Conference Report: Heritage Studies and Socialism, Giessen, 23-25 November 2016

written by Andreas Ludwig, Centre for Contemporary History Potsdam //

Heritage studies as a cross-disciplinary understanding of material and immaterial culture are confronted with political, regional, and institutional frameworks which make comparison essential. The Workshop, organized by Eszter Gantner (Herder Institute Marburg), Corinne Geering and Paul Vickers (both International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture, Giessen) and supported by the Leibniz Research Alliance “Historical Authenticity”, aimed to debate concepts of temporality, authenticity, and originality as core concepts of heritage and brought together scholars of heritage studies concerning Central and Estern European countries during socialism. The question was raised by the organizers, whether a pre-1989 “socialist” interpretation of heritage would show common trajectories to integrate the diverse local and regional practices as well as national frameworks of heritage. In the workshop, socialist and post-socialist developments were discussed and state policies ranging from Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Russia, Ukraine, Romania to former Yugoslavia and reaching out for Cambodia and Africa as well.

The conference report was published by H-Soz-Kult. The full text including summaries of all keynote lectures and panel sessions may be found here.

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