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How Do African States Think about Cultural Property? Re-Visiting Management Elites in Southern Africa

King, R; (2019) How Do African States Think about Cultural Property? Re-Visiting Management Elites in Southern Africa. International Journal of Cultural Property , 26 (4) pp. 387-411. 10.1017/s0940739119000328. Green open access

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Abstract

This article addresses a methodological lacuna in studies of African cultural property: states are rarely subjected to the same detailed ethnographic enquiry as communities local to heritage sites. I argue that this is the result of historical circumstances and disciplinary trends treating states as nebulous “up there” entities distinct from the grassroots—and, thus, subject to different modes of enquiry. I demonstrate a corrective approach through a historical ethnographic examination of the government of Lesotho’s archives, examining a period from 1991 to 1993 that saw early efforts to create a national monument at Thaba Bosiu. This detailed view reveals habits of thinking about heritage among bureaucrat-intellectuals, administrators, and international consultants. It offers new insights into how state actors articulated visions for new industries, public participation, and spirituality in public life as well as how to demonstrate incapacity to secure future development funds.

Type: Article
Title: How Do African States Think about Cultural Property? Re-Visiting Management Elites in Southern Africa
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/s0940739119000328
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0940739119000328
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10094638
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