Universiteit Leiden

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Call for contributions: UNA supported activities Johannesburg

17 April 2024

The committee on Cultural Heritage of UNA Europa invites contributions for three events focusing on the critical study of heritage (graduate workshop, panel, roundtable). These events are organised in Johannesburg in the context of the conferences of the World Anthropological Union (WAU) and of the council of Anthropology of Southern Africa (ASnA). UNA Europa entails cooperation among eleven leading European research universities which are particularly strong in the fields of Social Sciences and Humanities. Its committee of Cultural Heritage seeks to expand networks maintained in the global south, seeking new opportunities for global academic cooperation.

Heritage, tangible and intangible, derives from the past, but is remembered, kept and perhaps curated because it has a relevance in the present. In any given societal context there is an equation between what is acknowledged as heritage, and pressing global challenges of the time. These may currently include issues as diverse as climate change, (the threat of) war, or the kind of insecurities created by the growing dominance of capitalist markets. The graduate workshop, panel and roundtable aim to explore the diverse ways in which heritage comes into being, or loses its relevance, and how that can provide insights into the kind of challenges which people in given societal contexts face. We are particularly interested in the ways in which how what earlier has not been considered heritage acquires that status, or how what at one time was considered heritage lost that appeal. How does that take shape in regional, national and global contexts, and involve stakeholders in what processes of heritage making and unmaking? 

As mentioned, we invite contributions for three distinct events: (1) a workshop in which graduate students present their research; (2) a panel at the WAU conference; and (3) a roundtable at the WAU conference. For the latter, we are also explicitly inviting scholars who are working in professional contexts (museums, IGOs, NGOs etc). The aim of these events is to highlight and discuss new, hitherto ignored approaches to heritage. We are particularly inviting presentations from scholars who, in their research, engage with what heritage making or unmaking accomplishes or how it can fail.

Scholars who are interested in contributing to any of these events can send an abstract of about 300 words by April 22nd 2024 latest to maaker@fsw.leidenuniv.nl. UNA Europa has the possibility to provide limited, partial support for registration and stay to selected participants in any of these events. The language of interaction for all the events outlined is English. 

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