Accepted Paper:

Training future heritage "managers": critical reflexions  

Authors:

Georgiana Gore (University of Clermont Auvergne)
Andree Grau (University of Roehampton)

Paper short abstract:

In this paper, we aim to engage in a reflexive analysis of the ways in which our intellectual heritage as anthropologists has influenced our conception and future implementation of an appropriate academic programme for the training of future heritage “managers”.

Paper long abstract:

As anthropologists of dance and members of the Study Group on Ethnochoreology of the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM), an NGO in formal consultative relations with UNESCO, we've found ourselves drawn into engagement with UNESCO's 2003 Convention on Intangible Cultural Heritage despite our many reservations concerning the instrumentalisation of cultural resources, a process implicit in heritage creation. Many of our colleagues have been solicited by the communities with whom they work, to assist in preparing projects to preserve the dances deemed emblematic of cultural identity through inclusion in one of UNESCO's safeguarding lists. Others, experts on traditional dance, have been invited to become members of their national safeguarding committee and to represent their country on one of UNESCO's ICH committees. Our own engagement has, thus far, been to make a successful bid to establish, with some of these more committed colleagues, an international Masters programme designed to train students for the various industries (tourist, heritage) and civil service departments which treat dance and other cognate movement systems (ritual, martial arts) as ICH. In this paper, we aim to engage in a reflexive analysis of the ways in which our intellectual heritage as anthropologists has influenced our conception of an appropriate academic programme and in a prospective analysis as to the means to be deployed to train future heritage "managers". How can we give them the tools to resist hegemonic systems of interpretation and representation so that they may comfortably engage with diverse, even conflicting, expressions of the past?

Panel P06
Intangible heritage and the challenges for the theory and practice of anthropology