World Heritage and Urban Politics in Melaka, Malaysia
World Heritage and Urban Politics in Melaka, Malaysia
A Cityscape below the Winds
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15.6 x 23.4 cm
Asian Studies
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Table of Contents
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Starter: Into a World Heritage City
1 A Cityscape Below the Winds
World Heritage on the Ground
On Melaka
Fieldwork in and Beyond Melaka
Outline of the Chapters
2 The Heritage Affairs: Mouse-Deer, White Elephants, and Watchdogs
Antiquities: The Beginning
Museumification and Replication
Projects of a Developmentalist State
'Where There is Sugar, There Are Ants!'
Restructuring National Heritage
Society and the Heritage Affairs
A Multilayered Heritage Haze
3 UNESCO and the City
Tentative Steps: World Heritage Ambitions
The Hybrid State of Nomination
The State Party of Inscription
The Negeri of Conservation
Learning in the World Heritage Arena
4 Melakan Row Houses from the Ground Up
Row Houses of Old Melaka: A Background
Forsaken Buildings: The Post-war Period
Revaluation: From RUMAH Kedai to Rumah KEDAI
Housing Heritage: Some Approaches to Conservation
Façadomy of Private World Heritage Properties
The Malleability of Conservation Rules
What State of Conservation for the Row Houses?
5 Divide and Brand: Public Space, Politics, and Tourism
'To Visit Historic Melaka Means to Visit Malaysia'
Branding Streets in the Consociational Way
Jonker Street and Walk
A Walk for Cari Makan
'We Don't Need a Harmony Street, We Are the City of Harmony!'
A Political Tsunami in Jonker Street
Politicized Heritage
6 A Melakan Ancestral Village Beyond World Heritage
The Chetti Community: A Background
The Properties of the Ancestors
The Making of a Kampung Warisan
'We Are Sitting on a Gold Mine!'
The Kampungscape and The High-rise
'See You on the Thirteenth Floor!'
What World Heritage Thresholds Do
7 Epilogue of a Blessing and a Curse
Ethnographies of World Heritage Cities
A Transnational Mis(s-)Understanding
Topographies of World Heritage Exclusions
Postscript: Inheriting the Cityscape in the Age of Hope?

Reviews and Features

"[...] this book is a welcome addition to the growing literature on UNESCO heritage making processes and politics, highlighting it as ‘both a blessing and a curse’ (p. 274). [...] the book already gives much food for thought on global heritage making in a Southeast Asian city, paving the way for others to then take up these follow-up questions."
- Hamzah Muzaini, Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, Vol. 43, Iss. 2

"The author’s approach is to explore the issues from the ground up. He has combined considerable skill at sifting and analyzing documents with a remarkable talent, and sensitivity, for locating and interviewing a diverse array of people who are impacted by or actively engaged in the events. The result is a valuable contribution to the ethnography and the continuously unfolding history of Melaka."
- Jerry Dennerline, JMBRAS, Vol. 95, Pt. 2

Pierpaolo De Giosa

World Heritage and Urban Politics in Melaka, Malaysia

A Cityscape below the Winds

Already celebrated as a busy entrepôt and the most glorious of the Malay kingdoms of the past, Melaka has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List (together with George Town) since 2008 on the strength of its multi-ethnic and multi-religious urban fabric. Yet, contrary to the expectations of heritage experts and aficionados, the global mission of safeguarding cultural heritages has become a tumultuous issue on the ground.
In World Heritage and Urban Politics in Melaka, Malaysia: A Cityscape below the Winds how the World Heritage 'label' has been, and continue to be used by different actors – such as international organizations, nation states, and society at large – to generate new economic revenues as well as to attract tourists and investments for large-scale real estate development projects is analyzed, revealing the complex and often contradictory stories behind heritage designations in urban milieus.

Pierpaolo De Giosa

Pierpaolo De Giosa is a social anthropologist and former member of the research group ‘The Global Political Economy of Cultural Heritage’ at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology. His research interests lie at the intersection of urban studies and critical heritage studies.