Call for Papers: The Cultural Heritage of Europe @ 2018. Re-assessing a Concept – Re-defining its Challenges.

Paris, 4-5 June 2018, Institut national d’histoire de l’art.

International Conference organized by LabEx « Écrire une Histoire Nouvelle de l’Europe », University Paris-Sorbonne.

Concept: Michael Falser, visiting professor, University Paris-Sorbonne (2018) with Dany Sandron, professor, University Paris-Sorbonne

Today’s globalized concept of cultural heritage is often understood as a product of European modernity with its 19th-century emergence of territorially fixed nation-states and collective identity constructions. Within the theoretical overlap of the disciplines of history (of art), archaeology and architecture cultural properties and built monuments were identified and embedded into gradually institutionalized protection systems. In the colonial context up to the mid-20th century this specific conception of cultural heritage was transferred to non-European contexts, internationalized in the following decades after the WWII and taken as universal.

Postcolonial, postmodern and ethnically pluralistic viewpoints did rightly question the supposed prerogative of a European Leitkultur. Only rather recently did critical heritage studies engage with the conflicting implications of progressively globalized standards of cultural heritage being applied in very local, non-European and so-called ‘traditional’ contexts. However, in order to bridge what academia often tends to essentialize as a ‘Western’ and ‘non-Western’ divide of opposing heritage conceptions, a more balanced viewpoint is also needed in order to update the conceptual foundations of what ‘cultural heritage of/in Europe’ means today.

By taking into consideration the recent processes of the accelerated exchange and global circulation of people, goods and ideas, the conference aims to reconstitute the old-fashioned units of analysis of what ‘European cultural heritage’ could be by locating the European and the non-European in a reciprocal relationship in order to evolve a non-hierarchical and broader conceptual framework. With a focus on cultural properties (artefacts), built cultural heritage (from single architectures, ensembles and sites to whole city- and cultural landscapes etc.), and their forms of heritagization (from archives, museums, collections to cultural reserves), case-studies for the conference can address the various forms of the ‘cultural’ within heritage: its ‘social’ level (actors, stakeholders, institutions etc.), its ‘mental’ level (concepts, terms, theories, norms, categories) and, most obviously, its ‘physical’ level with a view on manipulative strategies (such as transfer and translation, reuse and mimicry, replication and substitution etc.).

Abstracts with name and affiliation of the speaker, title and 200 words abstract of the presentation are due with the deadline of 10 November 2017. Candidates will be notified on 30 November 2017.

The proposals for papers should be sent to: patrimoine.europe2018@gmail.com

The full call for papers can be accessed here or downloaded.

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