After Heritage
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After Heritage

Critical Perspectives on Heritage from Below

Edited by Hamzah Muzaini and Claudio Minca

Focusing on the practices and politics of heritage-making at the individual and the local level, this book uses a wide array of international case studies to argue for their potential not only to disrupt but also to complement formal heritage-making in public spaces. Providing a much-needed clarion call to reinsert the individual as well as the transient into more collective heritage processes and practices, this strong contribution to the field of Critical Heritage Studies offers insight into benefits of the ‘heritage from below approach’ for researchers, policy makers and practitioners.
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Chapter 6: Unfinished geographies: women’s roles in shaping Black historical counter narratives

Matthew R. Cook and Amy E. Potter

Abstract

Drawing upon Katherine McKittrick’s classic text Demonic Grounds (2006) and other critical race and Black geographies literature, this chapter analyses the powerful ways that women – primarily Black women – shape public memory and historical interpretation of Black History in the United States, challenging the dominant narratives of slavery (typically White and male) through activism, employment and media portrayals.  By empirically examining a variety of sources, from women in filmic and media portrayals of slavery, to a high-profile Twitter user and Southern plantation tourism guides, the authors seek to provide insight into one of McKittrick’s major questions: ‘What kinds of new and possible spaces are made available through our past geographic epochs?’ Applying this question to public memory and historical interpretation of the slavery system, this chapter argues that as these women advance counter narratives of chattel slavery, they challenge and call into question normative geographic orders driven by patriarchy, racism and class.

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