Project Title

Support for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage

Presenters

Academic department under which the project should be listed

RCHSS - Geography & Anthropology

Faculty Sponsor Name

Brandon D. Lundy

Abstract (300 words maximum)

With the growth of neoliberal values in U.S. society, many sites valued as important to cultural and historical heritage are threatened by a lack of public support, funding, and interest. The effects of this erosion of support for cultural heritage can be seen in many counties throughout northern Georgia, where historical sites have been neglected and even destroyed during the expansion of the suburbs and other infrastructural projects. Preservation and the study of cultural heritage allows communities to feel pride in themselves and exercise their political rights based on a shared heritage. In order to protect cultural heritage, research shows the importance of educating the public. The goal of this project is to research ways institutions associated with cultural heritage, such as historical societies and museums, educate the public. Semi-structured interviews will be conducted with heritage experts to gather data on how the issue of cultural heritage is understood and dealt with on a cultural level. Data will also be gathered through focus group discussions with history and anthropology majors at Kennesaw State University, in order to see how cultural heritage is perceived and valued by university students educated on these issues. Based on the literature reviewed, this study hypothesizes that the best way to educate the public about cultural heritage should be direct communication with the public, especially youth. Through experience and research, school activities and childhood museum visits can spark a fascination with history and heritage that lasts a lifetime and can directly affect policy decisions beyond neoliberal considerations that focus on short-term fixes instead of long-term preservation, heritage, and patrimony.

Keywords: preservation, heritage, patrimony, history, northern Georgia, archaeology, education

Project Type

Poster

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Support for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage

With the growth of neoliberal values in U.S. society, many sites valued as important to cultural and historical heritage are threatened by a lack of public support, funding, and interest. The effects of this erosion of support for cultural heritage can be seen in many counties throughout northern Georgia, where historical sites have been neglected and even destroyed during the expansion of the suburbs and other infrastructural projects. Preservation and the study of cultural heritage allows communities to feel pride in themselves and exercise their political rights based on a shared heritage. In order to protect cultural heritage, research shows the importance of educating the public. The goal of this project is to research ways institutions associated with cultural heritage, such as historical societies and museums, educate the public. Semi-structured interviews will be conducted with heritage experts to gather data on how the issue of cultural heritage is understood and dealt with on a cultural level. Data will also be gathered through focus group discussions with history and anthropology majors at Kennesaw State University, in order to see how cultural heritage is perceived and valued by university students educated on these issues. Based on the literature reviewed, this study hypothesizes that the best way to educate the public about cultural heritage should be direct communication with the public, especially youth. Through experience and research, school activities and childhood museum visits can spark a fascination with history and heritage that lasts a lifetime and can directly affect policy decisions beyond neoliberal considerations that focus on short-term fixes instead of long-term preservation, heritage, and patrimony.

Keywords: preservation, heritage, patrimony, history, northern Georgia, archaeology, education