Workshop:Heritage, Diversity and the Legacies of Empire, London, 17th May 2013

Heritage, diversity and the legacies of empire’

17th May 2013, 11.00 – 18.00

Institute for Commonwealth Studies

Room 349 Senate House

Malet St, London, WC1E 7HU

This symposium will investigate the ways that legacies of empire inform approaches to heritage and diversity in Europe. Bringing together scholars and practitioners from a range of disciplines and countries, the workshop will analyse how ideas about diversity have developed in response to global debates and local situations. While it is clear that international bodies, including UNESCO, ICOM and the EU have had an important role in developing frameworks, much less is known about the ways institutional circumstances and local political contexts lead to a great variety of approaches. Are processes institutionally or audience-driven? Which theories of diversity underpin heritage practices? How important are the legacies of empire in this process? And which parts of the imperial pasts are emphasised or refuted as heritage? The symposium will think about how to approach these questions transnationally, compare cases, highlight connections and develop directions for future research.

The symposium is co-hosted by the Isambard Centre for Historical Research and the Brunel Heritage Research Network, Brunel University London, the Institute for Commonwealth Studies, London, and the Frontières du Patrimoine/Borders of Heritages Project (Paris) with support from the Centre interdisciplinaire d’étude et de recherche sur l’Allemagne (CIERA).

For those wishing to attend, the symposium will conclude with a guided tour of the Africa collections in the British Museum on the morning of Saturday 18 May.

For further details and to register, contact astrid.

Attendance fee (covering lunch and tea/coffee): £10 concession and £15 waged.


11: 00 – 12:30            International Frameworks

Chair: Tamson Pietsch (Brunel University)

Philip Murphy (Institute of Commonwealth Studies): Welcome

Astrid Swenson (Brunel University): Introduction: Heritage and Diversity in Europe

Isabelle Vinson (UNESCO): Diversity and the International Heritage Protection framework: a contribution to the research debate

12:30-13:30                Lunch

13:30- 15:00               Old and New Institutions,

Chair: Inge Dornan (Brunel University)

Hélène Ivanoff (Centre Georg Simmel-EHESS, Paris): ‘The European appropriation of artefacts during the colonial period: the Frobenius’s example in Nigeria’

Dominique Poulot  (Paris I): ‘Collecting for contemporary society: an agenda for the “musées

de société” in France’?

Sam Aylett (Brunel University): ‘The British Commonwealth Museum’

15:00-15:30                Coffee

15:30-17:00                Communities and Publics

Chair: Nabila Oulebsir (Université de Poitiers)

Barbara Knorpp (Brunel University): ‘Film as Heritage? An Ethnography of the National Film Archive (British Film Institute)’

Philip Murphy (ICS), ‘Defending Britain’s “Christian Heritage” or celebrating diversity? The troubled history of the Commonwealth Multi-Faith Observance’

Catherine Leonard (National Trust) ‘Cultural diversity in the National Trust movement’

17:00- 18:00.             Concluding Roundtable: Comparisons and Research Perspectives.

Chair: Astrid Swenson, Discussants:  Rebecca Madgin (Leicester), Sara Selwood (London)

18th May 2013

Guided tour of the Africa collections in the British Museum

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