This book challenges traditional approaches to heritage interpretation and offers an alternative theoretical architecture to the current research and practice. Russell Staiff suggests that the dialogue between visitors and heritage places has been too focused on learning outcomes, and so heritage interpretation has become dominated by psychology and educational theory, and over-reliant on outdated thinking. Using his background as an art historian and experience teaching heritage and tourism courses, Russell Staiff weaves personal observation with theory in an engaging and lively way. He recognizes that the 'digital revolution' has changed forever the way that people interact with their environment and that a new approach is needed.
Russell Staiff holds a PhD in art history from the University of Melbourne where he was the foundation lecturer in the postgraduate visual arts and tourism program. He began his life in heritage and tourism as a tour guide in Italy. Currently, he teaches in the heritage and tourism program at the University of Western Sydney and Silpakorn University, Bangkok. He researches the various intersections between cultural heritage, communities and tourism with a particular emphasis on Southeast Asia.
Contents: Prologue: the known, the unknown and other ruminations; Anecdotes and observations; Tilden: beyond resurrection; The somatic and the aesthetic: embodied heritage experiences; Visual cultures: imagining and knowing through looking; Narratives and narrativity: the story is the thing; Digital media and social networking; Conversing across cultures; Enchantment, wonder and other raptures: imaginings outside didacticism; References; Index.