This course provides a global (and European level) introduction to “heritage”. It explores how heritage conservation is also (part of a bigger) conversation and “genealogy”. This unit is complemented by the course “critical heritage studies” (emphasizing 21st century scholarly perspectives). It introduces key concepts and themes that are developed in the whole master program. How is heritage policy and practice structured and structuring in the 21st century on the planet earth and its universe?
The goal is to first introduce an overarching heritage (work) frame, and even paradigm, in the 2020s in a historical and intercontinental perspective. We are not only focusing on European narratives on the evolution of patrimoine/heritage since the 18th century (in particular the French Revolution) but also in other continents, in particular in Asia. Next to China, Japan and Korea, in particular India will be discussed (via the work of Romilia Thapar). We also explore the relevance of notions like historicity (regimes), politics of scales and levels.
The emergence of different heritage policy frames on the global level, in particular via UNESCO, is studied in depth, focusing on the relevant UNESCO conventions, recommendations and programmes, as they frame, inspire and structure heritage discourse, policy and practice in the second half of the 20th and the first half of the 21st century. This is linked to other relevant frames on the global level, in particular the sustainable development goals (Agenda 2030). Of course, the 1972 World Heritage Convention, the 2003 Convention and other Basic UNESCO texts, and their implementation, will be discussed, both as policy texts and via para-ethnographic studies of the institutions and networks involved. An experimental exploration of “universal” issues in these heritage paradigms (in space) is provided as an annex.
This is complemented with a discussion on “glocal ethics” and the relevant ethical tools for heritage work, including the tension between relative autonomy and interventions, the notions and tools of prior and sustained consent and access and benefit chairing. Furthermore the consequences of the Burra Charter, of participatory methods, and the importance of values and significance assessment are discussed.
A last part will focus on the European level, in particular the 2005 (Faro) Framework Convention on the value of heritage for society, within a wider framework of heritage conventions of the Council of Europe and the recent recommendations of other European institutions.