CFP Heritage at the Crossroads

39th World Congress of the International Institute of Sociology
Yerevan, Armenia
JUNE 11-14, 2009
www.iisoc.org/iis2009

REGULAR SESSION INFORMATION
Title of Session: Heritage at the Crossroads
Name of Session Convener(s): Jean-Louis Fabiani and Alexandra Kowalski
University/Organization incl. City: Dept of Sociology, Central European University, Budapest (HU)

E-mail: fabianij@ceu.huSession Abstract :
Since the 1970s, heritage has become a central issue in cultural policies all over the world.. It has produced some contradictory and puzzling effects. One the one hand, international interest in heritage has provided new norms, new categories and repertoires of action and new types of professionals devoted to the identification and preservation of an ever growing realm of heritage. On the other hand, however, the definition and uses of heritage continues to rely heavily on local or regional definitions of choice and action, and to depend on particular traditions and political processes, frequently generating debates and conflicts about the scope and the nature of collective inheritances. At the intersection of law, science (archeology, history of art, anthropology), culture and politics, heritage is an omnipresent and fascinating object Where are we standing today? Which new avenues of thinking, new issues and new challenges does the heritage phenomenon present us with, at the onset of a new millenium? We invite empirical or theoretical contributions addressing these broad questions in inventive ways.

Possible topics include in particular: -the uses, scope and limits of comparative approaches in heritage studies
-the North /South divide and the global politics of heritage
-the conceptual transformations of heritage due to the exhaustion of cultural legitimacy and to the broadening of the definition, specially immateriality or intangibility
-the place of religion in heritage policies : uses of the sacred, spectacularization of faith or rites, through for instance « ethnoscenology », etc.
-the role of war and destruction in heritage policies (moral indignation, universal values, « droit d’ingerence »)
-the impact of economic factors (gentrification, commodification) on the uses of heritage as a principle of spatial taxonomy and social segregation, especially in cities.

Dead-line : February 28, 2009.


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