Representations of Identities Within Mobile Applications that Seek to Interpret Dissonant Heritage

Dunkley, R. and Smith, T. (2018) Representations of Identities Within Mobile Applications that Seek to Interpret Dissonant Heritage. European Social Science History Conference 2018, Belfast, Northern Ireland, 04-7 Apr 2018.

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This paper explores the use of mobile applications to interpret historical landscapes of warfare for which there are few material artefacts or markers remaining to aid interpretation. It takes as its case study the ‘Walking with Romans’ application, developed by the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority in Wales, UK. The application enables visitors to navigate a Roman marching camp and fortlet and exists to encourage visitation to a lesser visited part of the Brecon Beacons National Park, through the development of a resource that enables visitors to navigate the remote site using their mobile phone or tablet. ‘Walking with Romans’ combines visual, audio and interactive interpretations of the Roman occupation of the landscape explored. This paper draws upon a research project that investigated the experiences of visitors to the site who were using the app in pairs or as family groups, using both innovative video analysis and conversation analysis to explore user experiences. The study revealed that although the use of the application enhanced the visitor experience, enabling users to visualise the Roman site, interactions with the application were not unproblematic. Through visitor’s conversations with each other and within follow-up interviews participants drew attention to the representations of different identities within the application narrative. This issue will be discussed within this paper, extrapolating examples from the dataset, revealing that the process of constructing narratives for heritage landscapes, particularly those that might be sites of dissonant heritage is a process that requires the involvement of multiple stakeholders, if the needs of non-homogenous visitor groups are to be met.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Dunkley, Dr Ria
Authors: Dunkley, R., and Smith, T.
Subjects:G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
L Education > L Education (General)
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Social Justice Place and Lifelong Education

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