Annual Conference 2016 "Making, Sustaining, Breaking - The Politics of Heritage and Culture"

Anna Echtenacher's picture
October 12, 2016 to October 14, 2016
Subject Fields: 
Anthropology, Asian History / Studies, East Asian History / Studies, Humanities, South Asian History / Studies

The eighth Annual Conference of the Cluster of Excellence "Asia and Europe in a Global Context", will be held at Heidelberg University, Germany, from October 12 - 14, 2016. It takes place in cooperation with the Forum Transregionale Studien, the Max Weber Stiftung - Deutsche Geisteswissenschaftliche Institute im Ausland and the German Archaeological Institute.

The theme of this year’s conference – “Making, Sustaining, Breaking – The Politics of Heritage and Culture” – will address some of the urgent questions that surround heritage as a political and cultural issue at a historical juncture when the idea of culture is being drawn into a field of intense contestation. How can cultural heritage be defined? What are the tools and concepts that different disciplines of the Humanities and the Social Sciences offer us to be able to unravel the forces at work during the process of “making, sustaining and breaking”? Heritage, conceived of as the historical imagination of modern nations, encompasses built structures, artefacts, images, texts and practices; it shapes politics, society, the environment and science. It thus fosters a sense of national or civilizational identity that serves to satisfy a yearning for stability of political, cultural or societal structures. In addition to addressing the dynamics of defining, making and saving heritage, the conference will engage with the modes of its destruction, neglect or misuse.

The conference will open with a keynote address by Prof. Nayanjot Lahiri (Ashoka University, Delhi) on October 12, 2016 at 6 pm. Entitled „Heritage at the Intersection of Politics and People – India’s Archaeological Heritage”, her talk will throw highlight the contestations around the ownership of cultural heritage across different sections of society in independent India together with the role of governmental interventions in this field. A second keynote address will be delivered on October 13, 2016 at 6 pm by the writer and novelist Sinan Antoon (New York University), who will look at the destruction of cultural heritage during the wars in Iran and Syria and the challenges of representing “the ruins of ruins” faced by literary and artistic imaginations. The morning panels, two each on October 13 and 14, will be plenary sessions. The afternoons will feature parallel sections, with panels in different formats, with a view to foster more intensive dialogic exchange. The conference will conclude with a round-table discussion.

For further information on the conference, please visit our website at .

Please register for the conference by filling in the online form:

Contact Info: 

Anna Echtenacher (M.A.)

Manager Press and Public Relations

Cluster of Excellence "Asia and Europe in a Global Context" | Heidelberg University

P: +49 6221 54 4353