Institute of Archaeology


Heritage Futures: Comparative Approaches to Natural and Cultural Heritage Practices

5 August 2020

A new open access volume, Heritage Futures: Comparative Approaches to Natural and Cultural Heritage Practices, has been published recently by UCL Press.

Heritage Futures 2020 (UCL Press) - bookcover

Heritage Futures: Comparative Approaches to Natural and Cultural Heritage Practices by Rodney Harrison, Caitlin DeSilvey, Cornelius Holtorf, Sharon Macdonald, Nadia Bartolini, Esther Breithoff, Harald Fredheim, Antony Lyons, Sarah May, Jennie Morgan, and Sefryn Penrose (560 pages, 188 colour illustrations) is now available.

An outcome of the c.£2M UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)-funded Heritage Futures research programme, the fully open access monograph may be downloaded from the UCL Press website.

Preservation of natural and cultural heritage is often said to be something that is done for the future, or on behalf of future generations, but the precise relationship of such practices to the future is rarely reflected upon. Heritage Futures draws on research undertaken over four years by an interdisciplinary, international team of 16 researchers and more than 25 partner organisations across a dozen countries to explore the role of heritage and heritage-like practices in building future worlds.

Engaging broad themes such as diversity, transformation, profusion and uncertainty, Heritage Futures aims to understand how a range of conservation and preservation practices across a number of countries assemble and resource different kinds of futures, and the possibilities that emerge from such collaborative research for alternative approaches to heritage in the Anthropocene. Case studies include the cryopreservation of endangered DNA in frozen zoos, nuclear waste management, seed biobanking, landscape rewilding, social history collecting, space messaging, endangered language documentation, built and natural heritage management, domestic keeping and discarding practices, and world heritage site management.

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