The Never-ending Story About Heritage and Museums: Four Discursive Models

Asensio and Pol articulate an integrative perspective on heritage and its models of presentation, particularly in relation to historical and cultural learning. They analyze recent developments surrounding heritage and its conceptualization. They introduce the citizen as a heritage producer, user, and decision-maker. And they address heritage presentation spaces, that is, in situ heritage, museums, and exhibitions. Furthermore, four discourse models of knowledge transfer that have evolved over time in the heritage context are discussed: (1) descriptive (from exclusive heritage to selective heritage), (2) explanatory (from interpretative heritage to comprehensive heritage), (3) narrative (from communication heritage to immersive heritage), and (4) participatory (from community heritage to social heritage). Each discourse model decisively orients the message transmission, the impact, and the institutional management of heritage.