Planned as a three-year research project, the aims are to explore the manner in which notions of cultural heritage are created and nurtured through the scholarship and governance of archaeology with specific references to the archaeologies of heritage-making within post-colonial South Asia.
The project responds to the increasing attention within academic archaeology towards the ‘heritage sector’ and shall entail interrogating the manner in which heritage is made a material reality. It is planned around discrete case studies, which include histories of collections and museums, the choices and management of sites and monuments for the status of world heritage, the mythologizing of historical landscapes, and the legislation of heritage. The research shall enquire into local histories of heritage making and assess the ethics of commanding the scholarship of archaeology within populist heritage-making concerns.
The project addresses the question of how to revalue the claims of heritage from the potential damages of the legacies of archaeological heritage-making, and shall enhance the understanding of the conflicts and negotiations that feed into the fostering of a national heritage for global consumption and substantiate the cultural politics of local identities. It shall develop a database of a largely unknown history of the archaeological curation of heritage, which promises pedagogical value for the practices of digital heritage.