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

Article

In October 2018, a curricula development workshop was conducted at the Taipei National University of the Arts (TNUA), Taiwan, as part of the IIAS ‘Humanities across Borders: Asia and Africa in the World’ (HaB) programme. The workshop focused on the practice of indigo dye production and its use...



Article

Lonán O’Briain. 2018
Musical Minorities: The Sounds of Hmong Ethnicity in Northern Vietnam
New York: Oxford University Press
ISBN 9780190626976



Article

While ruins might appear to be mere physical sights of decay and disintegration, they are much more than that. Every ruin is a witness to its own cycle of life and death and the entire gamut of processes which encompass socio-political and economic events in an area. Ruins can be unique yet...



Article

Voices of the Wind: Traditional Instruments in Laos
Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre (TAEC), Luang Prabang, Laos
September 2018 – September 2020
...



Article

It would occur to very few people that a Chinese name would make it onto the ‘Korean Rich List’ during the Colonial Period of Korea. However, the top taxpayer in Seoul in 1923 was indeed a Chinese person, Tan Jie-sheng (譚傑生, 1953-1929). Tan Jie-sheng was the manager and later...



Article

The Indonesian border became central to the national political discourse in 2014. The newly elected president, Joko Widodo, identified the border as one of the central issues of his administration. Widodo argued that the state had been absent for people on the territorial margins, and that...