Heritage Crises: Rethinking time and its personifications in the Mediterranean - Thematic doctoral studies workshop


Heritage Crises: Rethinking time and its personifications in the Mediterranean

Thematic doctoral studies workshop 22-26 May 2017

Coordination: Cyril ISNART (IDEMEC UMR 7307 Aix Marseille Université-CNRS), Jacques ALEXANDROPOULOS (Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès), Juan BLÁNQUEZ (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)

Organisation: Réseau euro-méditerranéen RAMSES, A*MIDEX, Aix-Marseille Université, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Campus de Excelencia UAM-CSIC, Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte, LabexMed, Maison méditerranéenne des sciences de l’homme (USR 3125, Aix-en-Provence), Institut d'ethnologie méditerranéenne, européenne et comparative (UMR 7307 Aix-Marseille Université- CNRS), École des hautes études hispaniques et ibériques (Casa de Velázquez, Madrid), École française de Rome, Institut de recherche sur le Maghreb contemporain (Tunis), Centre Jacques Berque (Rabat), Institut français du Proche Orient (Beyrouth), Institut français de Madrid, Musée des civilisations de l’Europe et de la Méditerranée (Marseille)

Registration required
Registration deadline: 26 January 2017 - 17:00 (Madrid time)

Venue: Casa de Velázquez - C/ de Paul Guinard, 3 - 28040 Madrid (Spain)


Violent damage done to certain cultural elements in recent years in the Mediterranean draws the attention of contemporary societies to the vulnerability of monuments, archives and cultures which nations, intergovernmental organisations and associative groups seek to protect under the auspices of cultural heritage. Such destruction also indicates that the criteria used by scientific and cultural institutions to determine historicity, uniqueness and authenticity in deciding what must be conserved are not necessarily shared by all. Cultural heritage can thus trigger conflicts between conceptualisations of the past and moral issues between different political projects which significantly shape the future of societies.

Therefore, heritage studies show that the destruction of the Temple of Bel in Palmyra serves as a wakeup call alerting us to the danger to which heritage is subjected in times of war. Moreover, heritage awareness has always been boosted by the revelation of risks, alteration, disappearance or loss of property, rituals or knowledge giving meaning to present and future generations. Mediterranean societies provide many examples of such dynamics as they are places of discovery, movement and a crossroads bearing witness to numerous civilisations that have always been in contact.

The challenge is twofold: on the one hand, recognising the crisis as a concept structuring the field of heritage, it is worth noting the way it has affected practices and discourse from historic uses in the past to contemporary international experiences. On the other hand, if cultural heritage constitutes a unique system of historicity, it is therefore possible to describe what kind of relationship societies and local groups have with time and their sense of history when engaging in heritage activities. Considering cultural heritage as a representation of time allows us to temper virulent reactions to unimaginable destruction and to write more sensitive and serene history, anthropology or geography about the contributions, positive or negative, collective or individual, that cultural heritage, or its past forms, has made down through the centuries.

There are numerous different topics that can be applied to different historical and geographical Mediterranean contexts:

  • Use of the past to represent the present and the future;

  • Accounts of the heritage crisis and its resolutions;

  • Selection of testimony and its engagement with heritage crisis;

  • Pragmatic alliances and competing ideologies in crisis discourse;

  • The relationship between political narrative, religious doctrine and the use of cultural heritage

  • Shifts in certain political regimes, especially legal, economic and administrative, and their effects on cultural heritage;

  • Comparisons between regional groups and nations and between minority groups within states.

The thematic workshop will host 24 participants, doctoral and postdoctoral students from the Social Sciences, Humanities, Law and Economics. Geographical origin is not a selection criterion. However, the research field of participants will be taken into consideration and should focus on Southern Europe, the Maghreb or the Middle East. Special attention will, therefore, be given to candidates from member institutions of the RAMSES network and within the sphere of LabexMed.

Priority will be given to candidates who are working on a doctoral thesis or conducting post-doctoral research in fields related to the topics addressed in the workshop. Therefore, all applicants must submit a short text (maximum 500 words) summarising their reasons for applying.

Registration deadline: 26 January 2017 at 17:00 (Madrid time)

For more information go to: https://www.casadevelazquez.org/fileadmin/fichiers/investigacion/PDF/Atelier-Doct._Patrimoine-2017-ANG_V8.pdf

Or access the registration form here.

Yujie Zhu