Associate Professor Emma Waterton


Dr Emma Waterton with trees and the Female Orphan School in the background.Emma Waterton is an Associate Professor in the Geographies of Heritage and works in the area of Heritage Studies. Before taking up her post at UWS in 2010, she held an RCUK Academic Fellowship in the areas of History and Heritage at Keele University. Her research explores the interface between heritage, identity, memory and affect, and critically analyses public policy, especially those tackling social inclusion, multiculturalism and expressions of national identity. Together, these interests challenge dominant conceptualisations of heritage found in policy, which tend to privilege the cultural symbols of a particular social group. In particular, her work attempts to illustrate how and why, despite attempts to mitigate instances of exclusion, recent policies continue to lean towards the predictable melding of cultural diversity with tendencies of assimilation.

 

Qualifications

BA (Qld), MA, PhD (York)

 

Areas of Research/Teaching Expertise

Heritage Studies, Heritage Tourism, Cultural Policy

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Grants/Current Projects

Australian Cultural Fields (with Tony Bennett, David Rowe, Greg Noble, Fred Myers, Deborah Stevenson, Modesto Gayo, Tim Rowse, Graeme Turner and David Carter).

(Funded by the ARC Discovery Scheme)

This interdisciplinary project investigates the shaping of Australian art, literary, media, sport, and heritage fields, individually and collectively, by the changing national and transnational environment since the 1994 national cultural policy Creative Nation. Like Creative Nation, its primary focus is on the relation between these fields and the nation, but also pays particular attention to the distinctive forms of cultural capital associated within and across these fields, especially ethnic cultural divisions and the distinctive presence of Indigenous culture. This project's empirical application and assessment of the concept of the 'cultural field' will contribute to the international development of cultural theory. 

Photos of the Past: The negotiation of identity and belonging at Australian tourism sites

(Funded by the ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award)

This project offers a comparative analysis of the way Australia's past is constructed and remembered at three categories of heritage tourism sites (six sites in total). The project will examine how the messages presented at each site are used to underpin present day constructions of national belonging and will do so by targeting 'affect' (felt responses to atmosphere, mood and message). Methodologically, the project will involve the ubiquitous touristic practice of 'photographing', which will allow the research to move beyond notions of representation and consider how processes of 'taking photos' can be used to access sensory experiences, recover memories and imbue touristic sites with meaning.

Recently completed projects

Memorialisation and Affect: Remembering Pearl Harbour

(Funded by the University of Western Sydney Research Seed Grant Scheme)

This project will explore the way visitors construct and express identity at a range of heritage tourism sites associated with Pearl Harbour. The project will examine how messages presented at such sites are used to underpin present day constructions of national belonging and will do so by targeting 'affect' (felt responses to atmosphere, mood and message). Methodologically, the project will attempt to move beyond notions of representation and consider how affective experiences at tourism sites work to shape collective, shared memories and imbue such sites with personal meaning.

Everyday geopolitics: Nationalist subjectivities and ANZAC thanatourism (with Dr Jason Dittmer)

(Funded by the University of Western Sydney IRIS Scheme)

This project explores the affective experiences of memorial visitors using methodological innovations that can open up collective experiences of place and related intensities of affect. The research questions are both theoretical and methodological: First, how are affective spaces of thanatourism produced via specific practices, materials & relations? Second, how do we best capture this affective dimension? Recovering the affective dimension requires the adoption of innovative methods capable of qualitatively investigating sensory experiences and the means by which people imbue touristic sites with meaning. This project engages in unobtrusive observation, supplemented with a form of performative ethnography advocated by Morgan and Pritchard (2005). Close description of bodily responses to the rituals and sites of memorials will be collected, such as participants' posture, gestures, smiles, tears, spontaneous hand-holding, etc. (as per McCormack 2003). Close observation of the engagements and orientations of participants vis-à-vis landscape elements will be used to note the role of the non-human in co-producing affects.

Signs of a Distant Past: interpretive signage and the representation of Indigenous history in Australian protected areas (with Dr Annie Clarke)

(Funded by the University of Sydney)

This project will examine how Indigenous cultures are presented to the public in protected areas through a textual analysis of interpretive signage. In protected areas different representational tropes are used to interpret colonial/settler, natural heritage and indigenous places. Do these contrasting interpretive strategies signify to visitors a hierarchy of place value in protected areas? Does the signage at indigenous places alienate contemporary communities from country and history through a distant and detached view of culture, authorised via the template of scientific objectivity? These questions will be investigated through a comparative study at Carnarvon Gorge, Gariwerd, and Uluru National Parks.

Overcoming Obsolescence? Museums, Heritage and Identity in the Potteries 

(Funded by the British Academy)

Recent New Labour government policies charged with sponsoring community regeneration and social inclusion have associated deindustrialised areas with a negative and dismissive construction of 'heritage'. This project aims to challenge this association by proposing that important and meaningful cultural work is undertaken in such areas, not only in terms of understanding the past, but in engendering expressions of place, identity and belonging in the present. To do so, the project attempts to understand the ways in which people actively and critically engage with identity work at industrial-era social history museums/visitor centres in the Potteries. As part of the project, I am working closely with a number of museums, and the data collected includes interview material with museum staff, educational officers and museum visitors.

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Awards and Recognition

2012-2014: ARC Discovery Early Career Research Grant

2010: Internal Research Scheme Grants, Seed Grant for Early Career Researchers, University of Western Sydney

2008–2010: British Academy Small Grant 

2006–2010: Research Councils United Kingdom (RCUK) Academic Fellow in History and Heritage

2003–2006: Arts and Humanities Research Council Studentship, Doctoral Award

2002–2003: University of York Masters Scholarship

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Selected Publications

Books

Waterton, E & Watson, S 2014, The Semiotics of Heritage Tourism, Channel View Publications, Bristol. 

Lean, G, Staiff, R & Waterton, E (eds) 2014, Travel and Transformation, Ashgate Publishers, Aldershot. 

Lean, G, Staiff, R & Waterton, E (eds) 2014, Travel and imagination, Ashgate Publishers, Aldershot. 

Gammon, S, Ramshaw, G, & Waterton, E (eds) 2014, Examining the olympics: heritage, identity and performance, Routledge, London. 

Howard, P, Thompson, I & Waterton, E (eds) 2012, Routledge companion to landscape studies(opens in a new window), Routledge, London.

Silberman, N, Bauer, A., Diaz-Andreu, M, Holtforf, C & Waterton, E (eds) 2012, The Oxford Companion to Archaeology, Oxford University Press, New York. 

Smith, L, Waterton, E & Watson, S (eds) 2012, The cultural moment in tourism(opens in a new window), Routledge, London. 

Waterton, E & Watson, S (eds) 2010, Heritage and community engagement: collaboration or contestation?(opens in a new window), Routledge, London.

Waterton, E 2010, Politics, policy and the discourses of heritage in Britain(opens in a new window), Palgrave Macmillan, Hampshire.

Waterton, E & Watson, S (eds) 2010, Culture, heritage and representation(opens in a new window), Ashgate Publishers, Aldershot.

Smith, L & Waterton, E 2009, Heritage, communities and archaeology(opens in a new window), Gerald Duckworth and Co, London. 

Smith, L & Waterton, E (eds) 2009, Taking archaeology out of heritage(opens in a new window), Cambridge Scholars Press, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Hull, D, Grabow, S & Waterton, E (eds) 2007, Which past, whose future? Treatments of the past at the start of the 21st century(opens in a new window), British Archaeological Reports, Oxford.

Book Chapters

Lean, G, Staiff, R & Waterton, E 2014, 'Exploring travel and transformation', in G Lean, R Staiff & E Waterton (eds), Travel and transformation, Ashgate, Aldershot. 

Lean, G, Staiff, R & Waterton, E 2014, 'Lasting impressions' in G Lean, R Staiff and E Waterton (eds), Travel and Transformation. Ashgate, Aldershot.  

Lean, G, Staiff, R & Waterton, E 2014, 'Reimagining travel and imagination', in G Lean, R Staiff & E Waterton (eds), Travel and imagination. Ashgate, Aldershot.  

Lean, G & Waterton, E 2014, 'Travel and imagination: an invitation', in G Lean, R Staiff & E Waterton (eds), Travel and imagination. Ashgate, Aldershot.  

Waterton, E 2014, 'Archaeology within public education: disciplining through education', in C Smith (Editor-in-Chief) Encyclopaedia of Global Archaeology, Springer.

Waterton, E 2014, 'Museums and memory experiences', in C Smith (Editor-in-Chief) Encyclopaedia of Global Archaeology, Springer.

Waterton, E 2013, 'Heritage tourism and its representations', in R Bushell, R Staiff & S Watson (eds), Heritage and tourism: place, encounter, engagement(opens in a new window), Routledge, London, pp. 64-84.

Waterton, E 2013, 'Landscape and non-representational theories', in P Howard, I Thompson, I & E Waterton (eds), The Routledge companion to landscape studies(opens in a new window), Routledge, London, pp. 66-75.

 Thompson, I, Howard, P & Waterton, E 2013, 'Introduction', in P Howard, I Thompson & E Waterton (eds), The Routledge companion to landscape studies(opens in a new window), Routledge, London, pp. 1-7. 

Watson, S, Waterton, E & Smith, L 2012, 'Moments, instances and experiences', in L Smith, E Waterton & Watson (eds), The cultural moment in tourism(opens in a new window), Routledge, London, pp. 1-16. 

Waterton, E & Watson, S 2012, 'Shades of the caliphate: the cultural moment in southern Spain', in L Smith, E Waterton & S Watson (eds), The cultural moment in tourism(opens in a new window), Routledge, London, pp. 161-81.

Smith, L & Waterton, E 2012, 'Constrained by commonsense: the authorised heritage discourse in contemporary debates', in J Carman, R Skeates & C McDavid (eds), The Oxford handbook of public archaeology, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 153-71. 

Waterton, E 2011, 'The burden of knowing versus the privilege of unknowing', in L Smith, G Cubitt, R Wilson & K Fouseki (eds), Representing enslavement and abolition in museums: ambiguous engagements, Routledge, London, pp. 23-43. 

Waterton, E & Smith, L 2010, 'The recognition and the misrecognition of community heritage', in E Waterton & S Watson (eds), Heritage and community development: collaboration or contestation?(opens in a new window),  Routledge, London, pp. 12-23.

Waterton, E & Watson, S 2010, 'Heritage and community development: collaboration or contestation?', in E Waterton & S Watson (eds), Heritage and community development: collaboration or contestation? (opens in a new window), Routledge, London, pp. 1-12.

Watson, S & Waterton, E 2010, 'Introduction: a visual heritage', in E Waterton & S Watson (eds), Culture, heritage and representation: perspectives on visuality and the past(opens in a new window), Ashgate Publishers, Aldershot, pp. 1-16.

Waterton, E 2010, 'Branding the past: the visual imagery of England's heritage', in E Waterton & S Watson (eds), Culture, heritage and representation: perspectives on visuality and the past(opens in a new window), Ashgate Publishers, Aldershot, 155-73.

Smith, L & E Waterton 2009, 'Introduction: heritage and archaeology', in E Waterton & L Smith (eds), Taking archaeology out of heritage(opens in a new window), Cambridge Scholars Press, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, pp. 1-9.

Waterton, E & Smith, L 2009, 'There is no such thing as heritage', in E Waterton & L Smith (eds), Taking archaeology out of heritage(opens in a new window), Cambridge Scholars Press, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, pp. 10-27.

Smith, L & Waterton, E 2009, 'The envy of the world: intangible heritage in the United Kingdom', in L Smith & N Akagawa (eds), Intangible heritage(opens in a new window), Routledge, London, pp. 289-302.

Waterton, E 2008, 'Declining communities', in R Rakoczy (ed.), The archaeology of destruction(opens in a new window), Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, pp. 107-27.

Waterton, E 2007, 'Heritage as discourse: an institutionalised construction of the past in the UK', in D Hull, S Grabow & E Waterton (eds), Which past, whose future? Treatments of the past at the start of the 21st century(opens in a new window), British Archaeological Reports, Oxford, pp. 31–39.

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Edited Journal Volumes

Waterton, E & Winter, T 2013, Special volume: critical heritage studies, International Journal of Heritage Studies, vol. 20, no. 6.

Gammon, S, Ramshaw, G & Waterton, E 2013, Special volume: examining the olympics: heritage, identity and performance, International Journal of Heritage Studies, vol. 19, no. 2.   

Smith, L, Cubitt, G & Waterton, E (eds) 2010, 'Special volume: museums and the bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade'(opens in a new window), Museum and Society, vol. 8, no. 3.

Waterton, E & Watson, S 2010, 'Special volume: heritage and community engagement: collaboration or contestation?'(opens in a new window), International Journal of Heritage Studies, vol. 16, no. 1&2.

Atha, M & Waterton, E 2008, 'Special section: Recovering landscape as a cultural practice'(opens in a new window), Journal of Landscape Research, vol. 33, no. 5.

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Journal Articles

Waterton, E & J Dittmer 2014, 'The Museum as assemblage: bringing forth affect at the Australian War Memorial' Museum Management and Curatorship, vol. 29, no. 2, pp. 122–139.

Waterton, E & Watson, S 2013, 'Framing theory: towards a critical imagination in heritage studies', International Journal of Heritage Studies, vol. 19, no. 6, pp. 546-61.

Gammon, S, Ramshaw, G & Waterton, E 2013, 'Editorial: Examining the Olympics: heritage, identity and performance', International Journal of Heritage Studies, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 119-24.

Smith, L & Waterton, E 2011, 'Heritage and the politics of exclusion'(opens in a new window), Current Swedish Archaeology, no. 19, pp. 53-57.

Waterton, E 2011, 'In the spirit of self-mockery? Labour heritage and identity in the potteries', International Journal of Heritage Studies, vol. 17, no. 4, pp. 344-63.

Watson, S & Waterton, E 2010, 'Reading the visual: representation and narrative in the construction of heritage', Material Culture Review(opens in a new window), no. 71, pp. 84-97.

Waterton, E 2010, 'Humiliated silence: multiculturalism, blame and the trope of "Moving On"', Museum and Society(opens in a new window), vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 128-57.

Waterton, E 2010, 'The advent of digital technologies and the idea of community', Museum Management and Curatorship(opens in a new window), vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 5-11.

Waterton, E & Smith L 2010, 'The recognition and the misrecognition of community heritage', International Journal of Heritage Studies(opens in a new window), vol. 16, no. 1&2, pp. 4-15.

Waterton, E, Smith, L, Wilson, R & Fouseki, K 2010, 'Forgetting to heal: remembering the abolition act of 1807', European Journal of English Studies(opens in a new window), vol. 14, no. 1, 23-36.

Waterton, E & Wilson, R 2009, 'Talking the talk: policy, popular and media responses to the bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade using the "abolition discourse"', Discourse and Society(opens in a new window), vol. 20, no. 3, pp. 381-99.

Waterton, E 2009, 'Sites of sights: picturing heritage, power and exclusion', Journal of Heritage Tourism(opens in a new window), vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 37-56.

Waterton, E & Atha, M 2008, 'Introduction: recovering landscape as a cultural practice', Landscape Research (opens in a new window), vol. 33, no. 5, pp. 509-10.

Waterton, E & Smith, L 2008, 'Grey literature review: heritage protection at the start of the 21st century', Cultural Trends (opens in a new window), vol. 17, no. 3, 197-203.

Waterton, E 2006, 'The meaning of "heritage": mapping discursive perspectives with Q methodology', Operant Subjectivity, vol. 29, no. 3&4, pp. 138-81.

Waterton, E, Smith, L & Campbell, G 2006, 'The utility of discourse analysis to heritage studies: the Burra charter and social inclusion', International Journal of Heritage Studies(opens in a new window), vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 339-55.

Waterton, E 2005, 'Whose sense of place? Reconciling archaeological perspectives with community values: cultural landscapes in England', International Journal of Heritage Studies(opens in a new window), vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 309-26.

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Book Reviews

Staiff, R & Waterton, E 2013, Metusela, C & Waitt, G, Tourism and Australian Beach Cultures. Channel View Publications, Bristol. Gender, Place and Culture. 

Waterton, E & Porter, L 2011, 'Unlearning the colonial cultures of planning' , Ashgate, Aldershot, Landscape Research, vol. 37, no. 3, pp. 389-91.

Waterton, E 2011, Nyseth, T & Viken, A (eds), ' Book review: place reinvention – northern perspectives', Ashgate, Aldershot, Urban Studies, vol. 48, no. 13, pp. 2917-18.

Waterton, E, Ashton, P & Kean, H (eds) 2011, 'People and their pasts: public histories today'(opens in a new window), International Journal of Heritage Studies, vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 195-96.

Waterton, E, Sorensen, MS & Carman J 2010, 'Heritage studies: methods and approaches', Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites, vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 363-64.

Waterton, E, Casella, E & Fowler C 2007, 'The archaeology of plural and changing identities: beyond identification', Antiquity(opens in a new window), vol. 81, no. 313, pp. 800-01.

Waterton, E, Smiles, S & Moser, S 2006, 'Envisiong the past: archaeology and the image', Antiquity(opens in a new window), vol. 80, no. 310, pp. 1009-10.

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Activities

Editorial Board Membership: International Journal of Heritage Studies(opens in a new window), 2009–present

Journal of Heritage Tourism, 2012–present. 

Research Associate, Department of Archaeology, University of York, 2008–present

Board of Directors, Landscape Research Group, 2009–present

Associate Board, Sociology, 2008–2010


Contact

» Contact Dr Emma Waterton

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