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Industrial heritage and the legacies of colonialism and modernity : thoughts on the interconnected study of the Global South and the Global North

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4:30 PM, Monday 29 Aug 2022 (20 minutes)
The paper will be exploring conceptual, theoretical and methodological avenues with which studies on industrial heritage and deindustrialization more generally can overcome its current bias towards the global north and bring industrial heritage studies in the global north into a sustained dialogue with industrial heritage studies in the global south. In particular, it will ask about the methodological and theoretical arsenal of entangled history that can be used to bring into dialogue the studies on industrial heritage from the global north and the global south. Postcolonial theory, world systems theory, narrativist theory and conceptual history all provide intriguing opportunities to ask about how deindustrialization and reindustrialization are connected to processes of heritagization both in the global north and the global south. Deindustrialization and heritagization are processes that are connected through a global history of capitalism that leaves industrial heritage in highly place-specific contexts that are nevertheless entangled with other highly place-specific contexts, in which different social actors use memory in order to present narratives about the past that have a specific purpose in the struggles of the present for horizons on how to develop specific futures for regions undergoing deindustrialization. The paper will argue for the urgent need to decenter the global north from global studies on deindustrialization and it will draw attention how entanglements between the countries of the global south are often as important as entanglements between the global south and the global north. Furthermore it will draw attention to the legacies of colonialism and imperialism in contemporary debates on industrial heritage in the global south and it will ask why those legacies are rarely part of discussions on industrial heritage in the global north.

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