Remembering and forgetting sites of reform in New York

Wilson, R. (2015) Remembering and forgetting sites of reform in New York. International Journal of Heritage Tourism, 21 (6). pp. 545-560.

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This article examines how sites of reform in New York are remembered and forgotten over successive generations during the twentieth century. These sites are locations where industrial accidents or public disasters resulting in injury or loss of life have initiated changes to politics, infrastructure and public welfare provisions in the metropolis. However, these events are not always maintained in the city’s commemorative schemes. Indeed, incidents that have caused substantial fatalities, whilst immediately remembered within the city, can appear to be disregarded by society with the passing of time. This process can be examined in the context of the debates within heritage studies, a discipline which has traditionally been concerned with preservation and conservation and which has neglected a study of ‘social forgetting’. In this manner, the absence of memory regarding sites of reform in New York can demonstrate the significance of remembering and forgetting for a ‘critical heritage studies’. Forgetting illustrates processes of authority, control and resistance, but it also demonstrates an active, engaged agenda that reflects the needs, values and desires of individuals, groups and societies. This assessment of New York’s sites of reform highlights how a new area of analysis can be formed through examining how societies forget.

Publication Type: Articles
Subjects: E History America > E151 United States (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GT Manners and customs
Divisions: Academic Areas > Institute of Arts and Humanities > History
Depositing User: Ross Wilson
Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2015 14:14
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2018 15:13

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