Heritage, Culture, and Politics in the Postcolony by Daniel Herwitz

Heritage, Culture, and Politics in the Postcolony

byDaniel Herwitz

Kobo ebook | September 25, 2012

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The act of remaking one’s history into a heritage, a conscientiously crafted narrative placed over the past, is a thriving industry in almost every postcolonial culture. This is surprising, given the tainted role of heritage in so much of colonialism’s history. Yet the postcolonial state, like its European predecessor of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, deploys heritage institutions and instruments, museums, courts of law, and universities to empower itself with unity, longevity, exaltation of value, origin, and destiny.

Bringing the eye of a philosopher, the pen of an essayist, and the experience of a public intellectual to the study of heritage, Daniel Herwitz reveals the febrile pitch at which heritage is staked. In this absorbing book, he travels to South Africa and unpacks its controversial and robust confrontations with the colonial and apartheid past. He visits India and reads in its modern art the gesture of a newly minted heritage idealizing the precolonial world as the source of Indian modernity. He traverses the United States and finds in its heritage of incessant invention, small town exceptionalism, and settler destiny a key to contemporary American media-driven politics. Showing how destabilizing, ambivalent, and potentially dangerous heritage is as a producer of contemporary social, aesthetic, and political realities, Herwitz captures its perfect embodiment of the struggle to seize culture and society at moments of profound social change.
Daniel Herwitz directs the Institute for the Humanities at the University of Michigan and holds an honorary position at the University of Cape Town. His most recent book is The Star as Icon: Celebrity in the Age of Mass Consumption, which was named a Choice Outstanding Academic Title. He is also the author, with Lydia Goehr, of The...
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Title:Heritage, Culture, and Politics in the PostcolonyFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:September 25, 2012Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231530722

ISBN - 13:9780231530729

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Read from the Book

Read the introduction, "The Heritage of Heritage" (to view in full screen, click on icon in bottom right-hand corner):

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
1. The Heritage of Heritage
2. Recovering and Inventing the Past: M. F. Husain's Live Action Heritage
3. Sustaining Heritage Off the Road to Kruger Park
4. Monument
5. Renaissance and Pandemic
6. Tocqueville on the Bridge to Nowhere
Epilogue
Notes
Index

Editorial Reviews

Thoughtfully crafted and elegantly written, this book is pleasant reading for everyone interested in learning about the status of cultural studies around the world.... Recommended.