- Political Geography (transnationalization of civil society actors)
- Geography of Industrial Tourism/Transnational Industrial Heritage
In Germany, the total legacy of industrialization processes is regarded as a cultural expression of the industrial age and its everyday life, and this is reflected in the new concept of 'industrial culture' (in German: 'Industriekultur'). It has been increasingly used since the 1980s instead of the internationally applied 'industrial heritage'.
Both this broader concept and discourse shifts will be presented, as well as the astonishing development that has been taken place in Germany: Today, a high variety of representations of the country's industrialization phases are listed and protected, among them four UNESCO Industrial World Heritage sites.
This might give the impression that Germany's main industries and phases of industrialization are now represented in quite a comprehensive way by existing heritage sites.
The paper, however, will also point to typical - and sometimes disturbing -blind spots that should be addressed more properly. Five major deficits will be addressed, namely issues linked to
(1) Inventories (i.e. to take stock of existing legacies),
(2) Evaluation criteria and procedures (i.e. the basis for final site selection), and
(3) Representation (of industrial sectors).
Two more blind spots, however, will be much more difficult to address as
they may touch upon delicate sensitivities of identity and trauma in any given
(4) Uncomfortable events and periods of our histories (e.g. during wars) and
(5) Transnationalities (e.g. transboundary influences from abroad and / or outreach