Hilary Orange, ed.
Reanimating Industrial Spaces: Conducting Memory Work in Post-Industrial Societies.
Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press, 2015.
Address for correspondence: Department of Social Sciences,
Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3TU, UK.
The edited volume Reanimating Industrial Spaces: Conducting Memory Work in Post- Industrial Societies, which developed out of two panels at conferences of the Theoretical Archaeology Group and the European Association of Archaeologists, examines the varied afterlives of industrial sites after the abandonment of active production. Deindustrialization has radically transformed places and their communities and led to economic degeneration, material decay, and unemployment, with 22 million jobs lost between 1969 and 1976 in the United States alone. While often overlooked or regarded as useless wastelands, in the past decade industrial ruins have attracted an increasing number of scholars, artists, and urban explorers, leading to what Caitlin DeSilvey and Tim Edensor see as an “extraordinary intensification of academic and popular interest in the ruins of the recent past and associated realms of dereliction” (2013:465). Written mostly by archaeologists working on case studies in the United States, United Kingdom, Albania, and Uganda, among other places, the volume contributes to this literature by providing a global perspective on how these sites of former industrial production are reshaped and “reanimated” in the present. The notion of “reanimation” in the volume’s title is not primarily linked to urban regeneration and the making of official heritage but refers to something more fundamental: the processes through which these places are repurposed, lived in, and invested with (shifting) meanings through the processes of remembering and forgetting—a concern it shares with previously published monographs by Tim Edensor (2005), Steven C. High and David W. Lewis (2007), and Alice Mah (2012).