Nation, race, and affect: senses and sensibilities at national heritage sites

Crang, Mike and Tolia-Kelly, Divya P (2010) Nation, race, and affect: senses and sensibilities at national heritage sites. Environment and Planning A, 42 (10). pp. 2315-2331. ISSN 0308-518X

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This paper picks up from extensive literatures that have addressed the relationship of heritage to national identity. Much work focuses upon the symbolic construction of the past through heritage institutions, but in so doing it tends to underplay the affective experience of heritage sites. In this paper we argue that it is the felt experience and the organisation of sensibilities towards heritage which are often as important, and that these have racialised modalities. We thus look at attempts to foster civic inclusion and argue that they need to work through not just civic openness but felt exclusions and fears. We take two canonical heritage sites to exemplify these issues. First, the British Museum was chosen as an urban national institution that is conventionally seen speaking in an unemotive, pedagogical register. The history of the museum as collecting artefacts from around the world and bringing them to London is related to diasporic communities' feelings about the collections, focusing on the Oceanic gallery. The second exemplar is the English Lake District, chosen as a rural national park that is seen to mobilise more visceral affective responses, which is deeply bound up with national sensibilities but has attracted attention for racial exclusivity.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Geography
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Depositing User: Sharon Krummel
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2018 10:05
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2018 10:05
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