Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Tale of Two Democracies

How did two democratic nations end up with such different mechanisms and perspectives on historic preservation? As a class, you guys summarized Barthel’s book with great thoroughness. Issues of authenticity and commercialism are central to this work. I especially liked debates between you about how history should be rendered for display. If tourism is built on pleasure then won’t it always cause problems for historic preservation? Not all of history is pleasing and uplifting. In fact, much of it is scary and depressing. How do we reconcile these two things when we participate in preserving history? Kristen raised the issue of school groups. I think we should ponder whether our 21st conception of childhood inhibits our displays of history.

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