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January 03 , 2011

The Heritage of War


The Heritage of War is an interdisciplinary study of the ways in which heritage is mobilized in remembering war, and in reconstructing landscapes, political systems and identities after conflict. It examines the deeply contested nature of war heritage in a series of places and contexts, highlighting the modes by which governments, communities, and individuals claim validity for their own experiences of war, and the meanings they attach to them.

From colonizing violence in South America to the United States’ Civil War, the Second World War on three continents, genocide in Rwanda and continuing divisions in Europe and the Middle East, these studies bring us closer to the very processes of heritage production. The Heritage of War uncovers the histories of heritage: it charts the constant social and political construction of heritage sites over time, by a series of different agents, and explores the continuous reworking of meaning into the present.

What are the forces of contingency, agency and political power that produce, define and sustain the heritage of war? How do particular versions of the past and particular identities gain legitimacy, while others are marginalised? In this book contributors explore the active work by which heritage is produced and reproduced in a series of case studies of memorialization, battlefield preservation, tourism development, private remembering and urban reconstruction. These are the acts of making sense of war; they are acts that continue long after violent conflict itself has ended.

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