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Heritage protection in a global context


Admission requirements

Only the students who have formally been admitted to the following master-programmes have access to this course:

  • Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology (CA-DS) *

  • Asian Studies

  • Archeological Heritage and Museums Studies


  • Students enrolled in the CA-DS programmes must, previous to starting this course, participate in Part 1 of any of the three specialization courses of the CA-DS programme: “Global Economy and Culture 1” or “Environment and Development 1” or “Media and Culture 1”.


This course explores the discourses and institutional practices surrounding heritage from an anthropological perspective, drawing on case studies from various parts of the world. In the past few decades, museums have been proliferating all over the world, many of them set up by and for previously disenfranchised groups, and often concerned with issues of culture, representation, and meaning. During the same time period, UNESCO has spearheaded globalized efforts to safeguard heritage, through projects like the World Heritage List and a series of conventions. In this course, we will ask how “heritage” gets constructed in specific instances through the various discourses (institutional, legal, national, international) around the concept as well as policies aimed at its preservation. Through reading and discussion, we will examine some of the key issues with which both anthropologists and heritage professionals are struggling, including: representation; strategies for “decolonizing” or “reclaiming” museums and heritage; repatriation and illicit trade; globalization, and tourism.


Every Friday from October 31 – December 19, 2014, 10-13 h
Location: room 5A23, Pieter de la Court Building, Wassenaarseweg 52, Leiden

Mode of instruction

Total 5 ECTS = 140 study hours (sbu):

  • Lectures 8 × 3 h / 24 hours (36 sbu)

  • 2 workshops 9 hours (18 sbu) *

  • Study of literature (120 sbu)

Assesment method

  • Three written assignments

  • Final research project, presented in the form of a poster

  • Active participation at all class meetings is required, including leading discussion for one class period

Registration in uSis

All participants must register in uSis for the lecture series of this course. (Registration for the exam is not required since there is no classical examination.)


Blackboard will be used to make information and assignments available.

Reading list

  • Kreps, C. 2003. Liberating Culture: Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Museums, Curation, and Heritage Preservation Routledge

  • Additional readings are available electronically via the Leiden university library.

Contact information

Dr. Henrike Florusbosch:
Office hours: Thursdays 13-15h, room 3A31, Pieter de la Court Building