Book for 2020: Heterotopia and Heritage Preservation

Book coming out next year:

Smaranda Spanu

Heterotopia and Heritage Preservation: The Heterotopic Tool as a Means of Heritage Assessment

Springer Press (2020)


This book approaches the field of built heritage and its practices by employing the concept of heterotopia, established by the French philosopher Michel Foucault. The fundamental understandings of heritage, its evolution and practices all reveal intrinsic heterotopic features (the mirror function, its utopic drive, and its enclave-like nature). The book draws on previous interpretations of heterotopia and argues for a reading of heritage as heterotopia, considering various heritage mechanisms – heritage selection, conservation and protection practices, and heritage as mnemonic device – in this regard. Reworking the six heterotopic principles, an analysis grid is designed and applied to various built heritage spaces (vernacular, religious architecture, urban 19th century ensembles). Guided through this theoretical itinerary, the reader will rediscover the heterotopic lens as a minor, yet promising, Foucauldian device that allows for a better understandingof heritage and its everyday practices.