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.
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.
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, email@example.com
Luís Silva, CRIA/FCSH-UNL, Portugal, firstname.lastname@example.org
To apply for this workshop, before January 31, please send a paper abstract with around 250 words length to: