Landscapes of Difficult Heritage by Gustav Wollentz

Landscapes of difficult heritage

The book Landscapes of Difficult Heritage presents the research that Gustav Wollentz carried out at the Graduate School ‘Human Development in Landscapes’. The book addresses how people negotiate difficult heritage within their everyday lives, focusing on memory, belonging, and identity. The starting point for this examination is that temporalities lie at the core of understanding this negotiation and that the connection between temporalities and difficult heritage remains poorly understood and theorised in previous research. In order to fully explore the temporalities of difficult heritage, the book investigates places in which the incident of violence originated within different time periods. The volume examines one example of modern violence (Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina), one example where the associated incident occurred during medieval times (the Gazimestan monument in Kosovo), and one example of prehistoric violence (Sandby borg in Sweden). The book presents new theoretical perspectives and provides suggestions for the development of sites of difficult heritage, and will thus be relevant for academic researchers, students, and heritage professionals.   

"Wollentz’s study is very impressive in its intellectual breadth and depth, combining acute insights in the theory of heritage and memory with detailed empirical observations derived from heritage ethnographies in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, and Sweden." (Cornelius Holtorf, UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures, Linnaeus University, Sweden)

“Gustav Wollentz’s book is a refreshing read that enters into the intense debate on difficult heritage and invites us to rethink some of the analytical tools we use for the study of spaces marked by violent events, starting from the very notion of ‘temporality’. The book’s analyses of Mostar, Gazimestan, and Sandby borg are not mere applications of the concepts discussed in the theoretical chapters, but are a remarkable way of “doing theory” empirically, moving from the specific features of each case study.” (Francesco Mazzucchelli, University of Bologna, Italy)

Landscapes of Difficult Heritage by Gustav Wollentz, Palgrave Macmillan (2020), 297 pages, 41 illustrations (in English).


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