The panel explores how historically fashioned networks of expert knowledge shaped global heritage conservation in the 19th-20th centuries. It aims to understand expert knowledge flows between countries in contexts of colonialism-decolonisation, the Cold War, heritage diplomacy and so forth.
This panel explores how historically and politically fashioned networks of expert knowledge have come to shape international heritage conservation in the modern era. An important but under-researched theme of the story of internationalism and globalization over the course of the 19th-20th centuries has been the history of institutions associated with conservation and the governance of culture and nature. Indeed, the fields of international relations and diplomacy studies have paid little attention to the material and physical world as a constituent of international cooperation, engagement and knowledge transfer. Papers are welcome that reframe the history of modern heritage conservation in ways that foreground the internationalization of expert knowledge under conditions of European colonialism, decolonisation and the shifting hierarchies of 'East-West' relations. The aim of the panel is to understand how and why certain flows of expert knowledge transfer have formed between countries and regions on the back of empire, African nationalism, Cold War relations, conflict recovery, science diplomacy, and so forth. Critical attention will be given to how networks of heritage diplomacy formed around the world since World War II, and the ways in which various state-based and inter-governmental agencies have maintained the ongoing dance between nationalism and internationalism. In exploring such themes, the panel aims to offer an account of international heritage conservation that moves beyond the discursive, normative accounts of organizations such as UNESCO, which have prevailed to date.