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

Chinese Pop music in greater China (Taiwan, HK and China) saw a turn towards the traditional in the early 2000s with the arrival of a new genre called China wind. This genre, created and popularized by Taiwan based artists quickly grew in popularity and since its inception has seen many artists...



Article

Many artists from the West found their own little paradise in pre-War Netherlands Indies, and played a significant role in the local and international art world. However, the Japanese changed all that when they invaded in 1942; European artists and their artistic products and thinking did not...



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