Chapter 2: Heritage research in the 21st century: departing from the useful futures of sustainable development
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Multiple openings of heritage discourse in both practice and research have not only contributed to its critical reassessment but paved ways to embracing neoliberal governmentality in heritage research. In this embrace, the sustainable development paradigm has the most prominent role. It is discursively present, implicated and dominant in much of recent heritage research; which, I argue, flattens existences, pasts, presents and futures into the category of usefulness. In departing from the useful futures envisioned by sustainable development, the article dialogues with three themes of this volume, bringing together some of the less explored ways of understanding heritage within the web of life, as well as socio-political and economic relations. These other-than-useful ontological, ethical, ecological and political routes open vibrant horizons for heritage research towards plural, caring and radically interconnected futures.

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