non-monumental heritage in Germany or the Netherlands
July 24, 2006 8:55 PM   Subscribe

I am preparing an application for an exchange to either Germany or Holland to study non-monumental heritage sites. I need to justify why I need to go to one of these places. (posted for signal)

My master's thesis theme is on non-monumental heritage sites, i.e.:neighborhoods or areas of cities whose value doesn't reside in its monuments or symbolism but rather in the way of life it hosts or hosted, where each individual house or building isn't especially valuable, but the sum of all the parts adds up to a vibrant, interesting city.
I need to justifiy what I'll be doing in either Germany or Holland for a month. Can anybody point me to interesting (academic or public) work in these countries on non-monumental areas or some related topic? Or to an especially interesting neighborhood I could point to and say "I want to go study that"? Hopefully not just a "cool" place, but one where there is actually some sort of interesting urban process going on (improvements or decay, both work).
Specifically I'd like to find a) research papers or books or websites about non-monumental heritage sites in Germany or Holland b) researchers in those countries working on these topics or c) places that could be characterized as "non-monumental heritage sites".
posted by nomad to Education (2 answers total)
Not to be snarky, but do you actually have anything to do in Germany or Holland for a month or is this a way to get funding for a vacation? Because, that's cool, too, but if you are planning something, talk about that.

There is lots of stuff out there, but it tends to focus on the monumental. One interesting bit in the most recent issue of the Journal of Material Culture was an article by Sharon MacDonald talking about the de-monumentalisation of the nazi monuments at Nuremberg. Rudy Koshar also hits a lot of this, but often focused around monuments.

You should also look at James Young's Textures of Memory as it looks at Holocaust memorials and how they often have to deal with spaces and landscapes that are more complicated (involved?, hopefully you know what I mean) than the buildings that were once there.

Also, kind of back to that Journ_ of Mat_ Cult_ issue - It is all dedicated to Barbara Bender who wrote a lot about Stonehenge. Monument of monuments, but her writing and research was all about historicizing the way that people represent and remember it, so kinda like you're talking about.

Anyway, good luck .
posted by jmgorman at 10:24 PM on July 24, 2006

I'm not familiar with this field, and the description helps me only slightly. Could you point me towards some existing work? I'd be happy to help out on the Holland part of things.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:48 AM on July 25, 2006

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