CFP: SIEF’S Working Group on ‘Cultural Heritage and Property’ – 4th meeting, 13 – 14 September 2012, Barcelona

Call for Papers

Working Group on ‘Cultural Heritage and Property’

4th meeting. 13 – 14 September 2012. Barcelona – Spain

Meeting Theme

Local Impact of Heritage-Making

After the 3rd and successful meeting of the SIEF’s Working Group on ‘Cultural Heritage and Property’ in Pori, Finland, we are pleased to announce the call for papers for the 4th meeting of this WG, to be held in Barcelona, Spain, from 13 to 14 September 2012, adressing the theme Local Impact of Heritage-Making.

Short Abstract

This meeting addresses the local impact of heritage-making. The aim is to discuss in a comprehensive way and with empirical grounds the political, economic, physical and socio-cultural impact that the making of heritage actually have at the local, micro-level.

Long Abstract

In the last decades, Unesco, international NGO’s, governments at all administrative levels, and cultural decision-making institutions have been particularly active in the making of heritage in both developed and developing countries. Underpinning this development is the assumption that heritage provides a number of potential benefits to local populations such as creating jobs, raising incomes and the general standard of living, creating a positive image for a site, and promoting empowerment, cultural development and collective identity. Yet knowledge over the actual impact of the making of heritage at the local and thus micro-level is still scarce.

The local context cannot be underestimated in the process of heritage-making, for various reasons. For a start, global dynamics such as the making of heritage (either “tangible” or “intangible”) are localized in sites where people live in and make their way of life along with other individuals. On the other hand, the construction of local identities – in order to legitimate the new uses and values of a place – is closely related to the individual’s daily practices, representations and discourses which inform about the economic and social transformation of sites in the global context. Finally, the local level is the arena where social groups and individuals with often different particular interests strive to take economic, political and social advantage of heritage.

In this meeting, we are interested in discussing the local impact of heritage-making, particularly in political, physical, economic and socio-cultural terms. Proposals should deal with the following questions: What impact does the making of heritage have on the social context? Does it give rise to new social categories? What is the effective contribution of heritage to cultural and socioeconomic development? Does it alter the distribution of power? And how is the protection of lived cultural resources as heritage reconciled with people’s more immediate needs and interests over those cultural resources? Ethnographic and historical case studies are especially welcome, but inquiries into theory are also expected.

Location: University of Barcelona, Spain

Fees: 30 inscription.


To apply for participation in the meeting, please send an abstract (250 words) with contact details and affiliation before April 30, 2012 to The results will be made public by May 31, 2012.

Note: the adopted work language will be English

Meritxell Sucarrat, University of Barcelona

University of Barcelona, Spain
Centre for Research in Anthropology, Portugal

Support: Research project “Patrimonialization and redefinition of the rurality. New uses of the local heritage” (MICINN – CSO2011-29413)


(Additional information on travel and accommodation arrangements to be sent;

For any other further information, please contact the organization).

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