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The contested nature of heritage and the dilemmas of building cultural citizenship: the case of Italy 

Nick Dines    Middlesex University    

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abstract

This chapter considers the contested nature of cultural heritage and public memory in the context of two earthquake-hit cities, L’Aquila and Naples. It reflects upon how the underly- ing di erences that are constitutive of the politics of heritage and memory become exposed in the event of a disaster and how disparate understandings and uses of heritage at the same time call into question the grandiloquent posturing of public intellectuals who view the architectural patrimony of Italy’s historic centres as a cornerstone to cultivating a national cultural citizen- ship. Drawing on Spivak’s idea of strategic essentialism, it is argued that if cultural heritage is to be e ectively mobilized to counter undesirable reconstruction programmes or to resist the threat of speculation and evictions in historic centres, attention needs to be continually paid to its conceptual limits and internal di erences otherwise heritage risks becoming the basis for an exclusionary and remonstrative vision of citizenship. 

Language
IT
ISBN (PRINT)
978-88-6969-054-9
ISBN (EBOOK)
978-88-6969-052-5

Keywords: Cultural citizenshipContested heritageStrategic essentialism

Copyright: © 2015 Nick Dines. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.