenblatt-Gimblett’s, but he focuses more on the actual experiences of museum visitors when they view artworks and artifacts to develop wider relationship through the process of attending museum exhibits as well as utilizing similar cultural institutions, such as zoos, libraries, archives, and interpretive displays in parks.  Smith draws from his own expertise as a researcher and educator in the art museum field.  Notably, he led the research and evaluation program at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for almost two decades.  Using primarily quantitative research techniques to analyze visitor experiences, Smith argues that the museum effect stimulates self-reflection in ways that spark our creative imagination to become more deeply engaged with the world around us.  His writing is a vivid representation, itself, of the museum effect’s consequences.  This style is particularly appealing when he uses his own reflections about museums to illustrate the epiphanies that emerge when participating in these cultural institutions.  This depth of his own empathetic and creative reflections contributed to his own artistry in that one of the great strengths of his writing is his ability to present arcane theories as well as somewhat pedantic methodological techniques in highly engaging prose.

The book’s seven chapters emphasize salient conclusions drawn from both quantitative and qualitative approaches within museum studies.  In Chapter Two, he considers how and why individuals visit museums.  After sketching out five typical museum visitors, Smith uses these examples to explain Andrew Pekarik’s typology of museum visitation.  Pekarik and his research team identified the following seven modes for engaging with museums:  information gathering, a quest to view the actual object, a wish to connect with artifacts on display, a need for aesthetic fulfillment, an inquiry into finding meaning in museum visits, a desire for an emotional reaction in the museum experience, and a yearning to fan a creative spark.  Smith augments this discussion with an extensive treatment of John Falk and Lynn Dickering’s research.  They provide five categories for visitors, themselves, and their work shows that aspects of Pickering’s typology can be manifested in different ways by different participations.  In Falk and Dickering’s terms, these viewers may be explorers, experience seekers, facilitators, rechargers, and professionals/hobbyists.  Smith contributes to their analysis by demonstrating how these characteristic orientations to a museum visit are relevant to ways that individuals experience the museum.  He uses these typologies to elaborate on a wide array of processes the emerge through the museum effect to provide some of his most insightful commentary in subsequent chapters.

 Throughout the book, Smith crafts vivid examples, and even a creative thought-experiment, that stimulates his readers to engage deeply in a literary version of the museum effect.  He does this by offering seemingly disparate comparisons in Chapter Three.  How is a museum like a crossword puzzle? He follows this discussion with the questions, “How is a museum like a baseball game?”  His extended analysis of responses to these Batesonian questions yields rich insights into ways that visitors may gain deeper engagements in their museum visits, but he also suggests that these comparisons also illustrate tacit processes of meaning-making that may lurk below conscious awareness.  Smith crafts these early discussions to develop support for numerous insights.  He then provides a more controversial claim by provocatively asserting that the museum effect stimulates such resonant self-reflection that “we become better people”  (101).

It is difficult to accept this assertion at face value.  Smith’s argument that the museum effect stimulates us to reflect on our own selves is credible on more general level.  This self-reflection can be a specific impetus for intellectual and personal growth. Ideally, we may use these new insights abilities for positive consequences.  The obvious problem, which Smith doesn’t actually fully address, is that the claim is too value-laden.  Philosophers, moralists, spiritual leaders, and writers have been asking about the nature of living the good life for millennia, and it’s not clear that self-understanding is related to aesthetic sophistication or, more to the point, moral development.  Although Smith provides excellent examples of selected museum pieces that may contribute to our intellectual growth, aesthetic awareness, and moral awareness, it’s important to also consider how he omits counter-examples.  How does the museum effect, for example, become complicit with the use of cultural institutions for supporting base propaganda?  How are displays of heritage in museums and other representations in civil society implicated in the support of pernicious ideologies?   This aspect of heritage representation is a major element in scholarship, and it given only circumspect attention in The Museum Effect.  Dictators recognize the efficacy of the museum effect in creating their own monuments to themselves as they seek to legitimize their authority.  The content of a museum exhibit, in sum, may outweigh the value of the process of viewing them.  Although Smith’s arguments may be useful to illustrate how museums may contribute to bolstering their regimes, it’s an aspect of the museum effect that needs more development in subsequentwriting.

Outside of this major critique, I wish to affirm that this book is a valuable contribution to museum studies and heritage discourse.  Smith provides excellent resources for using the research on visitor experiences for both classroom instruction and in academic inquiry.  The final three chapters will be especially useful in this respect.  They include potential extensions of his analysis to a wide range of cultural institutions, in a way that perhaps returns back to the original idea of the “museum effect” as explored by Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett (1991, 410).  In these chapters, Smith offers provocative research topics that will stimulate future lines of inquiry about various facets of the museum effect.  The author follows up on these suggestions in a way that is not always common within similar tomes.  Namely, he gives practical advice for designing and completing the research plans.  His focus is on quantitative research methodology, but various lines topics could also be explored through qualitative research techniques.  This final section of The Museum Effect may not appeal to most readers, but it makes the book especially useful for courses in research methodology as well as specific plans for further research in museum studies.

Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Barbara.  1991.  “Objects of Ethnography.”  In Exhibiting Cultures:  The Poetics and Politics of Museum Display, edited by Ivan Karp and Steven D. Lavine, pages 386-444.  Washington, D.C.:  Smithsonian Institution Press.

Gregory Hansen, Arkansas State University

Books to Review

The ACHS is looking for members to review books for the newsletter. The following titles have been received by the ACHS and are available for review:

  • Arns, Jennifer Weil. Annual Review of Cultural Heritage Informatics. Lanham:  Rowman & Littlefield, 2016.
  • Barrera-Fernandez, Daniel.  Attracting visitors to ancient neighbourhoods: Creation and management of the historic city of Plymouth, UK. N.p:In-Planning, 2015.
  • Corrado, Edward M., and Heather Lea Moulaison. Digital Preservation for Libraries, Archives, and Museums. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014.
  • Erskine-Loftus, Pamela, Victoria Penziner Hightower, and Mariam Ibrahim Al-Mulla. Representing the Nation: Heritage, Museums, National Narratives, and Identity in the Arab Gulf States. London: Routledge, 2016.
  • Harvey, David, and James A. Perry. The future of heritage as climates change: loss, adaptation and creativity. New York: Routledge, 2015.
  • Harvey, D. R., and Martha R. Mahard. The Preservation Management Handbook: A 21st-Century Guide for Libraries, Archives, and Museums. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014.
  • Smith, Peter F. Climate Change and Cultural Heritage: A Race against Time. New York: Routledge,  2014.   

f you would like to review one of the titles listed above please contact the ACHS Book Reviews Editor, Edward Salo, who will send you a copy of the book. The books will be offered on a first come- first serve basis, and reviewers are able to keep the book.

If you would like to register as a reviewer for future book offerings please email the book review editor directly.  Please include a brief description of your research interests, qualifications, and areas of expertise so that you can be matched with relevant books.

25% Discount on Engaging Heritage, Engaging Communities edited by Bryony Onciul, Michelle L. Stefano, Stephanie Hawke

The academic book publisher, Boydell & Brewer, is delighted to offer the members of the Association of Critical Heritage Studies, a 25% discount on the latest book in their Heritage Matters series, Engaging Heritage, Engaging Communities, edited by Bryony Onciul, Michelle L. Stefano, Stephanie Hawke.
Briefly, the title critically explores the latest debates and practices surrounding community collaboration across the global networks of galleries, heritage sites and museums. The 25% discount will make the price £45.00 (instead of £60.00 RRP). Orders can be placed by phone on 01243 843 291, by fax on 01243 843 303, by email at customer@wiley.com or online at www.boydellandbrewer.com.

Postage is £3.70 in the UK, £12.75 per book to mainland Europe and £14.95 per book outside Europe. Please quote the offer code BB303 to ensure that the discount is given. The offer ends 31st May 2017.

For more information, please download the attached flyer.

Social Media

The official Twitter Account and FaceBook pages for the ACHS were very active during the ACHS2016 Conference in Montreal. We encourage all members to continue to use social media to disseminate news, events and publications. The FaceBook Page has more than 200 Likes. We'd also love to see more posts from members on the page or tweet your news ACHS@crit_heritage

Events, Opportunities & Conferences