International Institute for Asian Studies
Asian Heritages - IIAS addresses the variety of definitions associated with heritage and their implication for social agency, including those currently questioned of 'national heritage' or 'shared heritage'.
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The Asian heritages cluster focuses on the politics of culture and cultural heritages in Asia. It addresses the variety of definitions associated with heritage and their implications for social agency.

In particular it explores the notion of heritage as it has evolved from a European originated concept associated with architecture and monumental archaeology to incorporate a broader diversity of cultural forms and values. This includes the contested distinctions of 'tangible' and 'intangible' heritages, and the importance of cultural heritage in defining one's own identity or identities vis-à-vis those of others.

In Asia, the notion of cultural heritage is often associated with the construction of post-independence nation-state models, the definition of national 'traditions' and 'authenticity' and the idea of a pre/post-colonial historical national continuity. The cluster engages with a broad range of related concepts, and more generally, with issues pertaining to the political economy of heritage. It also focuses on the dangers involved in the commoditization of perceived endangered local cultures/heritages, including languages, religious practices, crafts and art forms, as well as forms of material vernacular heritage – issues increasingly prevalent in Asia's fast transforming social landscapes. Other areas of exploration include the practise of heritage conservation in Asia and Europe and urban revitalisation through cultural heritage preservation.

'Heritage' includes the process in which heritage is produced. The cluster recognises that in addition to governments and institutions a larger set of stakeholders are involved in the field of heritage, with a role for local communities in defining and preserving their own heritage.


The Asian heritages cluster focuses on the politics of culture and cultural heritages in Asia. It addresses the variety of definitions associated with heritage and their implications for social agency.

In particular it explores the notion of heritage as it has evolved from a European originated concept associated with architecture and monumental archaeology to incorporate a broader diversity of cultural forms and values. This includes the contested distinctions of 'tangible' and 'intangible' heritages, and the importance of cultural heritage in defining one's own identity or identities vis-à-vis those of others.

In Asia, the notion of cultural heritage is often associated with the construction of post-independence nation-state models, the definition of national 'traditions' and 'authenticity' and the idea of a pre/post-colonial historical national continuity. The cluster engages with a broad range of related concepts, and more generally, with issues pertaining to the political economy of heritage. It also focuses on the dangers involved in the commoditization of perceived endangered local cultures/heritages, including languages, religious practices, crafts and art forms, as well as forms of material vernacular heritage – issues increasingly prevalent in Asia's fast transforming social landscapes. Other areas of exploration include the practise of heritage conservation in Asia and Europe and urban revitalisation through cultural heritage preservation.

'Heritage' includes the process in which heritage is produced. The cluster recognises that in addition to governments and institutions a larger set of stakeholders are involved in the field of heritage, with a role for local communities in defining and preserving their own heritage.

 

summer School 2014Critical Heritage Studiesikay weaving as heritage

Urban Heritage in Taipeisummer Programme 2011Heritages in Asia and Europe

Asian Heritages Updates

Call for proposals
10 October 2018

The 11th International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS) is the most inclusive international gathering in the field of Asian Studies. ICAS attracts participants from over 60 countries to engage in global dialogues on Asia that transcend boundaries between academic disciplines and geographic areas. The meeting place for the eleventh edition of ICAS is Leiden, the Netherlands. The historic city of Leiden is home to one of the oldest universities, Leiden University, and several of the most renowned Asia research centers. Leiden University will be the main host of ICAS 11, partnering with the city, research institutions and museums, who share equally rich Asian and global connections.

The submission deadline for proposals of Individual Abstracts, Panels, Roundtables, Book presentations and PhD Dissertation presentations is 10 October 2018.



IIAS Lunch Lecture
22 May 2018

A lunch lecture about stone inscriptions from Ancient Cambodia (6th – 14th century CE) by Kunthea Chhom, Director of the Preah Norodom Sihanouk-Angkor Museum in Siem Reap, Cambodia,and J. Gonda fellow at IIAS.



Report

Summer School, Leiden, the Netherlands, 25-29 September 2017

Leiden University in the Netherlands enjoys a world-wide reputation for its expertise on Asia and its many Asian collections, which recently have been brought together in the newly built central ‘Asian Library’. To...



Article

In September 2017, the Double Degree Programme in Critical Heritage Studies of Asia and Europe for the first time welcomed students from Taiwan and South Korea to Leiden in the Netherlands, and Leiden students were in turn able to study in Asia. We invited four students to share their...



Article

When discussing heritage conservation, authenticity is the guideline of the process. To maintain the original status of the heritage, paying attention to details and reversibility helps to prevent further damage to the cultural properties when applying materials or methods. Contemporary...



Article

The Kaihuasi開化寺 is a Buddhist monastery located about 17 km northeast of the city of Gaoping高平 in southeast Shanxi province. The monastery was established in the 6th century and expanded in the late 9th to early 10th century under the supervision of the Chan...



Article

On 25-26 October 2017, Harvard University welcomed a team of experts from the Longmen Grottoes Research Academy to inaugurate an international joint-initiative focused on digital conservation and restoration. An enduring legacy to Chinese art, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Longmen...



Article

Throughout history, Buddhists have used all available means to encode and transmit the ever increasing volume of their textual heritage. After the death of the founder of Buddhism, the early community organized the transmission of a sizable corpus with the help of mnemonic recitation techniques...