Dr. Gertjan Plets – Heritage Bureaucracy and the Modern Nation State: transcending disourse analysis in heritage studies (Cultural History Seminar)11 mei 2017
Van 11:30 - 12:45uur
At the next Cultural History Seminar, Dr Gertjan Plets (Cultural History) will give a lecture on ‘Heritage Bureaucracy and the Modern Nation State: transcending discourse analysis in heritage studies’.
Over the past two decades the field of heritage studies has expanded across different disciplines in the human and social sciences. Contemporary interpretations and uses of the past have become understood as cultural actions conditioned by our social, political and economic environments. Corresponding to post-modern developments, the fields of history and archaeology have embraced ‘heritage’ as a legitimate research interest. Critical discourse analysis has been a predominant methodological lens in those analyses deconstructing the politicization of the past. By instantiating politics as a foremost discursive struggle; statements from polities, representations of the past in the media and the responses from heritage professionals employed by the state have stood central in many analyses.
FLANDERS AS A HISTORICAL SPACE
Drawing on Foucaultian perspectives on government this paper wishes to break with this singular focus on discourse. Instead, it will explore how seemingly innocent bureaucratic procedures and mundane technologies (such as databases) administered by a state normalize specific logics and rationalities. As such it hopes to illustrate that specific interpretations of the past are concurrently created through discourse and bureaucratic action.
A central case study in this paper will be cultural resource management in Flanders. Although on a discursive level the Flemish government—aware of the contestation in Belgium about right-wing nationalism—is very careful in not over-politicizing heritage, bureaucratic procedures and technologies have drastically reshaped how heritage practitioners think about their practice and how they present Flanders as a historical space.
More information: uu.nl