Discovering Towneley Park : a digital and multimethod approach to understanding the effects of a digital heritage interpretation of a Lancashire park

McDonagh, A ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2042-7565 2018, Discovering Towneley Park : a digital and multimethod approach to understanding the effects of a digital heritage interpretation of a Lancashire park , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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Abstract

Focusing on Towneley Park in Lancashire, this research explores the intersection of outdoor park heritage and digital heritage interpretation. The project aimed to forefront the opinions of local park users through interviews, field visits and the co-production of a digital heritage object: Digital Towneley. The project contains four main aspects: (i) exploring the heritage meanings in a park space, (ii) applying a multimethods approach involving co-production, phenomenology and reflexivity, (iii) exploring the impact of a co-produced digital heritage object, and (iv) investigating how digital heritage is affected by socio-cultural discourses around digital media. The thesis explores traditional ideas of heritage as generally informed by historical discourse (Samuel 2012) as well as everyday heritage meanings. These alternative perspectives, identified by Smith (2006) as Authorised versus non-Authorised Heritage Discourses, are seen throughout the participants’ creation and communication of park heritage. The thesis puts forward the case that Authorised Heritage Discourses may be colonised by the lived experiences of the park users, thereby reinforcing the notion of agency in the heritage visitor. In adopting a phenomenological approach, this research engages with the importance of space and place as factors in the creation of park heritage meanings. Through theories including Foucault’s heterotopia (1986) and Deleuze & Guattari’s rhizome (2013), this thesis works towards an understanding of park heritage as a trans-temporal and trans-spatial network constructed by people. In addition, the thesis explores the role of the physical environment as part of our cognitive and meaning-making processes. The impact of digital heritage is explored in this project. Firstly, the effectiveness of Digital Towneley is discussed. This reveals the shortcomings of digital media in terms of embodied experience of place, but also demonstrates the potential of digital heritage to constitute authentic everyday heritage narratives around memory and legacy. Secondly, the thesis evaluates the role of digital heritage production as a means of challenging power structures at heritage sites.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media > Arts, Media and Communication Research Centre
Depositing User: Dr Alex McDonagh
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2019 13:41
Last Modified: 08 Oct 2019 13:41
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/51840

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