Deindustrialisation and Reinventions NUBS 2.10
Jul 04, 2023 11:30 - 13:00(Europe/London)
20230704T1130 20230704T1300 Europe/London 1.11. Equitable Futures in Industrial Memories I

Industrial communities shape and struggle through changes not only to their landscape, place, and environment, but the means by which such amorphous communities might narrate their own stories, shape collective memory, and dictate industrial heritage. Considering such change not just through a lens of sustainability or authenticity focused upon past culture and experience, but with a keen eye towards equitable futures highlights instead the connectedness of past, present, and future in (post)industrial spaces. Equitable futures for industrial memories can illustrate the connectedness between opening alternative narratives past and present, shaping alternative futures, and the planning and utility of memory and heritage work by self-defined and contested communities in the context of economic and cultural sustainability with varying (in)equitable impacts within and beyond the community. In this session we wish to not only champion equitable means of engaging industrial memory and heritage, but critically reflect upon the very concepts of industrial heritage, collective memory, sustainable heritage, and the industrial community. Such terms are indeed social constructions, shaped through myriad contexts, but have also been at the root of social and environmental inequity and violence. Far from the taken-for-granted benefits of community-based scholarship, heritage work, and sustainable development, we wish to step back and assess the violence of community, heritage, and development in industrial contexts while uplifting memory work aimed at the reduction of harm through equitable futures from industrial memories.While rooted in geographical traditions, we take different approaches to our own questions thinking primarily through industrial transitions, tourism, and herit ...

NUBS 2.10 MSA Conference Newcastle 2023 conference@memorystudiesassociation.org
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Industrial communities shape and struggle through changes not only to their landscape, place, and environment, but the means by which such amorphous communities might narrate their own stories, shape collective memory, and dictate industrial heritage. Considering such change not just through a lens of sustainability or authenticity focused upon past culture and experience, but with a keen eye towards equitable futures highlights instead the connectedness of past, present, and future in (post)industrial spaces. Equitable futures for industrial memories can illustrate the connectedness between opening alternative narratives past and present, shaping alternative futures, and the planning and utility of memory and heritage work by self-defined and contested communities in the context of economic and cultural sustainability with varying (in)equitable impacts within and beyond the community. In this session we wish to not only champion equitable means of engaging industrial memory and heritage, but critically reflect upon the very concepts of industrial heritage, collective memory, sustainable heritage, and the industrial community. Such terms are indeed social constructions, shaped through myriad contexts, but have also been at the root of social and environmental inequity and violence. Far from the taken-for-granted benefits of community-based scholarship, heritage work, and sustainable development, we wish to step back and assess the violence of community, heritage, and development in industrial contexts while uplifting memory work aimed at the reduction of harm through equitable futures from industrial memories.

While rooted in geographical traditions, we take different approaches to our own questions thinking primarily through industrial transitions, tourism, and heritage, as we seek out inter- and transdisciplinary work which also explores the (im)possibilities of equitable futures in industrial memories.



Kathryn Laura Hannum (co-author: Mark Alan Rhodes II)

The Regional Spatialities of Sites: (Un)Bounding Industrial World Heritage via Mental Maps

Heritage sites often rely upon defined boundaries for both management and interpretation of heritage discourses. The (b)ordering of heritage via defined spatialities originate from multiple sources-often simultaneously. Just as communities, regions, and nations may utilize space as a means of definition, othering, and/or legitimization, so too do those wishing to capitalize upon heritage; these processes often overlap. Heritage can follow a path whereby a fuzzier understanding of spatial definitions dominate a heritage designation, highlighting the dialectics of intangible and tangible heritage. As the west, in particular, increasingly experiments with these inseparable relationships in how heritage can or should be managed, interpreted, or marketed for the broader public, we increasingly see creative strategies of heritage work. Three such examples include the industrial World Heritage Sites surrounding gold, copper and tin, and slate in Leon, Cornwall, and Wales, respectively. Each World Heritage Site sits not only across large areas of land, including many different significant elements, communities, and municipalities, but contain 3-10 spatially disparate areas. In order to understand the complex spatialities, their management, and perception, we ask how memorial entrepreneurs and heritage stakeholders interpret the simplest geography of these Sites: their boundaries. What towns are included in each Site, how are they or aren't they linked to one another, and how do such spatial understandings impact heritage, tourism, and the emergent industrial heritage industry. To accomplish this assessment, we set out to better understand how stakeholders at these sites currently understand the site boundaries. Using mental mapping, a comparative spatial analysis, and an associated qualitative content analysis of related questions, we observe via a small sample of stakeholders the spatial possibilities of the imaginative geographies of world heritage.


Dr Flossie Kingsbury (co-authors: Dr Amy Sanders, Dr Rhys Dafydd Jones & Prof Mike Woods)

Finding space for post-industrial and colonial memories to exist together

In the last few years there has been an increased focus on the legacies and memories of colonialism, and how they should best be managed. This is especially the case following the widespread Black Lives Matter protests of 2020. Simultaneously, there has been a developing popular and academic interest in the phenomenon of 'left behind' places. These are usually understood as mainly white, traditionally working-class, post-industrial areas (Goodwin and Milazzo 2015). A key feature of 'left behind' places is the belief that they have suffered as a result of social and economic changes, which have come at a cost to (white) working-class cultures and ways of life (Kenny 2017; Richards et al 2020). This means that the rhetoric surrounding post-industrial 'left behind' places can come into conflict with narratives around the legacy and memory of colonialism, as attention on the latter is perceived to be of further detriment to the former.
Drawing on ESRC-funded research from WISERD's Civil Society Research Centre, this paper uses Penrhyn Castle, a National Trust property in North Wales, as a case study to understand the tensions between colonial heritage and post-industrial memory. It seeks to understand how and why these tensions come about and how they might be dealt with. Penrhyn Castle has a complex relationship with the former slate quarrying community which surrounds it. As Penrhyn Castle has attempted to re-evaluate its ties with colonialism (having been built using the profits of slave-grown sugar) it has been criticised for neglecting memories of the (often tense) relationship between the Castle and the quarriers. More recently however, the Castle and its community have experimented with ways of blending these two narratives. This paper uses this case study to unpick the complex relationship between colonial and post-industrial memory, and understand what more equitable narratives could look like.


Dr. William R. Price

Drilling for Equitability in the Oil Heritage of Oklahoma

Communal memories of Oklahoma are intermeshed with the oil industry. From the time of Oklahoma's statehood in 1907 to today, it has been among the largest oil producers in the U.S. Many towns in Oklahoma were founded based on their proximity to oilfields. While some of these "boomtowns" endured, others experienced extensive outmigration and infrastructural degradation following the end of their associated oil boom. Several of the most influential global oil companies were founded in OK, including Conoco and Philips Petroleum, which remain important players in the state's economic and political spheres Yet, prior to the first oil well being drilled in the 1850s, Oklahoma was primarily settled by Native Americans, who had their own cultural connections to the resource. Oklahoma was the "Indian Territory" set aside by the Federal Government in the 1830s for the southeastern nations forced to relocate during the "Trail of Tears." While much of the land granted by treaty was subsequently taken away for white settlement during the later 19th century, some of the richest oil fields were located on the remaining reservation lands. Though some nations gained an influx of wealth by selling drilling rights to their lands, others were pushed further into marginalization. The Osage, one of the most prosperous nations, were targeted by white settlers, who used murder and other means to steal their wealth; a story told in the 2017 bestseller Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann. This paper explores the heritage of oil in Oklahoma as revealed by oil museums in the state. It adds to a growing literature on oil tourism. In addition to investigating the revealed memories of current and post industrial oil communities via a discourse analysis, it also considers the discursive silences about environmental impacts and Native Americans through the lenses of sustainability and post colonialism, respectively. A key theme underlying the discussion is how equitability can be fostered via reconsideration of the emphasized memories of the Oklahoma oil

 

Assistant Teaching Professor
,
Michigan Tech University
Research Associate
,
Aberystwyth University
Assistant Professor
,
Department of Geography and Meteorology, Ball State University
 Mark Rhodes
Assistant Professor of Geography
,
Michigan Technological University
Lecturer and Researcher
,
Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg
Assistant Professor
,
Department of Geography and Meteorology, Ball State University
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