An evolving list of academic articles, essays, reviews and other bits of writing.
2020 / Article / Critical Heritage and the Posthumanities: Problems and Prospects. International Journal of Heritage Studies.
This paper emerges from my post-doctoral research exploring the implications of posthumanism and the Anthropocene for the heritage field. Instead of embracing or rejecting posthumanism outright, the paper considers the transformative potential and key limitations of this framework. Two core themes are picked up on here: the first positions posthumanism as that which comes after humanism, while the second decentres the human altogether. While the significance of the former to critical heritage is relatively easy to establish, the implications of the latter are more opaque. Building on critiques put forward by Indigenous scholars and environmental philosophers, the paper acknowledges the shortcomings of any posthuman political project. To look beyond this, the paper engages with the work of feminist philosopher Rosi Braidotti and political theorist William E. Connolly, who offer a concrete set of agendas for heritage to engage with posthumanist thinking. The essay concludes with a discussion of ‘planetary stewardship’ – a concept put forward by Earth Systems scientists and others that demands novel reflections on care, governance and responsibility across human and non-human worlds. A strategic alliance of critical heritage praxis and critical posthumanist thinking may provide a valuable counterpoint to some of the more technocratic solutions imagined for the climate crisis.
The full paper can be accessed here: https://doi.org/10.1080/13527258.2020.1715464
2020 / Book Chapter / Covert Erasure and Agents of Change in the Heritage City. In: V. Apaydin (ed.) Critical Perspectives on Cultural Memory and Heritage: Construction, Transformation and Destruction. London: UCL Press, 67-83
Delighted to have a chapter in this new volume edited by Veysel Apaydin, which looks at questions of heritage and destruction from a range of theoretical, historical and geographical perspectives. My chapter considers questions of heritage-washing, monopoly rent, and the politics of ‘change management’ as a model for urban preservation.
The whole volume can be downloaded for free from UCL Press.
2020 / Online Article / After Experience. CARMAH Reflections.
I’ve written a short piece on two very different experiential encounters with the Pergamon Altar in Berlin for the Centre for Anthropological Research on Museums and Heritage ‘Reflections’ series.
You can read the essay on the CARMAH website.
Thanks to Prof. Sharon Macdonald and others at CARMAH for hosting me as a Visiting Fellow at the start of 2020.
2019 / Article / Designing ‘Critical’ Heritage Experiences: Immersion, Enchantment and Autonomy. Archaeology International 22(1), pp. 100–113.
This position paper sets out the main conceptual foundation for my project New Trajectories in Curatorial Experience Design. Available open access from Archaeology International.
Abstract: This article investigates the critical potential of newly emerging approaches to heritage experience design. Moving away from a familiar critique of heritage experiences as inauthentic or overly commercial, I consider three aspects of the experiential that might (re)shape critical engagements with the past in the present. Building on the work of Kidd (2018), the first engages with the growing trend for ‘immersive’ experiences in museums and heritage sites. The second draws on Perry’s notion of archaeological ‘enchantment’ (2019) as a new ‘moral model’ for the field. The third applies Bishop’s (2012) reading of artistic ‘autonomy’ to specially designed heritage experiences. These concepts are then explored in relation to Critical Heritage Studies and tested against four micro case studies that engage in different ways with the experience of heritage. The theorisation put forward here serves as a point of departure for the two-year research project New Trajectories in Curatorial Experience Design (Feb 19–Jan 21), which aims to document and analyse emerging trends in experiential design within the heritage sector. In particular, this position paper highlights specific points of intervention where new forms of critical-creative practice might open up heritage interpretation to alternative experiential strategies and outcomes.
2019 / Book Review / ‘Rock, Bone and Ruin: An Optimist’s Guide to the Historical Sciences’ by Adrian Currie. Journal of Contemporary Archaeology online
A review of Adrian Currie’s thought-provoking book on geology, palaeontology and archaeology can be found here.
2019 / Book Review / ‘Photographing Tutankhamun: Archaeology, Ancient Egypt, and the Archive’ by Christina Riggs. Antiquity 93(369), 836-7
My review of Christina Riggs’ fantastic book on the photography of Tutankhamun is available to read in Antiquity.
2018 / Article / Entangled Concepts and Participatory Practices across Archaeology, Heritage, and Art. Journal of Contemporary Archaeology 4.2, 130-138
Co-authored with Leah Acheson-Roberts, this short article forms part of a special edited volume exploring art and archaeology after the ‘creative turn’
2017 / Photo Essay / ‘A Thing is its own Best Mask’: Antagonisms of the Architectural Wrap. Journal of Contemporary Archaeology 4.1, 91-106
A photo essay on building wraps, using Slavoj Žižek’s concept of the parallax to unravel the ontologies, inconsistencies, and antagonisms of these strange interventions in the cityscape.
2017 / Article / Mundane Myths: Heritage and the Politics of the Photographic Cliche. Public Archaeology
An essay attempting to capture some political valency for the tourist cliche, working in particular with Massumi’s ideas around affective politics in the context of photography at Angkor.
Read and download here.
2016 / Exhibition Review / When Anything Seemed Possible. RIBAJ April
Review of the exhibition This Was Tomorrow at the Swiss Museum of Architecture in Basel, published in RIBA Journal
2016 / Film Review / The Innocence of Memories. Journal of the Association of Heritage Interpretation 21.2, 9
Review of Grant Gee’s evocative film Innocence of Memories, which explores the work of Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk. Part of a special volume of the Association of Heritage Interpretation Journal on the theme of ‘Empathy’.
2016 / Book Review / An Era Without Memories: Chinese Contemporary Photography on Urban Transformation. The Journal of Architecture 21.7, 1159-1164
An in-depth review of this book on recent Chinese photography reflecting on the incredible transformation of cities across the country. Part of a special volume of The Journal of Architecture on photography and architecture.
2015 / Exhibition Review / ‘British Folk Art’ at Tate Britain. Journal of Museum Ethnography 28 (March), 198-214
A long-form review of this wide-ranging exhibition held at Tate Britain in 2014.
2014 / Article / Spectral Anatomies: Heritage, Hauntology, and the ‘Ghosts’ of Varosha. Present Pasts 6.1, 1-15
Article in which I examine the problems of the term ghost town as it relates to the abandoned district of Varosha in Northern Cyprus, a space which is slowly and perhaps worryingly coming to be seen as a site of heritage.
Open Access article available to read and download here
2014 / Article / Review of ‘The Semiotics of Heritage Tourism’ by Emma Waterton and Steve Watson. Papers from the Institute of Archaeology 24.1, 1-4
A detailed review of Emma Waterton and Steve Watson’s short but wide-ranging book The Semiotics of Heritage Tourism from Channel View Publications.
Open Access review article available to read and download here
2014 / Article / Photography, Preservation, and Ethics at Angkor. Future Anterior 11.1, 70-83
Part of a two volume special edition of Future Anterior on photography and preservation, this article explores different forms and practices of photography at Angkor from 1866 to the present.
2014 / Exhibition Review / Curiosity: Art and the Pleasures of Knowing: An Exhibition at Turner Contemporary. Opticon 1826 16.9, 1-3
A review of the fantastic exhibition Curiosity: Art and the Pleasures of Knowing, curated by Brian Dillon for Turner Contemporary in Margate. This review was awarded first prize in the 2014 UCL Graduate Review Competition.
Available to read and download for free here
2013 / Exhibition Review / Ruins in Reverse: An Exhibition at Tate Modern. Papers from the Institute of Archaeology 23.1, 1-4
My review of the small but fascinating exhibition Ruins in Reverse held in the Project Space at Tate Modern in 2013. Image above is of the set of Star Wars, which can be found in the Tunisian desert, as photographed by Rä di Martino.
Available to read and download for free here