may, 2021

202131may11:59 pmCall for presentations: Whose heritage? Meanings, experiences, and dialogueSeminar in Helsinki, Finland 24-25 November Event Organized By: Finnish Heritage Agency

Event Details

Considerations and debates over the different meanings associated with heritage and its actual and symbolic ownership have become crucial both in Finland and across the Western world. Many social and political movements focused on global inequality have profoundly impacted these debates, including debates on cultural appropriation, repatriation of cultural heritage, decolonization, and recognition of indigenous heritage practices and material culture. The meanings of cultural heritage are always multilayered. Several different even competing narratives can be constructed based on each cultural heritage.

Definitions of cultural heritage are enmeshed with power. Official cultural heritage politics, definitions, and preservation practices do not always capture how different groups understand and experience their cultural surroundings. This raises questions such as: Whose cultural heritage is being preserved and on whose terms? What elements determine preservation decisions: historical significance, economic conditions or communities’ needs and desires?

The seminar is co-organized by the Finnish Heritage Agency, the Culture for All Service and the HERIDI project (University of Jyväskylä, Department of Music, Art and Culture Studies). It seeks to address timely questions related to cultural heritage and associated struggles of significance, ownership, power, and dialogue. Instead of juxtaposition or confrontation, open and respectful dialogue can deepen our understanding of the different meanings of heritage and its associated experiences, emotions, values, and power struggles.

The two-day seminar starts with an academic seminar, while the second day focuses on thematic panel discussions targeted towards broader audiences.

We invite presentations related to national, international and global heritage sites, objects, environments, and intangible heritage. In addition, conceptual, theory-oriented, and experience-based presentations are welcomed. The call for presentations is open to all disciplines and approaches. You can also propose yourself or someone else for a panelist.

Potential topics may include:

  • decolonization and repatriation of cultural heritage
  • power hierarchies and use of power in cultural heritage policy and preservation
  • appropriation and ownership of cultural heritage
  • heritage and identity politics
  • relationships between cultural heritage, popular culture and underground cultures
  • personal and communal meanings of cultural heritage
  • experiences, emotions, and the affectivity of cultural heritage
  • heritage places and environments
  • cultural heritage activism
  • forgotten and silenced cultural heritage
  • difficult and conflicted cultural heritage
  • heritage hybridity
  • inclusive heritage practices, discourses, and approaches
  • different meanings of heritage in cultural heritage education
  • inter-heritage dialogue and cultural heritage diplomacy

You may keep your presentation in Finnish, Swedish, or English. The proposal must contain the author’s name, title, affiliation, email, heading, and an abstract (200–250 words). All proposals should be sent by 31 May 2021. You may also suggest panelists to the same address. You can submit your proposals here.

For more information:

Senior Advisor Satu Kähkönen, Finnish Heritage Agency: [email protected]

Associate Professor Tuuli Lähdesmäki, University of Jyväskylä: [email protected]



(Monday) 11:59 pm