The Oxford Handbook of Public Heritage Theory and Practice
The field of cultural heritage is no longer solely dependent on the expertise of art and architectural historians, archaeologists, conservators, curators, and site and museum administrators. It has dramatically expanded across disciplinary boundaries and social contexts, with even the basic definition of what constitutes cultural heritage being widened far beyond the traditional categories of architecture, artifacts, archives, and art. Heritage now includes
vernacular architecture, intangible cultural practices, knowledge, and language, performances and rituals, as well as cultural landscapes. Heritage has also become increasingly entangled with the broader social, political, and economic contexts in which heritage is created, managed, transmitted, protected, or
even destroyed. Heritage protection now encompasses a growing set of methodological approaches whose objectives are not necessarily focused upon the maintenance of material fabric, which has traditionally been cultural heritage's primary concern. The Oxford Handbook of Public Heritage Theory and Practice charts some of the major sites of convergence between the humanities and the social sciences, where new disciplinary perspectives are being brought to bear on heritage. These
convergences have the potential to provide the interdisciplinary expertise needed not only to critique but also to achieve the intertwined intellectual, political, and socioeconomic goals of cultural heritage in the twenty-first century. This volume highlights the potential contributions of development studies,
political science, anthropology, management studies, human geography, ecology, psychology, sociology, cognitive studies, and education to heritage studies.
Dr. Angela M. Labrador is a cultural anthropologist who has combined her scholarly and professional interest in cultural property issues with the development of participatory action research methods for community-based heritage initiatives. Her dissertation, Shared Heritage: An Anthropological Theory and Methodology for Assessing, Enhancing, and Communicating a Future-Oriented Social Ethic of Heritage Protection, drew on real-world heritage practices in New England and the Caribbean to offer a visionary overview of the potential of an inclusive, ethical public heritage. Neil Asher Silberman is a widely published author, historian, and heritage professional, and the editor-in-chief of the three-volume Oxford Companion to Archaeology (2012). He is the author of books on the social and political impact of the past on the present spanning from Digging for God & Country (Knof, 1982) to The Bible Unearthed (Free Press, 2001). For the last fifteen years, he has served in various academic and professional capacities to help develop and promote the emerging field of Public Heritage. He served for a decade (2005-2015) as president of the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Interpretation and Presentation and as a member of the ICOMOS International Advisory Committee. Silberman and Labrador are colleagues at Coherit Associates, an international heritage consultancy. They are the co-authors of the forthcoming Oxford Guide to Public Heritage: Managing, Promoting, and Protecting Shared Cultural Assets.