Museums and heritage operations are increasingly employing experiential forms of interpretation, such as role adoption and first-person interpretation, in order to cultivate emotional bonds between visitors and the characters that populate historic sites. The paper argues that this form of relating to the past affectively reflects a notion of memory that is underpinned by commonsense temporality and a privileging of the corporeal, both of which serve to legitimate existing relations of power. Using a dispute surrounding public entry to Ellis Island, New York, via a bridge connected to New Jersey, I ask that we understand memory as a practice generating the past’s perpetual arrival where the past continually comes into existence anew rather than ‘returns’ from what once was. Throughout the paper I relate a number of examples where thinking about memory along these lines, as arrival, can help us question the temporal logics that underpin heritage and the authorities heritage maintains.
|Journal||Environment and Planning D: Society and Space|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|
- Ellis Island
- New York