A Future in Ruins: UNESCO, World Heritage, and the Dream of Peace (Paperback)Lynn Meskell (author)
- Coming soon
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Number of pages: 400
Dimensions: 235 x 156 mm
A Future in Ruins transcends the boundaries of history, archaeology, politics and anthropology an enlightening and enjoyable book to read. * Mohamed Gamal Abdelmonem, Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review *
This is a highly original and timely reassessment of UNESCO's checkered global mission since the late 1940s. While Meskell's book is ostensibly about UNESCO, world heritage, and the changing practices of archaeology, it is also a powerful rereading of international history and the broader politics of preservation in today's world. For those interested in the history of internationalism, contemporary global politics, and heritage studies, this is a must read. * Paul Betts, University of Oxford *
A Future in Ruins represents the first in-depth analysis of UNESCO from its heady beginnings in a postwar world to the very different political and cultural attitudes to heritage in the present. Meskell brings her considerable analytical skills to bear on the personalities and structures of the organization and the material remains on which they focused. This is a book for anyone concerned with the past and present of global heritage. * Chris Gosden, University of Oxford *
This timely book's insight and subtlety will set the diplomatic world by its ears. Meskell shows how UNESCO's pious pose of cultural universalism masks nationalistic-and Eurocentric * pursuits. Her argument steadily moves us toward the unexpected revelation that UNESCO's interventions, understood by the world's disenfranchised as redolent of Western arrogance, increase the threat to the cultural treasures they are supposed to protect. *
Meskell has written a timely and important work that combines anthropology, politics, and archaeology to consider the history and legacy of UNESCO...The author's honest, thought-provoking treatment brings into question the abilities and benefits of UNESCO while highlighting some of the complex political and historical actions that have brought about the precarious role it now plays."- Choice
Making an argument for urgently needed reform, Meskell presents numerous case studies and an analysis of UNESCO'S legal framework, which is vulnerable to manipulation by corrupt actors."- The New Yorker, Briefly Noted Section
In A Future in Ruins, archaeologist Lynn Meskell offers an institutional ethnography of UNESCO. The organization's broad remit ranges from publishing to promoting women in science, but Meskell focuses exclusively on its role in protecting world heritage and archaeology, particularly through the 1972 World Heritage Convention. Inevitably, this role has been highly political. UNESCO's mission was to end global conflict and help the world rebuild materially and morally, Meskell observes. Yet increasingly, she argues, its efforts are caught up in the proliferation and prolongation of local conflicts and tensions...Meskell offers a trenchant critique of how UNESCO's aim of preventing war sits oddly with projects commemorating sites associated with violence [while noting] notes that international recognition enshrines only one version of history."- Nature
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