'That's not who I was the last time I was here.' A diverse heritage and England's heritage: mutual partners or mutually exclusive

Callaghan, David Ian (2015). 'That's not who I was the last time I was here.' A diverse heritage and England's heritage: mutual partners or mutually exclusive. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

PDF - Accepted Version

Download (4MB)


This thesis explores what impact thirteen years of Britain’s New Labour government’s (1997-2010) social exclusion policy agenda had on the representation of non-white communities within England’s authorised heritage narrative, told through the places, objects and ‘things’ given heritage value by ‘experts’. This thesis finds that certain mainstream heritage organisations in England perceive there to be an ‘established’ heritage that is agreed, therefore cannot be challenged even as we uncover more about the diverse realities of the county’s past. Two ways are considered by which to understand the hegemony of this heritage and how it might be ‘used’ to the benefit of a more diverse national narrative: the first by accepting Laurajane Smith’s assertion that there is an authorised heritage discourse (AHD) in England and seek ways to harness it rather than subvert it. The second follows on from the first in proposing how communities of interest might participate equally in the process of heritage making. The first way is drawn out through an interrogation of heritage sector policy and practice – from organisations such as the Heritage Lottery Fund, English Heritage, national museums, amongst others – to decipher the meaning of heritage in England and who it is for, according to those mainstream organisations that create and manage it. The second utilises case studies of major heritage projects in England that have sought to engage with non-white audiences to understand the methods mainstream heritage organisations have used to do so.

It is concluded that the model for heritage making in England acts as a barrier to a diverse heritage. Using the work of Rodney Harrison, an alternative ‘dialogic’ heritage is suggested that encourages it to be seen as fluid and contested and challenge the notion of any heritage being perceived as ‘established.’

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of History and Cultures, Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage (IIICH)
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/6361


Request a Correction Request a Correction
View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year