The Oxford New American Dictionary defines vandalism as an action involving deliberate destruction of or damage to private or public property. When applied to heritage, the term usually refers to negative acts that aim to alter or destroy the perpetuation of historic buildings, works of art, and other heritage sites. Yet, as students of history we also know that defacement and demolition of heritage is as old as the history of art and architecture itself. Whether motivated by religious fervor, devotion, political upheaval, derangement, or the urban mischief that has become the norm in modern urban centers, such acts of unauthorized attack on the built environment are historical records as well as unwelcome attacks. They are explicable if not legitimate responses to real or perceived tyranny, augurs of change, and sometimes even works of art unto themselves.
This issue will explore the many facets of vandalism as a global response that has long participated in the destruction as well as recreation of heritage and its preservation. We will look for a range of topics that include case studies and theoretical examinations of the topic, the role of popular culture in transforming unauthorized interventions into valid forms of expression, and historical examples of heritage transformed by vandalism. The goal is to expand the definition of vandalism and address its symbiotic relationship to preservation of heritage.
Articles are generally restricted to 7,500 or fewer words (the approximate equivalent to thirty pages of double-spaced, twelve-point type) and may include up to ten images. The deadline for submission of manuscripts for the fall 2014 issue is August 1, 2013. Guidelines for authors may be requested from Meredith Keller (firstname.lastname@example.org), to whom manuscripts should also be submitted. For further information please visit cot.pennpress.org.
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