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Title: Community uses of maritime heritage in Bermuda : a heritage ethnography with museum implications
Author: Andrews, Charlotte
ISNI:       0000 0004 2707 9062
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2010
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This research contributes to the fields of heritage and museum studies with a threefold objective: conceptualise heritage as a process, using an appropriate research method, with implications for museums. The work correspondingly helps to redress the undertheorisation of heritage, the inadequacy of methods for grasping heritage as an ethnographic object of study, and the disconnection between communities and their museums - and, underlying and linking these issues, the widespread incorrect and damaging presumption that individuals, or the communities they constitute, are heritage deficient. In doing so, the presumption of public heritage deficiency underlying and linking these theoretical, methodological and museological 'problems' is challenged and countered. Drawing on my heritage ethnography of maritime Bermuda, I examine how and why people of this mid-Atlantic island use maritimity to formulate identity and community, and thereby generate maritime heritage. This contextualised case study engages with current thinking and key debates about heritage and museums to conceptualise heritage cross-culturally. Introductory chapters review heritage and museums across the relevant scholarly, maritime, and Bermuda scales and reflect upon my methodological choices during the research design, fieldwork and analysis. Five chapters of ethnographic analysis subsequently interpret community uses of heritage in terms of Bermudian relationships with the sea. Specifically, this analysis identifies and explores maritime heritage as: relationships with past and present maritimes; negotiations of 'race' and its legacies; beliefs in authenticity; curatorial practices of community museology; and aspirational remedies to social crisis. With this rich ethnographic yet analytic account of maritime heritage in Bermuda, I expand the framework for understanding heritage as a phenomena and concept, offer a heritage model to museums - and maritime and Bermuda's museums specifically - so they may better connect with their communities, and utilise and innovate heritage ethnography as a specialised method for heritage research, museum curation and wider community use.
Supervisor: Sørensen, Marie Louise Stig Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral