Seminar: Sharon Macdonald, Lisboa, Programa de Doutoramento FCT em Antropologia | 21 de março


Past-presencing and the heritage-identity complex
Professor Sharon Macdonald

21 de março, 6ª feira, 18:00-20:00 
FCSH/NOVA | Edifício ID | sala a designar


This seminar will explore the way in which ‘heritage’ has come to be widely conceived and performed. It will argue that a particular model of ‘heritage’ – tightly bound up with expectations about the nature of identity and property – has become widespread internationally, supported by the classificatory and practical work of international organizations such as UNESCO. At the same time, however, if we shift refocus our analytical lens to look at the wide variety of ways in which the past may be drawn into the present – ‘past presencing’ – it is clear that there are ways of relating to the past and of conserving for the future that do not entirely fit the existing ‘heritage-identity complex’. This helps us to potentially ‘rethink’ what we mean by heritage and poses challenges to existing definitions. The seminar will examine this through a range of examples. In addition, it will give attention to the question of why ‘heritage’ – and the ‘heritage identity’ model – has been so widely adopted and why people visit sites of heritage. This will include giving consideration to the specific condensed and concentrated experiential time that heritage allows and the reflective potentials that flow from this.


Sharon Macdonald is Anniversary Professor of Cultural Anthropology at the University of York, UK, and Director there of the European Centre for Cultural Exploration. She previously held chairs at the University of Sheffield and the University of Manchester; and has also held visiting chairs in China, Germany and the US. Her most recent book is Memorylands. Heritage and Identity in Europe Today (Routledge, 2013). She is also author or editor of, among others,Difficult Heritage. Negotiating the Nazi Past in Nuremberg and Beyond (Routledge, 2009), A Companion to Museum Studies (Blackwell, 2006), and Behind the Scenes at the Science Museum (Berg, 2002). She is joint-managing editor of the forthcoming International Handbooks in Museum Studies (Wiley-Blackwell, 2015)

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