This module will ask: What is heritage? Who defines it? Who should control its management and preservation? How is the notion of 'heritage' used to unite or otherwise divide communities? What are some of the consequences of the ways different groups appropriate and utilise heritage? Is there a universal right to free access, expression, and preservation of heritage, and if so, how is it expressed? What are the impacts of globalisation on heritage issues?
These questions will be explored through trans-geographical and trans-historical analysis of case studies that help to define heritage as a cultural practice involved in the construction, regulation, and resolution of the different values and significance attributed to heritage, locally and globally. The module will also compare national and international frameworks and how their implementation affects local policies and practices for the management of heritage. Ultimately, the module seeks to examine which regulations and management strategies can be put in place to effectively promote cultural diversity, in the aim to make societies more inclusive, resilient, and peaceful.
Heritage is necessary for the definition and preservation of cultural identity and forms the basis of humanity's rich cultural diversity. Based on this assumption, scholars in the sector have begun to claim that heritage should be considered a fundamental human right. At stake is the question of whether heritage rights should be considered in the same way as a person's right to life, liberty, and security. Such a claim comes with contradictions, since while some groups might define a cultural practice as a human right, others may claim that that practice violates the very notion of human rights. It is clear that 'while heritage can unite, it can also divide'.
Syllabus (note: this is an example of the topics that may be covered and is subject to change):
- Introduction. What is heritage? Why are we interested in it? Can heritage be considered a human right?
- Preservation and management of heritage: from local to World Heritage.
- Uses of the past: heritage and identity.
- Threats to heritage.
- Heritage and war: destruction, resilience, and memory.
- Natural disasters: destruction, resilience and memory (which differences between man-made and natural destruction?).
- The climate crises and its effects on heritage: sustainable responses.
- New technologies as aid for protection, preservation, reconstruction, and memory recollection.
- Presentation of outline of essay, including bibliography (formative assessment).