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Marine Cultural Heritage: Frontier or Centre?

Lehman, Jessica

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Marine cultural heritage is an area of emerging international interest among different sectors of society. Drawing together a diverse set of literatures on marine cultural heritage, maritime archaeology, the development of the 2001 UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage, and ocean politics more broadly, this paper examines the ways in which marine cultural heritage might be understood as a frontier in terms not only of spatial territory, but also for knowledge, governance, and politics. As such, marine cultural heritage may bring the disciplinary practices of maritime archaeology into contact with more radical marine politics of postcolonial, subaltern, and Black scholarship. This analysis thus suggests stakes of marine cultural heritage for different communities, reaching far beyond the sites and objects themselves, and shows why marine cultural heritage is emerging as an urgent and dynamic concern at the present moment. Yet ultimately, whether or not marine cultural heritage is truly a frontier is a question that has different meanings depending on the perspective from which it is asked. These differing perspectives illuminate the changing meaning of ocean space as well as struggles over material and immaterial marine resources, and suggest that the frontier is itself a contested concept.


Lehman, J. (2018). Marine Cultural Heritage: Frontier or Centre?. International Social Science Journal, 68(229-230), 291-301.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 30, 2018
Online Publication Date Sep 5, 2018
Publication Date Sep 5, 2018
Deposit Date Nov 16, 2018
Publicly Available Date Sep 5, 2020
Journal International Social Science Journal
Print ISSN 0020-8701
Electronic ISSN 1468-2451
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 68
Issue 229-230
Pages 291-301


Accepted Journal Article (204 Kb)

Copyright Statement
This is the accepted version of the following article: Lehman, Jessica (2018). Marine Cultural Heritage: Frontier or Centre? International Social Science Journal 68 (229-230) pp.291-301, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.

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