Thu 11 Aug 2016

Annual Conference “Making, Sustaining, Breaking – The Politics of Heritage and Culture”

The Annual Conference is open for registration. The conference will take place from October 12-14, 2016, in Heidelberg.


The conference will address some of the urgent questions that surround heritage as a political and cultural issue at a historical juncture when the idea of culture is being drawn into a field of intense contestation. While in certain intellectual circles and scholarly discussions culture is slowly but steadily uncoupled from the nation, these impulses are at the same time countered by moves to reinforce – even reinvent – national identities as culturally homogenous. As societies confront their transcultural pasts, the concept of a monolithic, integrative heritage is not only becoming increasingly untenable, it is turning into a site of conflict. Ruptures induced by the spatial and cultural displacements that come with modernity and contemporary globalization have in turn meant a return to notions of an ancient, untainted civilizational identity in many regions of the world. The conference opens with a keynote lecture by Professor Nayanjot Lahiri from Ashoka University, Delhi, at the Great Hall of the Old University on October 12.

The Annual Conference 2016 is a collaborative enterprise of the Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context” at Heidelberg University, the Forum Transregionale Studien, the Max Weber Stiftung – Deutsche Geisteswissenschaftliche Institute im Ausland, and the German Archaeological Institute in Berlin.

On the TRAFO Blog you can find a conceptual note for the conference.


Image: Buddhas of Bamiyan, Afghanistan (1. Statue photographed in 1963.©UNESCO/A Lezine via Wikimedia Commons (; 2. Reconstuction efforts after the Buddha’s were demolished by the Taliban in 2001. ©Carl Montgomery (; 3. Replica at Arkady Fiedler Museum in Puszczykowo. ©Jsporysz via Wikimedia Commons (

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