Session 07

Heritage and nationalism (IGU Commission on Political Geography)
Chair: Alec Murphy (University of Oregon)

Nationalism is premised on celebrating and sustaining a particular story of a territory and its people-where they came from, how they are distinctive, and why they are special. As such, nationalism and heritage are inextricably linked. Many efforts to preserve and promote aspects of a place's heritage reflect nationalist ideas or ambitions, and the results of such efforts can influence nationalist ideologies and practices.
The heritage-nationalism nexus has been the focus of some scholarly attention within geography and related disciplines. Much of the work to date has focused on capital cities, especially how how their landscapes reflect particular nationalist ideas and ambitions. Studies in this vein have focused on the remaking of the landscape of capital cities to glorify the nation (e.g., John Agnew's work on Rome), the construction of new capital cities that embrace selective elements of national history (e.g., Natalie Koch's work on the monumental cities of Central Asia), and the ways in which the locational choices and development strategies of sub-state capitals are a product of nation-building ambitions (e.g., Christian Montès' work on American colonial, territorial, and State capitals).
The relationship between heritage and nationalism is not just about capital cities, however. It is also about more general governmental strategies to preserve and promote selected elements of the past, the competing efforts of different groups to create landscapes that evoke selected national stories, and the discursive struggles over the hsritage-infused iconography of nationalism.
This session on the nationalism-heritage nexus welcomes conceptual and empirical papers pertaining to the links between nationalism and heritage. Diverse approaches are welcome. Themes include:
" Nationalist imaginations as expressed in heritage landscapes
" The uses of heritage to promote particular bordering ideas and practices
" The nationalist underpinnings of overarching state-government approaches to heritage preservation
" Landscape indicators of contested nationalist territorial ambitions
" The role of migrant and diasporic communities in the creation of heritage landscapes
" The nationalist impulse behind efforts to control the discourses around heritage and related iconographic practices.