Across the Shore: Integrating Perspectives on Heritage

The place of heritage, as a legacy, academic discipline, political tool, and increasingly as a commodity, has undergone important transformations that demand closer inspection. Given its particular pressures and opportunities, the coastal zone presents a challenging but urgent area of focus for heritage both on- and offshore. The Stanford Archaeology Center will host a two-day workshop that looks critically across the traditional divide between land and sea, focusing on an integrated approach to complex heritage. Through case studies in Mauritius, Sicily, and elsewhere, we explore the intersection of environment, development, and archaeology for communities situated in this dynamic area. The workshop also seeks to assess how research from a heritage perspective can be situated within the context of contemporary challenges to coastal communities, drawing on the expertise of colleagues focused on building local resilience.

The workshop, to be held in 17-18 May 2019, will host delegates from archaeology, anthropology, classics, ocean studies, and related heritage fields. Speakers will be by invitation, although the workshop will be open to the public. Mauritius and Sicily offer two helpful case studies, exhibiting diverse and intersecting facets of heritage that anchor our conversation; each will form the focus of a set of papers representing archaeologists, coastal and ocean scientists, cultural and natural heritage managers, and including both professionals and students. Additional case studies provide critical perspectives on our key themes in various other coastal heritage contexts across the globe.

Key themes / questions to be explored in this conference:

Migration and communication have been defining themes for seafaring and maritime interaction more broadly. How has maritime knowledge – from boat building technologies to the movement of language, music, art and material culture – created unique legacies that serve as both tangible and intangible heritage, often with strong political and economic substance?

Heritage commodification has far reaching implications; how does this influence local peoples? What will the future hold with increased

government and business interests? How will tourism impact the capacity for small enterprise to build resilience around heritage sites?

Utility and benefits of heritage for society are increasingly recognised; how has this dimension developed? Is the conceptualization of heritage changing from one perceived as holding promise for local community at a grass-roots level, to one increasingly moving towards ‘industrialization’?

Beyond ‘archaeology’. The various domains of heritage continue to grow. How can the interests of heritage NGOs, conservation groups, heritage specialists and archaeologists, and academia, work alongside government, industry and local populations?

Throughout the workshop participants will use their own case studies to reflect on current practice and possible solutions to the challenges presented by heritage in this complex context. Ultimately, this workshop is concerned with providing new ideas, insights, and tools to those undertaking the management and valorization of heritage, and to the contribution that research-driven archaeology can make toward these ends.

Workshop flier can be viewed here:

Sat May 18th 2019, 10:00am
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