How Heritage’s Debate on Values Fuels Its Valorization Engine: The Side Effects of Controversy from Alois Riegl to Richard Moe | Christopher Koziol
Discussions of values and valuation constitute a substantial portion of the recent theoretical and policy discourse of heritage conservation. The contrast between many preservationists’ proclivity for broad inclusiveness and economists’ quest for specifiable and parsimonious models has now been explored through a number of heritage conferences and publications. This article moves the debate in a new direction. The argument begins with a discussion of the embedded and inevitable entanglements of assigning value, valuation, and the changeable process by which value is ascribed to an object, valorization. Although alluded to in a few other heritage publications, the discussion here turns to actor network theory (ANT), and specifically the work on the sociotechnical configuration of markets by Michel Callon, for direction. The heritage specific sections of the article focus on historical changes in the policy environment of preservation, and a discussion of how heritage stakeholders, even those as self-consciously detached as academic economists, must be considered to be actors embedded in those activities, including markets, which they propose to critique.
The full article is available at Project Muse.
Image: Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia, 1750. (Virginia Department of Historic Resources)