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

Announcement

The Naval Kishore Press was established in the north Indian city of Lakhnau in 1858 by Munshi Naval Kishore (1836-1895). In the following decades it grew to one of India’s most important publishing houses. During Naval Kishore’s lifetime the press published around 5,000...



Article

12 September 2018 – 6 January 2019

Chantal Miller Gallery,
Asia Society Hong Kong Center (ASHK), asiasociety.org/hong-kong
Sponsored by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, and part of ASHK’s ‘20th Century Chinese Female Artist Series’



Article

Dossier Cambodge. Tuol Sleng ou l’histoire du génocide en chantier / Tuol Sleng. A History of the Cambodian Genocide Under Construction.

Special Issue of Mémoires en Jeu, enjeux de société /Memories at Stake, Issues of Society.
Issue 6 (...



Article

China’s Tang dynasty (618-907) tomb mural paintings are rare finds and study of them has grown since the first archaeological discoveries and excavations in the early 1950s. Although thousands of minor Tang graves and about 400 tombs have been discovered, so far only around 60 Tang tombs have...



Article

The top of the cliff isn’t the place to look at us;
come down here and learn of the big and little currents,
face to face.
1Pukui, M.W. 1983. Olelo No/eau: Hawaiian...



Article

How long cultural records, cultural assets, art and antiquities last, and approaches for their care, arguably differs across values, geographic place, timescales and knowledge systems. Having worked in the Asia Pacific region for twenty years, I have witnessed how knowledge, which is produced...