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Title: Celtic constructs : heritage media, archaeological knowledge and the politics of consumption in 1990s Britain
Author: Piccini, Angela
ISNI:       0000 0004 2747 7079
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2001
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Over the past ten years, the academic archaeological community has begun to come to terms with some of the implications of the archaeological're-thinking the Celts'. Yet, what can we say about the ways in which images of an archaeo-historic Celtic cultural package are circulated in heritage media, and invested with meaning by the consumers (i.e. us all) of those media? Despite the academic critique of the potentially dangerous conflation of race and politics which characterizes Celticentric heritage media, very little work has been done on the forms that these media take, and on the actual mobilization of Celtic images in the everyday. This dissertation represents an attempt to chart the landscapes of Celticentric heritage media in English-speaking Europe of the 1990s, and the ways in which those landscapes are mobilized in our lives. From in-depth interviews with visitors to two Welsh spaces of Celtic representation - Castell Henllys Iron Age Hillfort and Celtica - I go on to suggest that while it is a mistake to reduce such consumption to a value-free leisure activity, neither should we uncritically assume that representations of the Celtic automatically reproduce racist and nationalist discourses via an unproblematic relationship between 'text' and 'reader'. Rather, we need to look at the specific circumstances of active visitor engagement in order to begin to understand the ways in which these physical representations of Celtic culture are' good to think' the politics of identity in late- 1990s Britain. From this work I am able to suggest creative ways forward for those presenting media narratives of pastness. The key is to rethink our own professional attitudes towards monolithic notions of 'the public' and the meanings which are invested in the communal consumption of images of a Celtic past.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available