Workshop “Heritage Studies and Socialism: Transnational Perspectives on Heritage in Eastern and Central Europe”

Workshop “Heritage Studies and Socialism: Transnational Perspectives on Heritage in Eastern and Central Europe”

23-25 November 2016

Giessen, Germany


Multifunktionsraum (room 001)

International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture (GCSC)

Alter Steinbacher Weg 38, 35392 Giessen, Germany

In the last decade, heritage studies have emerged as a field of cross-disciplinary research covering the topics including the built environment, museums and collections, urban planning, memory, and tourism. In the international field of heritage studies, however, research on Eastern and Central Europe still remains marginal. This is not only due to regional interests, but may also be due to the current scholarship’s prevalent concept of heritage being drawn predominantly from Western European and postcolonial contexts. The workshop “Heritage Studies and Socialism” brings together both early career researchers and established researchers for a discussion about the concept of heritage in relation to the Eastern and Central European region. In light of the different traditions in heritage policies and property rights, what notion of heritage do we employ for the study of heritage in socialist and post-socialist societies? Using this question as a point of departure, the presentations seek to critically engage with the field of heritage studies and reflect on core concepts such as authenticity and originality. We discuss the advantages and limitations of these approaches when applied to the (post-) socialist context, while also bringing together alternative approaches from the examples presented during the workshop.

The Workshop is organised by the Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe in Marburg, the International Graduate School for the Study of Culture (GCSC), Justus Liebig University Giessen, and the Imre Kertész Kolleg at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena in cooperation with the Leibniz Research Alliance “Historical Authenticity”.

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Yujie Zhu