Wednesday, 16 May 2012

The Good, the Bad, and the Unbuilt

A new volume for the series 'Studies in Contemporary and Historical Archaeology', which I co-edit with Josh Pollard,  is published this month. The seventh volume in the series - The Good, the Bad, and the Unbuilt: handling the heritage of the recent past -brings together papers from the 2008 CHAT conference at UCL. Details are below, along with the preface. The volume can be ordered from Archaeopress
The next CHAT conference will be held at the University of York in November 2012.

The Good, the Bad, and the Unbuilt: handling the heritage of the recent past.
(edited by Sarah May, Hilary Orange and Sefryn Penrose)

This, the seventh volume in the series, brings together papers from the sixth CHAT conference, held at UCL on the theme of Heritage. The volume brings together a terrific collection of papers, which capture the energy of the London meeting: from the Kirsty McColl bench in Soho Square to the Sandford Parks Lido in Cheltenham Spa; from the Palast der Republik Berlin to the Luton-to-Rugby section of the M1 motorway; from landlord villages on the Tehran Plain, Iran to what Gabe Moshenska calls 'unbuilt heritage' in Finsbury. The fresh ideas, the new voices, and the good humour that have always characterized CHAT conferences are brought to bear here on archaeological approaches to heritage with some terrific results. Taken together, the papers are a timely reminder that archaeological heritage is never purely immaterial, or only sociological, or (to borrow a phrase) merely cultural, in character. Instead, archaeologists thinking through the idea of the modern as heritage leads not to an extension of preservationism - more to save, more to protect, yet more to put into stasis - but in quite the opposite direction. Towards a recognition of the material remains of the modern period, and their potential as resources for living in our contemporary world. In this spirit, Sarah May, Hilary Orange and Sefryn Penrose, and their contributors, remind us with this volume of the liveliness of contemporary debates over the idea of 'modern heritage'. (Dan Hicks and Joshua Pollard, Series Editors)

Introduction: The Good, the Bad and the Unbuilt: Handling the Heritage of the Recent Past (Sarah May, Hilary Orange and Sefryn Penrose)
1) Null and Void: the Palace of the Republic, Berlin (Caroline A. Sandes)
2) The Heritage of a Metaphor: Archaeological Investigations of the Iron Curtain (Anna McWilliams)
3) Titanic Quarter: Creating a New Heritage Place (Mary-Cate Garden)
4) The Aquatic Ape and the Rectangular Pit: Perceiving the Archaeology and Value of a Recreational Landscape (Jeremy Lake)
5) Attitudes to London's Heritage: Interpreting the Signs (David Gordon)
6) Where the Streets Have no Name: a Guided Tour of Pop Heritage Sites in London's West End (Paul Graves-Brown)
7) Contemporary Places and Change: Lincoln Townscape Assessment (David Walsh and Adam Partington)
8) Revolutionary Archaeology or the Archaeology of Revolution? Landlord Villages of the Tehran Plain (Hassan Fazeli and Ruth Young)
9) Justifying Midcentury Trash: Consumer Culture of the Recent Past and The Heritage Dilemma (Jessica Merizan)
10) Motorways, Modern Heritage and the British Landscape (Peter Merriman)
11) Liberating Material Heritage (Elizabeth Pye)
12) Unbuilt Heritage: Conceptualising Absences in the Historic Environment (Gabriel Moshenska).

Studies in Contemporary and Historical Archaeology is a series of edited and single-authored volumes intended to make available current work on the archaeology of the recent and contemporary past. The series brings together contributions from academic historical archaeologists, professional archaeologists and practitioners from cognate disciplines who are engaged with archaeological material and practices. The series will include work from traditions of historical and contemporary archaeology, and material culture studies, from Europe, North America, Australia and elsewhere around the world.
 The series promotes innovative and creative approaches to later historical archaeology, showcasing this increasingly vibrant and global field through extended and theoretically engaged case studies.
Proposals are invited from emerging and established scholars interested in publishing in or editing for the series. Further details are available from the series editors: Email or

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