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Senior Research Seminar: Dr Thomas Yarrow

When Apr 29, 2016
from 04:15 PM to 06:00 PM
Where Seminar Room, Social Anthropology
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Dr Thomas Yarrow (Durham University)

Where knowledge meets: Heritage expertise at the intersection of people, perspective and place

Historic Scotland site meeting (credit: Thomas Yarrow)This paper explores meetings as spaces for the alignment of various forms of expert knowledge. Drawing on ethnographic research at Historic Scotland, the national heritage agency, it examines two forms of meeting in which experts come together. Building on recent work on the materiality of knowledge, these meetings are explored as a series of situated articulations that entail the complex and simultaneous negotiation of various forms of epistemic, social and material context. These ethnographic specificities are used to develop two linked points. Firstly, it is suggested that the lens of ‘meeting’ complicates the relatively monolithic characterisations of heritage expertise that attend widely influential formulations of an Authorised Heritage Discourse. Secondly it is argued that heritage practitioners’ own accounts of these negotiations highlight material and spatial dimensions of bureaucractic conduct that have that have received relatively little ethnographic attention in prevalent textually oriented accounts.

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