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Heritage Movements in Asia: Cultural Heritage Activism, Politics, and Identity

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Volume 2

Explorations in Heritage Studies

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Heritage Movements in Asia

Cultural Heritage Activism, Politics, and Identity

Edited by Ali Mozaffari and Tod Jones

216 pages, 7 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78920-481-0 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (November 2019)

eISBN 978-1-78920-482-7 eBook

Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $29.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“This book significantly contributes to our understanding of the complexities of heritage in Asia. It broadens our horizons to look at issues of governance, state-society relations, and the institutional ways memory and material culture are politically negotiated. It reveals heritage as a series of movements, unpacking, elaborating and critiquing what that term means in different social settings. An exciting contribution to the examination of heritage in Asia.” • Tim Winter, University of Western Australia, Professor of Critical Heritage studies, Author of Geocultural Power: China’s Quest to Revive the Silk Roads for the Twenty First Century

“The book is a wake-up call for heritage practitioners who still too easily think of the material past as a static and unmediated record of times past. Heritage Movements in Asia reminds us that the heritage expert is only one among numerous players competing to inscribe meaning on the traces of the past embedded in the ground we all live on. As this book vividly illustrates, heritage activism, whether in the form of mass mobilisation or more intimate engagements, is what gives the material past its dynamism.” • Denis Byrne, Author of Counterheritage: Critical Perspectives on Heritage Conservation in Asia

“Looking at heritage processes through the lens of social movements, this volume adds a meaningful contribution to the growing literature of critical heritage studies.” • Neel Kamal Chapagain, Director of the Centre for Heritage Management, Ahmedabad University

“The manuscript fits well within the framework of collected essays on various aspects of heritage which have made recent appearance on themes such as contested and dissonant heritage, the impact of globalization upon multicultural societies and the increasing role of social media in mobilizing identity.” • Brian J. Shaw, School of Earth & Environment (Retired)


Heritage processes vary according to cultural, national, geographical, and historical contexts. This volume is unique in that it is dedicated to approaching the analysis of heritage through the concepts of social movements. Adapting the latest developments in the field of social movements, the chapters examine the formation, use and contestation of heritage by various official, non-official and activist players and the spaces where such ongoing negotiations and contestation take place. By bringing social movements into heritage studies, the book advocates a shift of perspective in understanding heritage, one that is no longer bound by (at times arbitrary) divisions such as those assumed between the state and people or between experts and non-experts.

Ali Mozaffari is a Fellow of the Australian Research Council (DECRA) with the Alfred Deakin Institute, Deakin University, Melbourne. Through his research, Mozaffari seeks to understand the uses of the past in contemporary discourses of heritage and built environment in Iran and West Asia. His publications include Forming National Identity in Iran: The Idea of Homeland Derived from Ancient Persian and Islamic Imaginations of Place (IB Tauris 2014) and World Heritage in Iran; Perspectives on Pasargadae (Routledge 2016)

Tod Jones is an Associate Professor in Geography in the School of Design and Built Environment at Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia. Jones's research interests are cultural and political geographies in Australia and Indonesia, in particular bringing contemporary geography approaches to cultural economy and heritage issues. His current projects are on Indigenous heritage and urban planning, social movements and heritage, and applying a sustainable livelihoods approach to assess heritage initiatives. His most recent book is Culture, Power, and Authoritarianism in the Indonesian State. Cultural Policy across the Twentieth Century to the Reform Era (Brill 2013).

Subject: General Cultural Studies Museum Studies General Anthropology
Area: Asia


List of illustrations

Introduction: Negotiation, Strategic Action and the Production of Heritage
Ali Mozaffari and Tod Jones

Chapter 1. Understanding Heritage Activism: Learning from Social Movement Studies
Tod Jones, Ali Mozaffari, and James M. Jasper

Chapter 2. ‘The Past is Always New’: A Framework for Understanding the Centrality of Social Media to Contemporary Heritage Movements
Tod Jones, Transpiosa Riomandha and Hairus Salim

Chapter 3. The Exemplary Foreigner: Cultural Heritage Activism in Regional China
Gary Sigley

Chapter 4. Heritage Activism in Singapore
Terence Chong

Chapter 5. Riverscape as Biocultural Heritage: A Local Indigenous Social Movement Contests a National Park in Nepal
Sudeep Jana Thing

Chapter 6. Heritage for Whom? Caste and Contestation Among Sri Lanka’s Dumbara Rata Weavers
Aimée Douglas

Chapter 7. Heritage Activism and the Media (Framing) in Iran
Ali Mozaffari

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