An interdisciplinary and controversial approach to the concept of heritage in contemporary culture covering Ireland North and South
Interdisciplinary approach which examines heritage in contemporary culture based on design history, architectural theory and art criticism. Uses Irish examples - heritage parks and interpretative centres - to underpin his arguments. Subject is topical given the problems of the location of interpretative centres and threats to the environment.
A significant and long overdue study which crosses several disciplines including cultural and critical theory, heritage and tourism studies, geography, sociology and psychology. Dr. Brett investigates the concept of 'heritage';its different meanings, the uses to which it is put, and the places, institutions and activities that have grown up around it. 'Heritage' will also be employed as a centre-point for a network of closely related forays into such topics as tourism - both as an activity and an industry, sight-seeing, the history of taste, popular history and regional development. His approach is controversial and provocative and his views have influenced debates around the design and purpose of heritage centres in Ireland North and South. The topicality of the book is self-evident in view of the increasing use of the concept of 'heritage' in popular and political usage. The book explores some typical uses of the idea and treats heritage, heritage exhibitions and parks as a form of popular history. Everywhere, but outstandingly so in Ireland, this topic is linked to the question of political legitimacy. Whose 'heritage' becomes a question of great urgency. The book proposes a method of critical analysis using mainly Irish examples. Dr. Brett approaches 'heritage' and its manifestations with a mind informed by design history, architectural theory, and the practice of art criticism; and makes extensive use of aesthetic concepts rather than literary models. The visual connotations are deliberate, since this book is much concerned with issues of visual representation, and with the ideological implications of imagery.