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Re:heritage - Cirkulering och kommodifiering av ting med historia


The aim of this project is to study the rapidly expanding second hand-, re-use- and vintage market in which small-scale entrepreneurs transform and re-configure objects with a real or imagined history into marketable goods with heritage value.

Building on existing research on second hand culture and consumption, the project takes on a neo-materialist approach to explore how this market, here called the re:heritage market, involves circulation and transformations that renegotiate established understandings of heritage, but that also transcends conventional dichotomies between public and private, tangible and intangible, memory and history.

Combining perspectives from anthropology, consumption research, integrated conservation and cultural geography, the project will analyse the real and imaginary sites, the relations, networks and assemblages of things as well as the actors and institutions involved in the re:heritage circulation. The research methodology (qualitative multi-methodology), involves ethnographic fieldwork, text and image analysis and archival studies.

The research will be carried out through five work packages with complementary focus: the social and material infrastructure of objects in circulation; the market qualification-valuation processes; the interaction of urban localities and heritagization processes; a comparative study in the UK; theory development as well as co-research in interaction with the public.

The work package “Sites and localities as re:heritage” will depart from the circulation which meet in the reverential activities of rebuilding, restructuring, reconstruction, renovation or restoration of the urban built environment:

  1. the reshuffling of spatial meanings: from an original (usually) function-based meaning, into one based on heritage conceptions;
  2. the circuit of market values: the real estate property market where heritage aspects of the sales items (predominately homes) have become as a core hub for the presentations and spatial rearrangements;
  3. the increasing market for old building details or structures (such as used doors, windows and fittings, authentic paint, original tiles);
  4. the know-how, skills and craft necessary for its application.

The team

  • Staffan Appelgren, Institutionen för globala studier, GU
  • Anna Bohlin, Institutionen för globala studier, GU
  • Helene Brembeck, Centrum för konsumtionsvetenskap, Gothenburg Research Institute, GU
  • Niklas Hansson, Centrum för konsumtionsvetenskap, Gothenburg Research Institute, GU
  • Ingrid Martins Holmberg, Institutionen för kulturvård, GU
  • Anneli Palmsköld, Institutionen för kulturvård, GU
  • Mike Crang, Department of Geography, Durham University
  • Nicky Gregson, Department of Geography, Durham University
  • Posdoc, (kommer tillsättas), Durham University
  • Sara Di Nardi, Postdoc, Durham University


Page Manager: Henrik Thelin|Last update: 8/22/2018

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