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Cultural Heritage and Society in a Global Context


Admission requirements

This course is an Honours Class and therefore in principle only available to students of the Honours College. There are a few places available for regular students.


In recent years, the issues of culture heritage, public archaeology, museums, tourism and social identity have become major concerns in the global society. What has been called the ‘heritagization of society’ in the late 20th and early 21st centuries is more than the spread of European conservation practices and understandings of the past to the global arena. Changes are occurring globally in the meaning of heritage and the range of practices involved in objectifying relations with the past. This interdisciplinary nature of cultural heritage studies – which integrates history, critical museology, anthropology, archaeology, architecture, art history, material culture studies, cultural theory, memory studies and policy/law is well-equipped to analyze these changes.

The aim of the course is to invite students to think critically about the societal role of archaeology and heritage. Cultural heritage can play a major role in constructing social identity, boosting economy through developing tourism, and facilitating local empowerment, but sometimes heritage can also cause social exclusion. The course will examine the cultural, political, and economic impacts of heritage, focusing on the current debates surrounding heritage issues in a global perspective. Students will be asked to prepare a news/case study to share in class.

Course objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, students will:

  • Have examined heritage in conceptual, epistemological and intellectual terms;

  • Have learned about current debates of heritage and society;

  • Have studied different cultural values through comparative perspective.


Fridays 15.00-17.00, from March 24th until May 19th

24th of March: STEEN/F103
31st of March: STEEN/F102
7th of April: STEEN/F102
21st of April: STEEN/F102
28th of April: STEEN/F102
12th of May: STEEN/F102
19th of May: STEEN/F103


F1.02 and F1.03 Faculty of Archaeology (Einsteinweg 2)


24th of March: To be announced
31st of March: Ana Pereira Roders
7th of April: To be announced
21st of April: Changes and Challenges of the Living World Heritage Cities by Uditha Jinadasa
28th of April: Heritage and Design by Marie Therese van Thoor
12th of May: Excursion to Ruhrgebiet by Linde Eghberts
19th of May: Heritage Impact Assessment by Mara de Groot

Course Load

This course is worth 5 EC, which means the total course load equals 140 hours.

  • Lectures: 4 lectures of 2 hours

  • Seminars: 4 seminars of 1 hours

  • Excursion: 1 excursions of 3 hours

  • Literature reading & practical work: 10 hours p/week /50 hours

  • Assignments & final essay: 75 hours

Assessment method

  • 30% Class participation

  • 30% Class presentation (each student will need to share a news article on the topic of heritage issues in class)

  • 40% Final paper of 3000 words

Blackboard and uSis

Blackboard will be used in this course. Students can register for the Blackboard site two weeks prior to the start of the course.

Please note: students are not required to register through uSis for the Honours Classes. Your registration will be done centrally

Reading list The required literature will be available on Blackboard.

  • DE CESARI, C. 2010. World Heritage and Mosaic Universalism: A view from Palestine Journal of Social Archaeology, 10, 299-234.

  • FAIRCLOUGH, G., HARRISON, R., SCHOFIELD, J. & JAMESON, J. J. H. (eds.) 2008. The Heritage Reader, New York: Routledge.

  • HARVEY, D. C. 2001. Heritage Past and Heritage presents: Temporarlity, Meaning and the Scope of Heritage Studies. International Journal of Heritage Studies, 7.

  • HOLTORF, C. 2001. Is the Past a Non-Renewable Resource? In: STONE, P. G., LAYTON, R. & THOMAS, J. (eds.) Destruction and conservation of cultural property. London and New York: Routledge.

  • LABADI, S. & LONG, C. (eds.) 2010. Heritage and Globalisation, Abingdon: Routledge.

  • ROSALDO, R. 1997. Cultural Citizenship, Inequality, and Multiculturalism. In: BENMAYOR, W. V. F. A. R. (ed.) Latino Cultural Citizenships. Boston: Beacon Press.


Enrolling in this course is possible from Monday November 7th until Sunday November 20th through the Honours Academy, via this link


Drs. Mara de Groot