Accepted Paper:

The Lost City: How do we learn from spaces and places that no longer exist? an exploration of London's genius loci and sites of emotional heritage  


Jenny Wedgbury (UCL, Institute of Education)

Paper short abstract:

I'm interested in stripping back the notion of heritage sites being vessels of emotion by looking at heritage places that no longer exist. If no stones, brickwork remain, how can we learn of a site's past? Do places where events have taken place retain some kind of embedded emotional experience?

Paper long abstract:

In this paper I'd like to critically explore the ways in which we describe heritage sites as 'holding' or 'containing' a spirit of place or genius loci. I want to explore and examine the way we talk about spaces and places being receptacles for past emotions, where past actions have seeped into the very stonework of a building or public space, into the grass, mud, pavement.

I want to examine the way in which we talk about places holding echoes of fear, love, power, greed, pain etc. Is this just a narrative hook we use to engage audiences or is there something more in terms of seeing emotional heritage as akin to other types of intangible heritage? Can the vestiges of past emotional experience be read in a way in which we can group them together as part of our shared intangible heritage?

Panel P063
Heritage, beyond materiality: intangible cultural heritage, collaborative methodologies and imaginations of the future