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

Symposium
29 November 2018

Three-day symposium (29 Nov-1 Dec 2018). Most cities in Asia are coastal delta cities or cities along major river systems or water bodies. Current policy discourses on water in cities—in Asia and worldwide—tend to treat water narrowly as a threat and as an element to engineer against and overcome (in the case of floods) or (in the case of scarcity) as a resource to be better managed and regulated. What is missing in this rather uni-dimensional and technocratic approach to water is an appreciation of the multiple engagements between human beings and water, in historical context.



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.



Symposium
23 June 2018

100 years VVAK! The Asian Art Society in the Netherlands (VVAK) was founded in June 1918 as a private initiative by a handful of connoisseurs with the intention to stimulate interest in art from Asia and to unite art lovers in the field. To celebrate the anniversary, VVAS has organised this exciting, full-day international symposium to take place in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the home of the VVAK collection, of which alternating highlights will be displayed in the Asian Pavilion throughout the year.



Article

Straddling past and present, art and anthropology, memory and actuality, Museu do Oriente in Lisbon is dedicated to the cultural dialogue between Portugal and Asia, presented through objects and narratives.



Report

Fieldtrip Critical Heritage Studies
Morocco, 4-8 April 2018

In April 2018, students and academics from Leiden University in the Netherlands and Mohammed V University in Morocco embarked on a five-day journey to be immersed in the complexities and history of the expression of cultural...



Review

Reviewed title:
Audrey Truschke. 2016. Culture of Encounters: Sanskrit at the Mughal Court. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 9780231540971



Review

Reviewed title:
Alfred Raquez. 2017. In the Land of Pagodas: A Classic Account of Travel in Hong Kong, Macao, Shanghai, Hubei, Hunan and Guizhou.
Edited and translated by William L. Gibson and Paul Bruthiaux. Copenhagen: NIAS Press. ISBN 9788776942014



Article

Tea, originating in China and later widely cultivated in colonial India and other Asian societies, was one of the key factors in the creation of a global market. Tea sales from China spiked after the 1842 Nanjing Treaty and the attendant creation of the treaty port system. At the same time,...



Article

Archaeologists are portrayed in popular imagination as individuals with dirt-caked brows, hunched over in a trench, patiently digging away the sediments, revealing marvels from the past. While true to an extent, excavation is nonetheless only one characteristic of the discipline. Beyond the...