Sustaining Identity, Recapturing Heritage

Sustaining Identity, Recapturing Heritage : Exploring Issues of Public History, Tourism, and Race in a Southern Rural Town

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This book explores the complex web of public history, tourism, and race in Luray, VA, a small town in the Shenandoah Valley ensconced in Lost Cause heritage. By utilizing a diverse range of methodologies, including ethnography, this book demonstrates how contested race relations are in this area, and how racial exclusion interacts with the politics of public history.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 138 pages
  • 160.02 x 231.14 x 17.78mm | 385.55g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739119915
  • 9780739119914

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 Creating the Past in Luray Chapter 3 "...But Slavery Cured us of that Weakness": The Search for the "Private" Public History of African Americans in Luray Chapter 4 Subverting Heritage and Memory: Luray's "Ol' Slave Auction Block" Chapter 5 Tourism and Battles for Cultural Identity Chapter 6 Recapturing Identity: The "Life on the Mountain" Exhibition at Shenandoah National Park Chapter 7 Epilogue-Interpreting for the Future
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Review quote

Ann Denkler lifts the veil off of one of our most treasured tourist areas to reveal the 'real people' living in Luray, Virginia. Her contributions to discussions of heritage tourism and oral history not only fill a void in our historical knowledge, but also unveil the long reach of segregation. Sustaining Identity shows us what we have been missing by not deeply interrogating the hidden terrain of the tourist destinations we often visit and love. -- P. Williams-Forson, University of Maryland, College Park This book has an important and laudable thesis. Denkler makes the correct arguments and seems to draw the correct conclusion. * Virginia Magazine Of History - Biography, November 2008 * Denkler argues passionately for writing black history into Luray's displays of public history. * Journal of American History, December 2008 * Succinct, clearly written study....Denkler has provided a highly readable study that raises important challenges....Few works on these topics have so insightfully unpacked views of the past from both sides of the color line. Her work is a monument to the value of interviews in enriching research in published sources and the interpretation of cultural landscapes. * H-Net: Humanities and Social Science Reviews Online, January 2009 * The body of critically informed interdisciplinary work that engages with African Americans as cultural and heritage agents of tourism is relatively non-existent in this burgeoning field. Denkler's Sustaining Identity, Recapturing Heritage fills a significant void in the literature on race and travel. This book provides an engaging, thought provoking, and well-researched historical account of ways in which African Americans maneuvered through these designated touristic spaces framed by the backdrop of racial segregation across the American South. The book reveals how travel became yet another system of control that told African American tourists they could only visit, eat, and stay in certain places. The African American tourism experience was separate but not equal, experienced in more private settings and one that, to this day, remains un-documented in the mainstream tourism scholarship that is oblivious to racial context. -- Angel David Nieves, University of Maryland, College Park
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About Ann E. Denkler

Ann Elizabeth Denkler is assistant professor of history at Shenandoah University.
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Rating details

3 ratings
3.66 out of 5 stars
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