Thinking through Grassroots Heritage: Interview with Laurajane Smith
From Moa Carlsson
This is a conversation with Professor Laurajane Smith, in which we discuss her work on intangible and community ‘grassroots’ heritage. The conversation was recorded on the 19th January 2021. In this conversation, interviewer Dr Moa Carlsson is joined by co-interviewer Dr Kirsten Carter-Mckee, Teaching Fellow in Architectural History and Heritage at ESALA. The conversation was recorded on the 19th of January 2021.
LAURAJANE SMITH is a Heritage and Museum Studies scholar, originally trained as an Australian archaeologist. She is a Professor and Head of the Centre for Heritage and Museum Studies at the Australian National University, and is editor of the International Journal of Heritage Studies. Her work challenges the idea of heritage as primarily or simply an object or site, and re-theorises heritage as a cultural process of meaning and memory making. She has also explored the intersections between gender and heritage through feminist critique in multiple publications. Smith's recent work, Emotional Heritage: Visitor Engagement at Museums and Heritage Sites (Routledge 2020), interrogates the memories and identity conceptualizations of museum and heritage site visitors. We were keen to speak to Smith because her work challenges traditional Western definitions of heritage, and looks at understanding significance and protection of culture from the ground up, rather than from a top-down, government approach.
Interview Bibliography by Laurajane Smith
Archer, Margaret. Realist Social Theory: The Morphogenetic Approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.
Smith, Laurajane. Emotional Heritage: Visitor Engagement at Museums and Heritage Sites. London and New York: Routledge, 2020.
Smith, Laurajane. Uses of Heritage. London and New York: Routledge, 2006.
Thompson, Erin. “Why Just ‘Adding Context’ to Controversial Monuments May Not Change Minds.” Smithsonian Magazine. (December 18, 2020). Accessed July 22, 2021. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/why-just-adding-context-controversial-monument-may-not-change-minds-180976583/?fbclid=IwAR0luNG3EJb03AV-cCdXOrU9DFqWx0IZa-z9g-ChybSS9q0U5oPrRZ1K9rIThe Science Of. “Why the Fight Over Statues Will Never End.” Bloomberg Quicktake. 08:24. (August 28, 2020). Accessed July 22, 2021. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2020-08-28/why-the-fight-over-statues-will-never-end-video
Please note that the views expressed by the interview subject are the personal views of the interviewee and not those of the University, the interviewers or the Series organisers.