Trans-Atlantic Dialogues in Cultural Heritage

The Heritages of Migration conference forms part of  Trans-Atlantic Dialogues in Cultural Heritage, an ongoing joint project with the Collaborative for Cultural Heritage Management and Policy at the University of Illinois (CHAMP). The project seeks to generate a series of research questions which examine Old World and New World perspectives on cultural heritage.

The first Trans-Atlantic Dialogues international conference took place in Liverpool in July 2015. The conference bought together over 140 academics from around the world to explore themes of heritage, tourism and traditions. The conference asked:

  • How do heritages travel?
  • How is trans-Atlantic tourism shaped by heritage?
  • To what extent have traditions crossed and re-crossed the Atlantic?
  • How have heritage and tourism economies emerged based upon flows of peoples and popular imaginaries?

The second international conference, Heritages of Migration: Moving Stories, Objects and Home, will take place from 6 – 10 April 2016 at the National Museum of Immigration in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This new conference will see IIICH and CHAMP working in partnership with Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero and UNESCO Chair for Cultural Tourism, both based in Argentina.

About Trans-Atlantic Dialogues. 

With our partners at CHAMP, at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign we seek to generate a series of research questions which examine Old World and New World perspectives on cultural heritage. We start from the position of genuine two-way exploration as to where are the continuities and disturbances in the ways that heritage is constructed, consumed, mediated and filtered through cultural lenses that themselves display patterns and overlaps of similarities and difference. We take as our starting point two dominant cultural tropes, powerful but contested, that are linked through historical engagement and contemporary everyday connection. Each side of the Atlantic – both North and South – offers its own geographical and historical specificity expressed and projected through heritage. But in geopolitical terms and through everyday mobilities, people, objects and ideas flow backward and forward across the Atlantic, each shaping the heritage of the other for better or worse and each shaping the meanings and values that heritage conveys. Where, and in what ways are these Trans-Atlantic heritages connected? Where, and in what ways are they not? What can we learn from reflecting on the different contexts and cultures as they produce, consume, absorb, resist, and experience the heritage of the other?

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