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SIEF Working Group on Cultural Heritage and Property

The categorization, political implementation as well as instrumentalization of the realm of cultural heritage in the modern ‘glocalized’ world both in cultural politics and academia indicate an expanding field in need of critical inquiry. Cultural heritage carries a strong potential for the acquisition of sociopolitical capital but renders also channels for economic resources. Consequently we witness its increasing role in culture-orientated politics at various levels, with particularly exploding resonance observable on the international stage.

This working group proposes to focus on the position and meanings of cultural heritage and cultural property on the different societal levels in the modern world and its individual nation states. Attention will be given to the politics of cultural heritage and especially to the consequences of the (In-)tangible Heritage conventions (UNESCO 2003) and the Intellectual Property conventions (WIPO), with consideration of all other processes that are selecting, honoring and turning into property what we call folklore or 'traditional cultural expressions’ and 'traditional knowledge’.

We call for the examination of the negotiated or contested relation between tangible and intangible heritage from the perspective of transnational organizations of cultural politics. Likewise, the marked entanglement of sociopolitical processes with economic reverberations propounds analyses on the repercussions of cultural heritage politics on existing practices; the influence of tourism etc.

Prof. Dr. Kristin Kuutma, Institute for Cultural Research and Fine Arts, University of Tartu, Estonia.
Dr. Anita Vaivade: (Secretary), Latvian Academy of Culture, Latvia.

Board Members
Dr. Robert Baron, Goucher College, United States of America.
Prof. Dr. Jurij Fikfak, Scientific Research Center, Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Slovenia.
Dr. Helmut Groschwitz, Institut für Volkskunde (Institute for European Ethnology), Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Germany.
Carley Williams, PhD Researcher, Elphinstone Institute, University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom.