Tag Archives: Switzerland


Call for papers


International symposium, University of Lausanne, 6-7 September 2012

The purpose of this multidisciplinary and international symposium is to give scholars from various backgrounds and geographical areas working on the topic of heritage and museums an opportunity to meet. While aware of their differences of views, we wish to raise questions that are common to heritage and museums.

We propose to regard them both as part of one and the same process referred to as patrimonialization. We thus extend the meaning of this expression, primarily used in francophone studies, to refer to the historically situated projects and procedures that transform places, people, ‘traditions’, and artefacts into heritage to be protected, exhibited, and highlighted. Processes of patrimonialization are primarily a matter of cultural production and preservation. However, to the extent that they entail a selection of objects, persons and ‘traditions’ to be preserved and/or displayed, and a choice of the places and forms of the exhibits, they unavoidably involve economic, political and social stakes.

The heritage and museum boom occurring in many countries may be linked to an increased economic and political competition between localities, the enactment of multicultural policies, as well as the growing involvement of local actors – private citizens, families, foundations, NGOs, etc. Therefore, heritage and museum projects may be considered as situated at the intersection of a variety of arenas at the local, national, regional and global levels. At the heart of patrimonialization lies a scalar dynamic that raises the question of whether we may talk of « heritage-scapes ». These scapes would result from the encounter between Western paradigms and alternative models of relating to the past, and of producing and promoting culture.

We welcome contributions that address this multifaceted process and focus on one of its aspects: objects, arenas, sites and paradigms.

OBJECTS : The social life of objects in museums and heritage.

Objects have a social life and their status change in time and space according to the contexts of meaning and of use of which they are part. A material object may begin its career as a trivial one made for daily use and end up in the showcase of a museum as the unique witness of a past civilisation. Heritage objects are a relatively new category of human artefacts or natural elements that have reached the status of valuables because they are the symbol of an invisible and imagined universe rather than for their intrinsic characteristics such as artefacts made out of precious materials. While they do not represent primarily a divine or magic dimension, even though they sometimes do, they nonetheless are symbols of an immaterial universe whose main components are historical and aesthetic. Heritage objects represent the history, the identity, the richness of the social world that human societies have inherited and ought to preserve in order to shape the present and the future. The basic question we would

like to address is : how are things turned into heritage and how are the cultural processes of collecting, selecting, exhibiting, serializing and materializing the past orchestrated in the myriads of existing localities, as well as how do things turned into heritage acquire new statuses and meanings in the process. Another aspect we would like to consider is the impact on people lives of the fact that things turn into heritage. How do they transform symbolic configurations, aesthetic sensibilities and pragmatic behaviours? Finally, we wish to analyse the contours of heritage-scapes: what happens once heritage has ‘gone global’, when it becomes a cosmopolitan/cosmo-political heritage?

ARENAS : Intersections between scales

The patrimonialization process makes objects, sites and social actors interact in various arenas, producing a complex world where local and global forces intertwine. The various stakeholders of heritage production and consumption have their own cultural, social, economic and ideological background and the interactions between these actors take various forms that are related to specific historical and cultural circumstances. Colonial and postcolonial contexts constitute stimulating areas of investigation, insofar as we can compare the processes of patrimonialization taking place before, during and after colonization, considering a variety of geographical, cultural, sociopolitical and economic localities that have been under the rule of European states. Detailed case studies will highlight stakeholders’ strategies for choosing, protecting and emphasizing the value of objects or sites that became heritage through theses processes. Since heritage is continuously moving, we shall consider phenomena of globalisation and/or re-configuration or ‘glocalisation’ that bring about the emergence of original forms of heritage. In this context, our approach is twofold. On the one hand, we shall consider how local objects, sites, and customs become inscribed in larger networks, national, regional or global. On the other hand, how do local populations re- appropriate and reinterpret heritage which has been defined on a larger scale? Papers may also highlight the role of heritage as a tool allowing institutions, scholars and heritage promoters to trigger an active participation by local actors, especially the civil society, a fact which is regarded as a condition for a popular and democratic definition of heritage instead of an official and elitist one. On the contrary, papers could consider heritage as a tool of power that could be used to reinforce social and economic disparities and inequalities. Finally, we would like to address the issue of ‘cultural citizenship’ in order to explore to what extent the participation of all stakeholders in the patrimonialization process may lead to modernity, e.g. the emergence of modern citizens and modern nations.

SITES: The social production of places

In the process of patrimonialization, locality is generally a crucial criterion for evaluating and selecting artefacts, people, arts and traditions. The latter draw their “heritage-value” from their close association with specific places. If patrimonialization plays a part in the globalization of culture, it contributes also to the localization of culture. Processes of making heritage or museums result, in turn, in highlighting the particularity of a place and aim at increasing its attractiveness. Places are therefore socially produced in the course of a patrimonialization processes; from localities, they are turned into “sites”. We welcome papers that document and reflect upon the mechanisms underlying this social production of place. How are specific places chosen and circumscribed, and what are the stakes involved in this

selection? What are the links between processes of materialization (the creation of tangible elements of heritage, or visible museum objects) and the localization of culture within the space of the museum/the heritage site? How do objects/persons/‘traditions’ become « markers » of locality: trade marks, brands, symbols? To what extent do the architecture and designs of these sites contribute to the “branding”, the marketing of a place, and to the sites’ local or global reach? Are public spaces transformed into private places (or the opposite) and what are the consequences of such a change of status? How are these sites perceived by the local residents and are they used in ways that are not in line with their new status? We also welcome reflections on the methods used by the contributors to account for these sites and explorations of the relation between the ethnographic field site and the heritage or museum site.

PARADIGMS: encounters between Western and other models

The paradigm of heritage that has dominated the international scene in the second half of the 20th century is the product of various cultural traditions of European origin, some of which date back to the Renaissance. Exported to non-European countries by the colonial administrations as a political tool and as a symbol of Western modernity, the notion of cultural heritage and the practices, institutions, arrangements and knowledge it implies have been adopted in many contexts with various consequences. As a result, the so-called western model of heritage has been modified and reshaped in order to adjust to local configurations of the past and specific ways of preserving it.

One of the questions we would like to address is whether it is still possible today to identify a shared heritage paradigm or are we in the presence of multiple models existing side by side. We shall also explore how these paradigms interact with each other within national contexts and in transnational arenas such as UNESCO and ICOMOS. Another issue that is woth exploring is whether the dialogue between diverse heritage models is possible or whether their logics are irreconcilable. This topic is directly related to the reconfiguration of the relationships linking previously colonized or politically dominated states and the ‘West’ due to the new political and economic situation and the fabrication of globalized heritage-scapes: how shall the asymmetric relationships linking the western paradigm with other non-western models be re-examined and reformulated?

The proposals must be sent by the 15th of March 2012 at the latest to Laurence Gillot (lgillot@ulb.ac.be); Irène Maffi (irene.maffi@unil.ch) and Anne-Christine Trémon (anne- christine.tremon@unil.ch).

Conference: African memory in danger. Plundering and return of cultural and anthropological heritage in Africa


African memory in danger : Plundering and return of cultural and anthropological heritage in Africa

The African continent has been subject to plundering for centuries, the nature, form and motivation of which has varied with conquests, colonization, independence and globalization. At present, plundering and the illicit trade of cultural property have seriously affected African history and compromise the development of populations. Export of blood samples and repatriation of human remains also raise important ethical questions. For several years, laws have been formulated, agreements ratified, ethics code proclaimed and ethical commissions established. Local initiatives for cultural heritage protection appeared, the return of cultural property and biological remains was organized. Yet the positive effects have not always been seen, or the situation is shown to be more complex than expected.

Organised by the swiss society of African studies, the laboratory Archéologie et peuplement de l’Afrique (Unité d’anthropologie of University of Geneva), and the CECOJI (CNRS), this conference is under the patronage of the swiss commission for UNESCO.


Place: Musée d’art et d’Histoire, Geneva, Switzerland

Dates : 15-16 September 2011

Programm and subcriptions : http://au.unige.ch/memoireafricaine/

Publication: Patrimoines en situation. Constructions et usages en différents contextes urbains

Patrimoines en situation. Constructions et usages en différents contextes urbains

Exemples marocains, libanais, égyptien et suisse

Sous la direction de Raffaele Cattedra, Pascal Garret, Catherine Miller et Mercedes Volait


Seminar and Conference: Dominique Poulot in Geneve, nov-dec 2010


Invitation du prof. Poulot

Maison de l’Histoire Unige

Dans le cadre de son invitation par la Maison de l’histoire le professeur Dominique Poulot (Sorbonne, Paris 1) donnera six cours ouverts à tout-e étudiant-e et toute personne intéressé-e dans la salle U 259 (UniDufour) de 8h30 à 12h00

5 novembre 2010

1) L’historicité du patrimoine : modèles théoriques et narratifs

2) L’invention du patrimoine et la question de la « destination » des œuvres

19 novembre 2010

3) Le cosmopolitisme des musées des capitales culturelles

4) Le musée, la mémoire et le travail de l’historien : une relation ambiguë

3 décembre 2010

5) Le patrimoine de l’immatériel d’hier à aujourd’hui

6) Culture, Mémoire, Identité : penser le patrimoine aujourd’hui dans les sciences sociales



Le professeur Poulot donnera également deux conférences publiques

18 novembre 18h30, salle B101 UniBastions


Le musée et les grands récits : figurer la gloire, témoigner des crimes


2 décembre 18h30 salle à définir


Le patrimoine peut-il penser l’Europe ?



Enfin les 17 et 18 décembre 2010 se tiendra le colloque international Quarante ans de patrimoine 1970-2010 17 déc. 2010 UniDufour (salle U259) 13h00-18h00 / 18 déc. Bastions (salle B111) 9h00-13h00


Colloque International

Quarante ans de patrimoine (1970-2010)

Université de Genève

17 déc. 2010 UniDufour (salle U259) 13h00-18h00 / 18 déc. Bastions (salle B111) 9h00-13h00

Congress : Heritage in the annual meeting of SEG/SSE

Heritage papers and topics will be on stage during the Annual meeting of SEG/SSE (Schweizerische Ethnologische Gesellschaft/Société Suisse d’Ethnologie)

SEG Jahrestagung
Colloque annuel de la SSE
Annual meeting of SEG/SSE
Universität Bern, 12. – 13.11. 2010


Freitag/Vendredi 12. November 2010
Unitobler, Lerchenweg 36, F113
09.45/12.30 General Session: Intangible Cultural Heritage
Keynotes speakers
Markus Tauschek, Seminar für Europäische Ethnologie/Volkskunde, Christian‐Albrechts‐Universität Kiel,
« Kulturerbepolitik in Belgien. Zugleich theoretischkritische Bemerkungen zur aktuellen HeritageForschung »
Laurent-Sébastien Fournier, Centre nantais de sociologie, Université de Nantes,
« L’impact du patrimoine culturel immatériel en France : universalisme, ‘exception culturelle’ et diversité des territoires »

III. Applying the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Paradigm I – Heritage Networks : international, national & transnational
Organized by Ellen Hertz and Florence Graezer Bideau, Université de Neuchâtel
Unitobler, Lerchenweg 36, F112
13.30‐14.15 Christoph Brumann, DFG Heisenberg Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology
« Different But Equal: The Impact of the World Heritage Convention on the Evolution of Intangible Cultural Heritage »
14.15‐15.00 MartaSevero, Medialabs, Sciences‐po, Paris
« ICH Webs. Comparing National Networks through Digital Methods »
15.00‐15.45 Aditya Eggert, Institut für Ethnologie, Georg‐August‐Universität Göttingen
« ICH in Cambodia: a Running Game between Local, National and International Interests »

15.45‐16.00 Coffee‐break

16.00‐16.45 Fiorella Allio, CNRS, Marseille
« The Influence of UNESCO’s Normative  Framework on the Protection of Immaterial Heritage in Taiwan »
16.45‐17.30 Thibault Martin&Julie Bidaud, Département de travail social et des sciences sociales, Université du Québec en Outaouais
« Intangible Heritage and the Preservation of Aboriginal Territory and Cultural Projects in Quebec (Canada) »

Samstag/Samedi 13. November 2010
09.00/13.00 Applying the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Paradigm II – Heritage Administration : Case Studies from Asia to Europe
Organized by Ellen Hertz and Florence Graezer Bideau
Unitobler, Lerchenweg 36, F112
09.00‐09.45 Panayiota Andrianopoulou, Ethnologist of the Greek Ministry of Culture and Tourisme
« The Political Stakes behind Intangible Cultural Heritage : Applying the UNESCO Convention to Protect ICH in Grece. »
09.45.‐10.30 Linda Gunn, Napier University, Edinburgh
« ICH in a Stateless Nation: the ICH in Scotland Project »

10.30‐11.00 Coffee‐break

11.00‐11.45 Christian Hottin, Mission ethnologie, Ministère de la culture, Paris
« The French Ministery of Culture and ICH : a Civil Servant’s Point of View ?»
11.45‐12.30 Qing Yang,, Suzhou (China)
« Applying the UNESCO ICH Convention : the Example of Kunqu »

Conference Contes et fictions dans l’espace francophone à l’âge d’internet 5-7 octobre 2010 Neuchatel

Contes et fictions dans l’espace francophone à l’âge d’internet
5-6-7 octobre 2010
Université de Neuchâtel


CFP The Restoration of Artworks in Europe from 1789 to 1815: Practices, Transfers, Stakes

International workshop

October 2nd 2010

Designed and organised by Noémie Etienne, assistant in Art History, University of Geneva

The Restoration of Artworks in Europe from 1789 to 1815: Practices, Transfers, Stakes

The period stretching from 1789 to 1815 was characterised in Europe by an intense circulation of artworks. The suppression of religious orders, plundering and the French government’s politics favoured the dissemination of objects, whether they were dispersed through private sales, or annexed and regrouped in Paris. In this context, the restoration of artworks gained major importance, and became a common preoccupation at the European level.

This interest was noticeable in the new directives which aimed to favour the conservation of artworks, in the growing institutionalisation of restoration in museum structures, as well as the technical experiments carried out during this period. This increase in power for restoration in the public sphere favoured the emergence of much debate, sometimes on an international scale. Likewise, the actions carried out in France on displaced artworks drew the attention of various European observers.

With this precise context in mind, this study day aims to make a progress report of the different questions pertaining to the period. What was the state and evolution of the principles and practices of European restoration between 1789 and 1815? What were the new institutional, technical or deontological constraints in this context? How was the status of the practitioner transformed? How did French cultural politics influence the practice? And what were the implicit stakes linked to all of this?

Of a truly European scope, this workshop would like to being together different views of this pivotal period. All types of artworks may be studied. Art history, history, history of science and technology, and also sociology or anthropology are all fertile disciplines capable of addressing this topic. Conservator-restorers are also strongly encouraged to participate and submit a paper. Interdisciplinary, analytical and comparative approaches will be favoured. In particular, several lines of inquiry – mentioned non-exhaustively here – could be developed.

1. Institutional and political context

The restoration and conservation of artworks between 1789 and 1815 is part of a specific institutional and political context, it is notably linked to the development of Europe’s first museums. How was this practice developed? What were the technical and deontological gains typical of this period in different European countries? How did these ateliers function? And what place did the restorer occupy within this new structure? The redefinition of the activity and status of practitioners may be an object of study. The ties between the institution and the market could also be addressed.

Additionally, the appropriation of artworks by France created an atmosphere of tension in which the practice of restoration took on an unheard-of political charge. Artworks taken from all over Europe were thus restored and displayed with great pomp and circumstance in Paris. What were the criteria that governed the taking of these objects? What role did their restoration play in the practice of annexation? What are the devices and discourses tied to the moving, conservation and restoration of displaced artworks?

2. Cultural transfers

The second axis will address the exchanges made between the different countries. The period favoured the displacement of artworks and practitioners, thus allowing one to study the transfers of skills and techniques. How did the methods used evolve through the contact of the different restorers? What were the tools or materials linked to this practice, and were they diversified during this period, notably through the influence of the migrations of men and objects?

The question of the transfer of knowledge could also be addressed. The publication and distribution of books or articles spreading the technical know-how for these procedures represented an important factor of the evolution of this practice. On the other hand, the question of secrecy took on particular contrast. In the history of a public sphere of knowledge, the distribution of the report on the transposition of the Madone de Foligno in Paris in 1802 is a milestone, whose stakes and consequences throughout Europe one may choose to observe.

3. Reception and heritage

How were the restorations realised between 1789 and 1815 perceived? What were the controversies surrounding them, and what did they reveal? Many onlookers voiced opinions criticising the operations carried out in the religious and private spheres. In the public sphere in Europe, restorations provoked much debate around the conservation of artworks regrouped in Paris. Thus articles were published by the press to alert public opinion of artworks restored in a manner considered improper and unfair. How is one to understand and analyse these positions? What were their motives and what were the arguments? What do they bear witness to?

Starting in 1815, when the displaced works returned to their countries of origin, frequent reservations were made about the restorations done in France. How and by whom were those interventions judged? How was one to understand the criticisms of their former owners? Finally, we shall examine the portion of the French model of art restoration that was exported, as well as the new European prerogatives. For this question, one may of course go beyond the year 1815.

Paper proposal terms:

Scientific committee:

Frédéric Elsig, Assistant Professor of Art History at the University of Geneva

    Léonie Hénaut, Doctor in Sociology, Research attaché at the Centre de sociologie de l’innovation (Mines Paris-Tech, CNRS)
    Victor Lopes, Conservator-restorer of paintings at the Musées d’art et d’histoire de Genève

Mauro Natale, Honorary Professor of Art History at the University of Geneva


Proposal submission deadline: May 1st 2010

Reply to authors: June 1st 2010

Workshop: October 2nd 2010

Place: University of Geneva

CFP La restauration des œuvres d’art en Europe entre 1789 et 1815 : pratiques, transferts, enjeux

Journée d’étude internationale

2 octobre 2010

Conçue et organisée par Noémie Etienne, assistante en histoire de l’art à l’Université de Genève

La restauration des œuvres d’art en Europe entre 1789 et 1815 : pratiques, transferts, enjeux

L’étude de la restauration des œuvres d’art s’impose actuellement comme un objet de recherche stimulant et innovant. Elle permet de saisir les réactualisations constantes auxquelles sont soumis les objets. D’envergure internationale et interdisciplinaire, cette journée entend réunir des chercheurs issus de différentes disciplines, telles que l’histoire de l’art, l’histoire, la sociologie, ou la conservation-restauration des biens culturels. Elle souhaite faire le point sur l’histoire de la restauration à un moment précis et décisif.

La période qui s’étend de 1789 à 1815 est en effet caractérisée en Europe par une intense circulation des œuvres d’art. La suppression des ordres religieux, les spoliations et la politique du gouvernement français impliquent le déplacement des objets, qu’ils soient dispersés dans des ventes privées, ou annexés et regroupés à Paris. La capitale française s’impose alors rapidement comme le centre de l’activité de restauration. La pratique devient parallèlement une préoccupation commune à l’échelle européenne.

Cet intérêt est perceptible notamment dans les instructions visant à  conserver les œuvres, dans l’institutionnalisation de la pratique au sein des structures muséales, ainsi que dans les expérimentations techniques réalisées durant cette période. Il transparaît aussi intensément dans la littérature et dans la presse. Cette montée en puissance de la restauration dans l’espace public favorise l’émergence de nombreuses polémiques, parfois d’envergure internationale. L’état matériel des œuvres conservées dans les églises peut ainsi susciter la critique. De même, les interventions réalisées en France sur les œuvres déplacées vont attirer l’attention de divers observateurs en Europe.

Partant de ce contexte précis, cette journée d’étude cherchera à faire le point sur différentes questions. Quel est l’état des principes et des pratiques de la restauration en Europe entre 1789 et 1815 ? Quelles sont les nouvelles contraintes institutionnelles ou techniques dans ce contexte ? Comment le statut du praticien se transforme-t-il ? Comment la politique culturelle française en la matière influence-t-elle la pratique ? Et quels sont les enjeux implicites qui y sont liés ?

Cette journée d’étude aimerait croiser les regards sur cette période charnière. Tous les types d’objets pourront être étudiés (peintures, sculptures, livres, archives…). L’histoire de l’art, l’histoire, l’histoire des sciences et des techniques, mais aussi la sociologie ou l’anthropologie pourront être des disciplines fécondes pour aborder ce thème. Les approches analytiques et comparatives seront privilégiées. Dans une perspective d’échange avec les professionnels de la restauration, les conservateurs-restaurateurs sont aussi vivement invités à participer et à proposer des communications. Plusieurs pistes de réflexion, évoquées ici de manière non exhaustive, pourront notamment être développées.

1. Contexte institutionnel et politique

La restauration et la conservation des œuvres d’art entre 1789 et 1815 s’inscrit dans un contexte institutionnel et politique spécifique, lié notamment au développement des premiers musées en Europe. Comment la pratique se développe-t-elle ? Quels sont les acquis techniques et déontologiques propres à cette période dans les différents pays européens ? Comment les ateliers fonctionnent-ils ? Et quelle place le restaurateur occupe-t-il dans cette nouvelle structure ? La redéfinition de l’activité et du statut des praticiens pourra être un objet d’étude. Les liens entre l’institution et le marché privé pourront aussi être évoqués.

En outre, l’annexion des œuvres d’art par la France crée un climat de tension dans lequel la pratique de la restauration prend une charge politique inédite. Les œuvres d’art soustraites en Europe sont ainsi restaurées et exposées en grande pompe à Paris. Quels ont été les critères présidant à l’enlèvement de ces objets ? Quel rôle leur restauration a-t-elle joué dans la pratique des annexions ? Quels sont les dispositifs et les discours liés au déplacement, à la conservation et à la restauration des œuvres déplacées ?

2. Transferts culturels

Le deuxième axe portera sur les échanges entre les différents pays. Favorisés à cette époque par le déplacement des œuvres et des praticiens, les transferts de compétences et de techniques pourront être étudiés. Comment les méthodes utilisées évoluent-elles au contact des différents restaurateurs ? Quels sont les outils ou les matériaux liés à la pratique, et se diversifient-ils pendant la période évoquée, notamment sous l’influence du mouvement des hommes et des objets ?

La question du transfert des connaissances pourra aussi être abordée. La publication et la circulation de livres ou d’articles diffusant un savoir technique sur les procédés représentent un important facteur d’évolution de la pratique. En négatif, la question du secret prendra un relief particulier. Dans l’histoire d’un espace public du savoir, la diffusion du rapport sur la transposition de la Madone de Foligno à Paris est un jalon, dont on pourra observer les enjeux et les conséquences en Europe. Dans un mouvement inverse, on pourra s’interroger sur ce que les restaurateurs parisiens apprennent des méthodes de leurs confrères en intervenant sur les œuvres arrivées de l’étranger.

3. Réception et héritage

Comment les restaurations réalisées entre 1789 et 1815 sont-elles perçues ? Quelles sont les polémiques qui les entourent, et de quoi sont-elles révélatrices ? De nombreux observateurs s’expriment pour critiquer les interventions réalisées. Des articles sont ainsi publiés dans la presse pour alerter l’opinion sur les œuvres restaurées de manière jugée abusive. Comment comprendre et analyser ces prises de position ? Quels sont leurs ressorts et leurs argumentaires ? De quoi témoignent-elles ?

À partir de 1815, lorsque les œuvres déplacées reviennent dans leurs pays d’origine, de fréquentes réserves sont émises au sujet des restaurations pratiquées en France. Comment et par qui ces interventions sont-elles jugées ? Comment comprendre les critiques de leurs anciens propriétaires ? Enfin, il s’agira aussi d’observer la part exportée du modèle français en matière de restauration des œuvres d’art, ainsi que les nouvelles prérogatives européennes. Sur cette question, la date de 1815 pourra naturellement être dépassée.

Modalités de proposition des communications :

Les propositions de communication (2500 signes) sont à envoyer à Noémie Etienne (noemie.etienne@unige.ch) avant le 1 mai 2010.

Comité  scientifique :

Frédéric Elsig, Professeur assistant en histoire de l’art à l’Université de Genève

Léonie Hénaut, Docteure en sociologie, Attachée de recherche au Centre de sociologie de l’innovation (Mines Paris-Tech, CNRS)

Victor Lopes, Conservateur-restaurateur de peinture aux Musées d’art et d’histoire de Genève

Mauro Natale, Professeur honoraire en histoire de l’art à l’Université de Genève

Calendrier :

Envoi des propositions : 1 mai 2010

Réponse aux auteurs : 1 juin 2010

Journée d’étude : 2 octobre 2010

Lieu : Université de Genève, Suisse