Changing Attitudes to the Past: Lieux de Memoire and Contested Histories

Catterall, Peter (2017) Changing Attitudes to the Past: Lieux de Memoire and Contested Histories. Political Quarterly, 88 (4). pp. 631-639. ISSN 1467-923X

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What societies choose to remember about the Past can pose challenges for professional gatekeepers in museums, archives and statutory bodies charged with managing national heritage. Recent examples examined here include the inauguration of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, the 2016 Capability Brown Festival, changing attitudes towards poppies and the Rhodes Must Fall movement. These are explored through establishing a taxonomy of the eight functions lieux de mémoire fulfil in the course of reflecting the Past to the Present. Drawing attention to the way in which the imperialism of the Past is buried beneath the pristine lawns of Capability Brown’s gardens in the Present, this article concludes by warning that lieux de mémoire can provide an aesthetic veneer, glossing over aspects of the Past that societies, or elites within those societies for their own purposes, would rather forget.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Heritage, lieux de mémoire, Historic England, historical memory, museums;
Subjects: University of Westminster > Social Sciences and Humanities
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Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2017 12:15
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2017 15:38

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