Heritage as negotiation: an approach from ANT and Assemblage Theory

Authors: Julia Binder*, BTU Cottbus
Topics: Urban and Regional Planning, Human-Environment Geography, Cultural Geography
Keywords: Heritage, ANT, qualitative methods
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 4:30 PM / 6:10 PM
Room: Marshall West, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Following Hodder (2000), Law (2004) and Latour (1988, 2005), materiality lacks its contextualization as a container or backdrop for social interaction. Promoting a paradigmatic shift, they argue for an equal epistemological consideration of material and non-material entities. According to this more-than-human perspective, objects and things become actants. Heritage sites analyzed through the ANT-perspective are considered a highly dynamic research topic by it means to trace the patterns of actors and actants within dynamic networks. This paper addresses power hierarchies within the dynamic field of negotiating narratives of the past, present and future: How are place-based networks created, how are they enduring, how are they destroyed? Actor-Network Theory and Assemblage Theory provide interesting analytic thinking tools for examining power inequalities by tracing connections and associations at contested heritage sites. It argues for materiality as a starting point for analysis, taking as a case study a former military conversion area in Wünsdorf-Waldstadt, Brandenburg.

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