Accepted Paper:

Anthropology and UNESCO's Convention on Intangible Cultural Heritage with special reference to India  


Chatali Tandon (University of Delhi)

Paper short abstract:

The paper discusses the future of anthropology with respect to UNESCO’s convention on “Intangible Cultural Heritage” in the Indian context and exploring role of anthropology to revive, preserve, promote cultural heritage to an extent where anthropology’s role extends to contribute to the nation building process.

Paper long abstract:

In the era of globalization and massive urbanization issues on the importance of utilizing and safeguarding indigenous cultural knowledge and heritage elicit great concerns among Anthropologists and also in studies of Anthropology. UNESCO realized and addressed this profound problem, and brings up the discourse of "intangible Cultural Heritage" on a worldwide platform. UNESCO's convention on Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2003 has completed a full decade and has also gained wide acceptance at the local, national and international levels. This paper tries to understand how far this understanding of "Intangible Cultural Heritage" as per the UNESCO's convention can be or is being applied to study, understand and analyze exotic cultural communities, and to see how this convention can be instrumental in helping the anthropologists to locate, comprehend and study intangible cultural heritage in a better way and also how can intangible cultural heritage be preserved and promoted on a global level The Paper further deals with UNESCO's convention on "Intangible Cultural Heritage" and the effect it has on revitalization of cultural configurations in different communities and how far this convention will contribute in Anthropology in solidifying unique cultures in special reference to Indian Scenario. Themes of 'culture' and 'nation building' are gradually becoming the core areas of Anthropological involvement therefore the paper tries to explore how the corpus of anthropological knowledge regarding, people, their cultural heritage and society can be useful in laying foundations of a post-colonial nation state with special reference to nation formation particularly in Southeast Asia.

Panel P131
Fifty years of anthropological associations: reflections on anthropologies and nations (IAA/JASCA joint panel)