14.30 The Role of the Critical Heritage Theorist
What is the role of the critical heritage theorist? While scholars define and debate the contours of critical heritage theory, the role of the critical heritage theorist has not yet been explored. Heritage scholars (and activists) often work at the intersections of policy and academe, corporate and government, personal and political. Their work not only transcends borders (i.e., geographical and geopolitical), but also disciplines.
Drawing from research on heritage landscapes Alaska, Mongolia, and Western Australia, I ask: What is the role of the critical heritage theorist in sites of conflict or contestation? By providing a broad sketch the politics of heritage landscapes, I will argue that the job of the critical heritage theorist is to ask questions and examine contradictions, even at the risk of these contradictions being overstated. I swill how how defining and expanding the role of the critical heritage theorist is a necessary and important step in the evolution of heritage theory.