Tag Archives: Gothenburg

CFP: Elective affinities. Critical approach of religious heritage-making in the Mediterranean

The call for paper for the Workshop Elective affinities. Critical approach of religious heritage-making in the Mediterranean included in the International Conference The Re/theorisation of Heritage Studies, to be held in Gothenburg, Sweden, in June 5-8, 2012, is now open.

Short abstract
This workshop focuses on the relationships between religion and heritage in the Mediterranean. It aims to study the entwining of these two phenomena and reveal the eventual particularities of religious heritage-making, as well as to discuss the conceptions of heritage embedded in the monotheist religions, and re-examine the cultural matrix that religion and heritage share, redefine or negotiate through memory practices.

Extended Abstract

Historically, the three monotheistic religions in the Mediterranean area appear related to various heritage objects and phenomena, such as archaeological ruins, architectural works, places of worship, museums, organised itineraries, and religious tourism. In this respect, the Mediterranean could be represented through an open-air museum conserving the three confessions embedded in the archaeological landscape of the Antiquity. Moreover, the history of religious diffusion, the superposition of political and religious power, and the colonial history of heritage intervention have blurred the frontiers between heritage, politics and religion with regard to objects, practices and buildings viewed as patrimony. Nowadays, the Mediterranean is also marked by cultural practices aiming to define and preserve the religious heritage of alternative religious confessions or movements, such as Sephardic, ex-colonial Catholic, Soufi, Gnawa, or Protestant communities. Therefore, the Mediterranean is a rich field to investigate the links between religion and heritage both in the longue durée and in the contemporary heritage-making.

This workshop aims to discuss the relationships between religion and heritage in the Mediterranean area, and discuss the conceptions of heritage embedded in the monotheist religions, while dealing with questions such as: Why and how does believers construct heritage? Which are the heritage tools they adopt or reject from the world of the museums? What are the modalities of collaboration between believers and curators? And, conversely: What do heritage practices adopt from the religious world? How do the (dis)agreements between dogma, memory and amnesia become manifest in the world of heritage? Does the ecumenical dialogue fit with heritage-making and memory-making processes? How does the global structure of religions deal with localised purposes and determinations, both at the institutional and personal level? In multi-confessional contexts, what are the effects of one confession heritage policy on the other(s)? And, what are the links between public heritage institutions and religious authorities?

Ethnographic case studies are especially welcome but inquiries into theory are also expected. Main topics and objects of study include religious World heritage sites, museums, heritage initiatives, religious tourism, heritage performances and discourses of confessions oriented groups and lobbies, as well as social and political uses of religious heritage.

Cyril Isnart, Cidehus/Universidade de Évora, Portugal, isnart@uevora.pt
Luís Silva, CRIA/FCSH-UNL, Portugal, luis.silva98@gmail.com

To apply for this workshop, before January 31, please send a paper abstract with around 250 words length to:

Bosse Lagerqvist (Organisation committee)
Email: bosse.lagerqvist@conservation.gu.se
Fax: +46 31 786 4703
Mail: University of Gothenburg, Conservation
P.O. Box 130
SE-405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden

CFP : Critical Excess? Or, what is gained and lost for Heritage Studies through the critical view?


For the inaugural conference of the Association of Critical Heritage Studies ‘The Re/theorisation of Heritage Studies’ in Gothenburg, Sweden, June 5-8 2012.

We seek contributions to the following session. Please send a title and abstract of no more than 250 words to both convenors by 28 January.

Critical Excess? Or, what is gained and lost for Heritage Studies through the critical view?

The ‘critical view’ has been a key mode of scholarly enquiry in Heritage Studies – as signalled by the foundation of the Association of Critical Heritage Studies. Used to identify certain kinds of political inequality, and to express certain kinds of hope for reconstructing emancipatory heritage, the ‘critical view’ has itself come in for a certain amount of criticism in recent years. Its efficacy has been queried by those who suggest that it has not had the effects its proponents have argued for (Handler and Gable 1997, p.8). Counterpoints to the ‘critical view’ have, thus, emerged.

Bruno Latour has long proposed a method of Actor-Network-Theory as one such counterpoint. He argues:

When faced with new situations and new objects, [the ‘critical view’] risks simply repeating that they are woven out of the same tiny repertoire of already recognized forces: power, domination, exploitation, legitimization, fetishization, reification. Law may be socially constructed but so is religion, economics, politics, sport, morality, art, and everything else built with the same material; only the name of the ‘field’ changes. The problem of critical sociology is it can never fail to be right. (2005, p. 249)

In other words, the ‘critical view’ is in danger of never being surprised and always discovering what it expects to find. The broad point we take from Latour is that any theoretical view is about managing complexity – excluding some things (objects, subjects, experiences, affects, materialities, temporalities, scales) so that others can be seen more clearly (Law and Mol 2002; Strathern 1994; 2002).

Taking this as our starting point, this session asks ‘what is at stake in how the critical view manages complexity?’. We invite papers to respond to this question by drawing on theoretical and methodological ‘counterpoints’ which might ‘see’ that which exceeds the critical. These could include, yet should not be restricted to, Actor-Network-Theory (Latour 2005; Bennett 2005, 2007), complexity theory (Law and Mol 2002), phenomenology, vitalism (Lash 2006, 2007), assemblage (DeLanda 2006; Bennett and Healy 2009), or non-representational theory (Thrift 2010). Papers should provide conceptual and/or empirical reflection on how the boundaries of the ‘critical view’ are being – or indeed could be – redrawn. What surprising, puzzling, or paradoxical insights emerge through the use of such counterpoints? What politics do such counterpoints enable? And how are these alternative views enacted through exhibition, display, collection, conservation, or communication heritage practices?  By considering such questions, our aim is to identify what is ‘gained’ and ‘lost’ through the ‘critical view’ as a particular mode of academic knowing within Heritage Studies.

Helen Graham, University of Leeds (h.graham@leeds.ac.uk)

Jennie Morgan, University of Manchester (morgan.jfr@gmail.com)

Urban Issues in Patrimonialization
Session presented and co-chaired by
Lucie K. Morisset, professor, Department of Urban and Tourism Studies
Luc Noppen, professor, Canada Research Chair on Urban Heritage
University of Quebec in Montreal, Canada
Session proposal for the Association of Critical Heritage Studies Inaugural Conference
to be held at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, June 5-8, 2012
In contemporary cities, patrimonialization, i.e., the fabrication of patrimony or heritage in its various discur-
sive or material aspects, gives rise to specific issues linked to the particularities of city living, social environ-
ments, and urban development. More specifically, the conjunction of the processes of symbolic investment
that have defined built patrimony for more than two centuries and of economic development processes in a
context of metropolization and the rethinking of urban functions, increasing mobility, and worldwide compe-
tition among cities seems to be reflected in changes to the practices and very notion of patrimony. Light-
years removed from the reified-in-itself historical monument and the traditional institutions that consecrated
it, patrimony now seems fated instead to rely on external constructs ranging from citizen empowerment to
community or real estate recalibrations. In this context, it functions either as an instrument of change, or as
a discourse on the urban environment.
Beyond rupture patrimoniale (Rautenberg), machinerie patrimoniale (Jeudy), the heritage game (Pea-
cock and Rizzo), and further still from the perils of Choay’s “capacity to build,” it turns out that patrimony’s
proliferation in public space and other spheres of human activity has highlighted what might be called, in
Austin’s sense (How to Do Things with Words), patrimony’s performative character, i.e., the double character-
istic of the patrimonial utterance, that of having no truth value and of performing some kind of action: in this
case, we observe that urban patrimony does not merely change the meaning of the built whole it is applied to,
it also changes the nature of the object it concerns and the subject that gives it life (Morisset). Above and
beyond the post-1968 social struggles that used the defence of this or that block of houses as a basis for
affirming a new form of social cohesion, patrimony began by consolidating its role as a lever for citizen’s
demands, particularly through presentism (Hartog), patrimondialisation (Gravari-Barbas), and a shrinking of
territorial frames of reference that has given rise to “little worlds that surround us,” i.e., the elevation of peo-
ple’s mere proximity to a declaration of identity. At this level, that of the city dweller, patrimony becomes the
medium for political constructs and the identifying marker for those who represent it. Elsewhere, patrimony
supports economic development of the territory using its cultural connotations to set a given city apart
amidst “the chorus of globalization.” A form of currency, it can support profound economic transformations
linked to the older principles of urban requalification, but now channelled by business, particularly in tourist
districts. Or by contrast it might provide a neighbourhood with “urban infra-sutures” (Dlandstudio), but-
tressed by community dimensions inherent in the definition of patrimony: at this point patrimonialization is
motivated no longer by aesthetics or exceptionality, but by social meaning and notions of community appro-
priation, giving rise to local development without reversing habitual processes.
This session seeks to examine these three ways of performatively uttering the subjects and objects of
built patrimony—patrimonialization—in the urban environment, from a transdisciplinary perspective. By more
specifically targeting either citizens’ discourse on “their” patrimony or operations relating to the attribution of
patrimony-based social and property values, we hope to interrogate the transformation of patrimonial arte-
facts, the instrumentalization of patrimonial performativity, and the impact of these two contemporary di-
mensions of urban patrimony on the notion of patrimony itself. From this perspective, and with an eye to
evaluating the issues and impacts of urban patrimony’s performativity, proposals for papers might examine
such topics as the effects of real estate valuation strategies in urban sites on the World Heritage List; local
development projects based on the use value of the patrimony or, more generally, the semantic transfor-
mations brought about by such conversions; campaigns to save built elements or complexes for their patri-
monial value, and so forth.
Please email abstracts no later than January 10th to
Bosse Lagerqvist (Conference Organisation Committee),
with cc to Lucie K. Morisset (session organizer):

CFP : Critical Heritage Studies: The Ethnographic Perspective, Gothenburg


For the inaugural conference of the Association of Critical Heritage
Studies on the topic of “Re-theoretisation of heritage” in Gothenburg,
Sweden, 5-8 June (http://www.science.gu.se/infoglueCalendar/digitalAsset/1775484548_BifogadFil_Conference_Announcement_ACHS%202012_Third_CALL.pdf),
we seek contributions to the following panel. Please send a title and
abstract of no more than 250 words to both convenors by 28 January.



Critical Heritage Studies: The Ethnographic Perspective

Anthropologists, as well as cultural geographers and sociologists, have
assembled a considerable body of ethnographic work on cultural heritage.
Through methods such as participant observation, interviews, and
multi-sited research, they have investigated how people live with
heritage and how heritage institutions, professionals, and interpreters
go about their daily business. They have been particularly interested in
the articulation of conscious self-representation and not-so-conscious
everyday practices, including the resistant and subversive ones. Yet
more than anything else perhaps, they have documented the sheer variety
of voices and interests surrounding heritage: professional heritage
managers, custodians, spokespeople, owners, practitioners and all those
who are affected by, or hope to profit from, heritage and heritage
policies in one way or another. Ethnography therefore allows for richer
analysis, detailed narratives, and deeper probing of heritage matters,
both of the celebratory discourse of official institutions and of those
very critical analyses in the social sciences and humanities that take
the exclusionary and exploitative effects of heritage for granted.

In this panel, we wish to take stock of the ethnographic approach to
heritage. What is to be gained by ethnographic research that cannot be
achieved through other methods, and further, where are its limitations?
In which specific ways is ethnographic research combined with other
methods, and which combinations are most productive? In research
settings, how do heritage ethnographers position themselves vis-à-vis
researchers trained in other academic disciplines, and furthermore as
‘experts,’ when any pronouncement on heritage and its effects will
impact communities, stakeholders, and laypeople deeply committed to the
heritage in question? We invite contributions grounded in ethnographic
experience in heritage research, but also broader reviews of the field
and its methodological, political and moral aspects.

Kathryn Lafrenz Samuels, North Dakota State University

Christoph Brumann, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle

Prof. Dr. Christoph Brumann
Head of Research Group, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology
Honorary Professor, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

MPI for Social Anthropology
Advokatenweg 36
06114 Halle

TEL ++49 (0)345 2927-204
FAX ++49 (0)345 2927-502
EMAIL brumann@eth.mpg.de
HP www.eth.mpg.de/~brumann

CFP Session “Heritage in a Poscolonial Age”, inaugural ACHS conference Gothenburg

For the inaugural conference of the Association of Critical Heritage Studies on the topic of “Re-theorisation of Heritage” in Gothenburg, Sweden, 5-8 June 2012 (http://www.gu.se/infoglueCalendar/digitalAssets/1775484548_BifogadFil_Conference_Announcement_ACHS%202012_Third_CALL.pdf), I seek contributions to the following session:

When ‘the rest’ enters ‘the West’: Heritage in a Postcolonial Age

Since the beginning of modernity, international heritage tourists’ travel routes have typically led from “the West” to “the rest” of the world (“the West and the rest”, cf. Stuart Hall). In the last few years, however, the expansion and lower cost of travel opportunities on the one hand, and the economic upturn in parts of the global “East” and “South” on the other hand, have made western destinations accessible for more and more people from the former “rest of the world” in the framework of leisure-time travelling.

This session enquires whether and how western-influenced patterns of world order, constructions of identities, as well as interactions in tourist space change when “the West” no longer tours “the rest”, as has been practiced for centuries, but when “the rest” starts to knock on Western doors in order to consume locally, now in the role of tourists to be served,

– their own heritage in the western world, and/or

– “the West” in the variety of its local heritages.

With which consequences, re-establishing or thwarting existing power relations between cultures, will heritage(s) in these touristic settings be (re-)negotiated and (re-)experienced?

Particularly welcome are empirically oriented papers that examine the interaction of specific groups in tourist settings, such as travelers (from the global “South”/“East”), those visited (in the “West”) and those active in the service sector. Also very welcome are theoretically informed papers that criticize central concepts of heritage (tourism) studies – such as the tourist gaze, authenticity, experiential vs. educational tourism – for reproducing the West-rest-paradigm, or that challenge the West/rest dichotomy still noticeable in much heritage re­search.

In a nutshell, this session aims to bring together papers that take diverse “the rest and the West”-scenarios in the field of heritage tourism as a point of departure in order to

– a) critically reflect the “West-rest-paradigm” in the field of heritage research,

– b) sketch out new categories of scientific thinking and

c) set out to work on a new, postcolonial heritage research agenda.

Please send a title and abstract of no more than 250 words to Sybille Frank (Sybille.Frank@em.uni-frankfurt.de) by 28 January 2012. Thank you very much!

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Looking forward to your paper proposals,

with best wishes,



Dr. Sybille Frank | Vertretungsprofessur für Soziologie des Raums |

Goethe Universität Frankfurt | FB Gesellschaftswissenschaften |

Robert-Mayer-Str. 5 | Postfach 11 19 32 | D – 60054 Frankfurt am Main |

Telefon +49.069.798-22929 / Sekr.: -22052 |