‘Presence’ and ‘absence’ in themed heritage

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We take the case of an industrial museum portraying the Victorian period and investigate the commercial staging of history. We argue that this re-enchants the past through the culmination of a series of factors, including: ‘the spatial and temporal organization of material history’; ‘the material ‘re’-production of history’ and; the ‘politics of absence’. We posit that absence is not simply a case of what is not there. Rather, absence can be experienced, it can be felt and it can be evoked through the medium of heritage. Absence also has agency and can be political in that it can conceal or render invisible, alternative, subaltern or excluded narratives to those of the master discourse. This in turn has consequences for how the past is experienced and understood.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-38
Number of pages14
JournalAnnals of Tourism Research: a social sciences journal
Early online date22 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018


  • Absence
  • Presence
  • Themed heritage
  • Material history
  • Participatory observation
  • Industrial museum


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