Destruction or dialectics: Other iconoclasms and the new heritage culture industry

Rosalind Morris


This essay examines Zoë Strother’s efforts to historicize recent debates about the repatriation of cultural heritage while also situating contemporary protest movements, such as “Rhodes Must Fall,” in the long and varied history of iconoclasm on the African continent. Additionally, it considers what might be gained conceptually if iconoclasm is extended to encompass forms of critique directed against dominant image traditions by feminists and critical race theorists. It asks if such an explosion of the concept might deliver us from the colonial histories that try to explain African resistance to colonialism as an effect of African culture.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/712093