AGAINST THE “MOONLIGHT AND MAGNOLIA” MYTH OF THE AMERICAN SOUTH. A NEW MATERIALIST APPROACH TO THE DISSONANT HERITAGE OF SLAVERY IN THE US: THE CASE OF WHITNEY PLANTATION IN WALLACE, LA
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The article presents an analysis of the operations of the Whitney Plantation Museum, which opened in 2014 in Wallace, LA (USA), situated within the context of plantation heritage tourism in the American South. The argumentation offers an illustration of the significant transition, even though still of marginal character, of the dominant tendencies of representing slavery in heritage sites (plantation museums) devoted to cultivating knowledge about the history of the region. New materialist in its orientation, the analysis subscribes to the most fundamental assumption of this philosophical tendency, namely that knowledge is generated in material-semiotic ways, and applies this approach in an enquiry into the educational experience offered to visitors by this heritage site. The article argues that although the emergence of institutions such as Whitney Plantation is meant to pluralise the memorial landscape of a given community, rather than serving as multivocal spaces they tend to remain steeped in fragmentation.
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