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Record identifier : 568719
Personal Name - Primary Intelectual Responsibility : De Cesari, Chiara
Title and statement of responsibility : Cultural heritage beyond the "state": Palestinian heritage between nationalism and transnationalism [Thesis]
Publication, Distribution,Etc. : Stanford University, 2009
Language of the Item : eng
Body granting the degree : Stanford University
Summary or Abstract : This dissertation is an interdisciplinary study of Palestinian heritage making, based on fourteen months of ethnographic fieldwork conducted in the West Bank between September 2005 and December 2006. My work focuses on the aftermath of the Oslo Accords, a period that began in 1994 with the establishment of the Palestinian Authority, or a non-sovereign "quasi-state" in parts of the West Bank and Gaza. My research in the field of heritage highlights the activism and prominent role of a globalized civil society in a domain historically monopolized by the state (as well as colonial and neocolonial powers). I show how numerous local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), funded by the international donors' community, have set as their task the rescue and "revitalization" of a past that differs considerably, moreover, from the past which has achieved high visibility throughout the history of archaeology in the Middle East, one dominated by pre-Islamic monumental sites. This new Palestinian past is a close past, a past of still-inhabited Ottoman-period buildings and historic urban neighborhoods; it is vernacular, lived, small-scale, centered on the home rather than the palace. Rather than displayed in a glass case, this is a past to be creatively put to use for socio-economic development, and a site of cultural production in the present. It is also a site that challenges a traditional dichotomy between heritage and counter-memory common in much scholarly literature. Ultimately, heritage in Palestine represents a socio-political project of emancipation. Through a range of methods, including ethnographic, media and spatial analysis, I have argued that this form of heritage making functions as a technology of life, an act of national survival and cultural resistance. In this vein, I further argue that heritage NGOs' practices partake in a broader Palestinian culture of memory that is more about creative and therapeutic remembering than obsessive melancholia, providing a sense of continuity, stability, and ultimately dignity for people living on shaky ground and in a condition of perpetual temporariness..
Topical Name Used as Subject : Archaeology, Cultural anthropology
Information of biblio record : TL
 
 
 
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