Recent Opportunities


Making, Sustaining, Breaking – The Politics Of Heritage And Culture

Annual Conference
Cluster of Excellence "Asia and Europe in a Global Context", Heidelberg
Forum Transregionale Studien (Berlin) and the Max Weber Stiftung –
Deutsche Geisteswissenschaftliche Institute im Ausland
in collaboration with the German Archaeological Institute (Berlin)

The deliberations of the conference will address some of the urgent
questions that surround heritage as a political and cultural issue at a
historical juncture when the idea of culture is being drawn into a
field of intense contestation. While in certain intellectual circles
and scholarly discussions culture is slowly but steadily being
uncoupled from the nation, these impulses are at the same time being
countered by moves to reinforce – even reinvent – national identities
as culturally homogenous.  As societies confront their transcultural
pasts, the concept of a monolithic, integrative heritage is not only
becoming increasingly untenable, it is turning into a site of conflict.
Ruptures induced by the spatial and cultural displacements that come
with modernity and contemporary globalization have in turn meant a
return to notions of an ancient, untainted civilizational identity in
many regions of the world. Such positions cut across the domains of
politics and civil society – they include political and institutional
authorities as well as scholarly practices, have at the same time found
articulation in religious extremism and xenophobia embodied by
fundamentalist groups, themselves a modern, transnational phenomenon.
Fissures within public spheres that cut across national boundaries in
an increasingly connected world have brought questions of cultural
heritage to the heart of any engagement with the tangled relationship
between concepts of culture and the nation-state.

SAH thanks The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation
for its operating support.
Society of Architectural Historians
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Copyright - (c) 2012