This is the most thorough and sophisticated examination of the UNESCO heritage system to date. The author, a former tour operator and now an anthropologist, examines the cultural construction of this system from a number of points of view. Using the anthropological works of Appadurai, Bruner, Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Leite, Mazzarella and others, as well as the works of historians of art, museums and gardens, geographers of place-making, sociologists of authenticity, practice and memory, cultural theorists of cyberspace and educational theory, he carefully examines the origins, growth, applications and multivocalic reactions to the World Heritage making process. Although he examines events and monuments of Southeast Asia, especially Cambodia, and in Italy, especially Tuscany, in ethnographic detail, his knowledge of the heritage-making process is encyclopedic and critical. This is a book to be enjoyed for its timeliness, its revealing anecdotes, and its attention to contemporary social theory.
— Nelson Graburn, University of California, Berkeley & London Metropolitan University
Di Giovine's book is about possibly the largest broker of cultural meaning and institutional producer of 'heritage,' one which is virtually unimpeachable in its self-perpetuating discourse of legitimacy supported by ample cultural capital. Di Giovine offers a necessary critique, a deconstruction of both the tropes used by UNESCO in production of mythohistorical, disembedded heritage and a detailed look at the fractures in its universalizing agenda. Ultimately, the 'heritage-scape' is an important contribution to the discussion on the production of narratives and material culture of 'modernity'-defined through a normative experience of the past and a strategic structuring of that experience.
— Journal Of Tourism and Cultural Change
The book opens challenging new opportunities to look at heritage and tourism markets. During the past few years studies in cultural anthropology, sociology and geography have emerged that focus on the global heritage system. Michael A. Di Giovine's refreshing insights into the heritage of humankind could enhance a new form of dialogue between conservation specialists, tour operators and anthropologists and give impetus to debates about different cultures and conservation schools. Such a debate could also be a contribution to intercultural dialogue.
— International Journal of Heritage Studies
Di Giovine makes a contribution to academic and professional understandings about the role of administrative culture as it relates to the global level of world heritage and tourism. Di Giovine draws on his experience as tour operator and ethnographer to assess the production of meaning at World Heritage sites.
— Curator: The Museum Journal
Di Giovine terms the "UNESCO's newly ordered social structure" of World Heritage sites as the heritage-scape....The book is a project of global ethnography to conceptualize the notion, processes, and position of World Heritage Sites in contemporary globalized world….The book offers some unique perspectives regarding the relationship of heritage with tourism due to the author's experience as tour operator that brings in insights from within the tourism industry. The multi-sited ethnographic accounts of world heritage sites in the Southeast Asia is well weaved with discussion of how various players including the hosts, the guests and the heritage agencies interact in a complex network.
— Conservation South Asia
Debates continue to rage about the economic, political, and socio-cultural significance attached to, and conferred by, the UNESCO designation of "World Heritage." What Michael di Giovine achieves in this important book, through detailed research and critical theoretical reflection, is to ground these debates in a comprehensive and compelling examination of the motivations, processes, networks, and people which not only shape the meanings of the past, but which also project into the future. He carefully reveals that the World Heritage program of UNESCO, and the tourism associated with this, extend well beyond notions of privileged material preservation and can be seen to encourage a universal discourse which connects and unites people, places, and pasts and which can catalyze possibilities for meaningful exchange, experience, and peace. This is clearly an essential book for all interested in the relationships and meanings which lie behind, and are generated by, the notion of World Heritage.
— Mike Robinson, Leeds Metropolitan University
This book is a substantial monograph concerned with the interface between heritage and tourism. ... An innovative ethnography, …Di Giovine's work is successful in bringing to the fore the contingent, negotiated, and at times marginalising nature of World Heritage and mass tourism that happens in World Heritage sites in Southeast Asia. Of significance is his observation of the work of UNESCO beyond a designatory or list-making regime, and as a global ordering and placemaking process aimed at creating a peaceful transnational utopia. ... All in all, this is an exciting contribution to the field of heritage and tourism studies.
— Journal Of Heritage Tourism
The Heritage-scape: UNESCO, World Heritage and Tourism is a valuable compendium and very useful for those like ourselves who have worked near or in relation to World Heritage Sites. ... The book is worth bringing to people's attention.
— James Fernandez, Professor of Anthropology and of Social Sciences, University of Chicago
The Heritage-Scape is a "global ethnography" which provides a comprehensive and critical analysis of the complex relationship between UNESCO, World Heritage, and tourism. Described in the book as an anthropologist and former tour guide, Di Giovine draws upon extensive fieldwork, his participation in the tour industry, and close readings of UNESCO documents and texts in order to form his insightful coverage of this triangular relationship…. This is an important book. Di Giovine undoubtedly succeeds in this attempt to analyze UNESCO's World Heritage program, moving effortlessly between detailed case study illustrations of World Heritage-related processes at specific sites, explanation of the workings and declarations of UNESCO, and more generalized discussion of the processes and implications of this inherently globalizing endeavor. Indeed, this is an anthropological study of globalization par excellence. It is therefore an essential book for a broad readership, including academics, researchers, and students in the fields of anthropology of globalization, tourism studies, cultural studies and heritage, as well as practitioners in the area of heritage tourism. Di Giovine is to be applauded for this timely and comprehensive examination of the contemporary World Heritage system.
— Journal of Anthropological Research
Heritage-Scape is the most penetrating analysis of World Heritage to date and a thoughtful critical contribution to the grounding of heritage debates. Although it basically examines sites in Cambodia, the examples are well selected and analysed in depth to make a global analysis of the heritage-making process from almost all points of view. This gives rise to a deep text that is clear, comprehensive and full of suggestive ideas. It is incisive in its critical examinations, and offers various rich levels of readings that will surely encourage new approaches and studies of heritage in the broadest sense. It is definitely an essential book for anyone involved in heritage studies and - or- cultural geography.
— Cultural Geographies
At the forefront of advocacy, creation of new mechanisms and the teaching and dissemination of a variety of approaches to save our field and fulfill the profession’s basic moral directive of protecting cultural integrity and diversity, both living and historic, giving teeth to the work of anthropologists more than a generation ago who have helped build global indigenous peoples movements, and international law with new declarations and pressures for enforcement, and in other ways.
— Anthropology in Action
Across a range of disciplines, we are now awash in scapes, beginning with the social constructivist reengagement with landscape (e.g., Cosgrove 1984) and especially since Appadurai’s (1996) proposal of five dimensions of global cultural flows – all scapes: ethnoscape, mediascape, technoscape, financescape, and ideoscape. It was inevitable that heritagescape would be coined (see Garden 2006). Among the many uses of the term today, Mitchell and DeWaal (2009) define heritagescape as a landscape of historicalbuildings cum amenities, a place of commodified heritage. Here we have awareness of the economic forces driving heritage construction (literally and figuratively). Their work resonates with earlier studies of the manufacture and
consumption of heritage (see, e.g., AlSayyad).
Michael Di Giovine (2009) analyzes the heritage-scape that UNESCO has created, deploying the term in hyphenated form with the full weight of Appadurai’s disentanglement of
globalization. He asserts, correctly, that UNESCO is engaged in an “ambitious placemaking strategy designed to rearrange the geopolitical landscape into a reconceptualization
of the world. . . the heritage-scape is a real social structure which creates real material effects on a globally distributed population in accordance with UNESCO’s long-term goals” (2009: 6). This apprehension becomes a new point of departure in Cultural heritage studies.