The Faculty of Arts

Research Node Cultural Heritage

Cultural heritage studies is today a growing field of scholarly studies at many universities. Four departments cooperate in making a platform for talks on scholarship of cultural heritage and conservation. On Campus Gotland, located within the Hanseatic Town of Visby, a World Heritage site, research is carried out especially in two thematic areas:

  • production of cultural heritage, including uses of heritage, heritage politics, uses of history
  • management and development of cultural heritage values

The first theme, production of cultural heritage, deals with issues of how cultural heritage is negotiated by way of processes of selection, identification and use, the actors involved and the different contexts they act within. How is cultural heritage used, and what are the consequences socially of designating something as heritage?

Within the second theme, management and development, the way in which cultural heritage is valued and how historic environments are affected by different kinds of measures and policies are dealt with. Urban planning, renovation, new construction, legislation, trade with objects and international perspectives on cultural heritage are identified within this theme.

There are strong reasons to try to seek common grounds through cross- and interdisciplinary research. Internationally, as well as nationally, cultural heritage is studied within a wide range of academic disciplines and environments. However, the choice of perspectives and methods used differs. One purpose with the node is to create a forum for scholars not just from the four cooperating departments but also to make connections to research conducted at other institutions in Sweden and elsewhere. A second purpose is to better integrate research at the faculty with professionals working within the cultural heritage sector. For example, there is a need to strengthen links between management planning at World Heritage sites and the research community. The node seeks to promote the integration of research and practice through the development of a research strategy linked to the management needs of Visby as a World Heritage site.

In order to fulfill these purposes we intend to organise seminars, lectures and workshops to which both academics and other professionals are invited to take part of. The plan is to have 10 to 12 seminars and lectures and at least one workshop each year in the period 2016–18. 

Kalendarium jan-feb 2017

19 januari kl 15.00-17.00

Changing Cultural Heritage

Anna Karlström

The heritage of minority groups continues to have a weak position on the global cultural heritage arena, even though focus has moved from only the monumental and material towards intangible and elusive heritage expressions during the last decades. It is mainly as intangible and elusive that ‘indigenous heritage’ is being categorized and defined. We can identify certain ‘discourses of difference’, where for example intagnible indigenous heritage is set against the monumental and tangible heritage of dominant groups in society, and Asian heritage and its management is set against European or Western. 

This presentation aims at challenging these taken-for-granted presumptions through examples and preliminary results from recent fieldwork in Southeast Asia, as part of the research project Rooted and routed heritage. At the center of the investigaation are the bronze drums, deeply embedded in Southeast Asian contemporary heritage discourse and politics, and the concept of change.   

Cultural Heritage from a Contemporary Perspective

Yujia Wang

The concept of cultural heritage has gone through profound changes throughout decades. According to UNESCO, instead of referring exclusively to “the monumental remains of cultures, heritage as a concept has gradually come to include new categories such as the intangible, ethnographic or industrial heritage”. In the contemporary settings, cultural heritage is not only displayed in Museums in forms of artifacts and documents, but also embedded in our daily life.

Based on the fieldwork in Southeast Asia, we might put on a pair of contemporary glasses to have a closer look at bronze drums transforming into new forms such as decorations and commercial performances for tourists. For instance, bronze drum performances are reconstructed into an exotic turn-on to attract and entertain the public. Even critics start to question that those new and modern applications are challenging “authenticity” of cultural heritage. In the case of bronze drums, its “authenticity” turns out to be rather complex and sustainable, and could be discussed cross-culturally.

Kontaktperson: Mattias Legnér

24 januari kl 15.30-16.30

Byggnadsarkeologins betydelse: människor, byggnader, sammanhang

Gunhild Eriksdotter

Gunhild Eriksdotter presenterar ett FoU-projekt finansierat av Riksantikvarieämbetet som handlar om byggnadsarkeologins relation till kulturarvssektorn. De senaste årens byggnadsarkeologiska forskning har blivit mer dynamisk och angelägen. Men kunskapen om byggnadsarkeologi som inriktning och drivkraft är ofta mycket begränsad hos olika myndigheter och institutioner. Det finns därför ett behov av att kommunicera hur byggnadsarkeologen arbetar och vad byggnadsarkeologin kan bidra med. Projektet har syftat till att framställa en skrift som förmedlar en uppdaterad syn på byggnadsarkeologi utifrån frågeställningar som är angelägna att lyfta fram i ett kulturarvsperspektiv. 

Gunhild Eriksdotter disputerade i historisk arkeologi 2005 med avhandlingen ”Bakom fasaderna. Byggnadsarkeologiska sätt att fånga tid, rum och bruk”. Sedan dess har hon arbetat med forskning och undervisning i Sverige, Italien och Colombia. Hennes forskning rör sig kring olika tema som byggnadsarkeologisk teori och metod, inneklimat och komfort i det förgångna samt tidigmodern kolonisation och materiell kultur.

Kontaktperson: Mattias Legnér

16 februari kl 13.00-16.00, sal E30

Idéer till examensarbeten i kulturvård och arkeologi.

Studenter på avancerad nivå i kulturvård och arkeologi presenterar och diskuterar sina idéer till examensarbete. Synopserna sprids till intresserade i förväg.

Kontaktpersoner: Mattias Legnér, Gunilla Runesson

22 februari kl 15-16.30, sal B25

ARCHAEOLOGICAL HERITAGE RESOURCE MANAGEMENT IN THE REPUBLIC OF MOLDOV

Sergiu Musteata

The author discusses the management of archaeological heritage resources in the Republic of Moldova in order to show the experience and current trends in developing own preservation system.

Since 1991 citizens of the Republic of Moldova work to develop an open society and to build a legal framework in line with democratic and European values. However, political, economic and social issues accounted during the last two decades have an effect on the most sensitive areas, one of them being the preservation of cultural heritage, in general, and the archaeological heritage, in particular. The study presents the legal framework and management of the archaeological heritage in Moldova. The Republic of Moldova has a Law on Archaeological Heritage preservation since 2010. The Ministry of Culture is the main body responsible for preservation and management activities; the paper discusses how the system is organized, how the responsibilities are distributed, and how efficient they are. The paper concludes with considerations on the necessary to enforce cooperation and sharing of good practices in archaeological heritage preservation and management. 

Sergiu Musteata är historiker vid universitetet i Chisinau där han undervisar och forskar. Forskningsprojektet han kommer att ägna sig åt under januari-juli 2017 handlar om kulturarvspolitik och förvaltning - "The cultural heritage preservation of Moldova: legal and policy implications for updating the European standards" - och inkluderar studier av kulturarvsförvaltning på såväl lokal som regional och nationell nivå.

Det finns ett paper till seminariet som kan erhållas i förväg genom att kontakta sergiu.musteata@konstvet.uu.se.

16 mars kl 15 - 17

Colonial collecting in Sápmi: Histories of collecting, revitalization and repatriation

Eeva-Kristiina Harlin, Giellagas Institute, University of Oulu
Carl-Gösta Ojala, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, Uppsala University

In this seminar, we would like to discuss histories of colonial collecting in Sápmi (the core area of the indigenous Sámi people in northern Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Kola Peninsula in Russia), and some critical aspects of the contemporary management and use of Sámi cultural heritage.

As a starting-point, we will briefly present the ongoing research project “Collecting Sápmi: Early Modern Globalization of Sámi Material Culture and Sámi Cultural Heritage Today”, which is funded by the Swedish Research Council. This project aims to examine early modern interest in and collecting of Sámi material culture and to follow the movement of Sámi objects between scholars and collectors around Europe. It also aims to discuss the importance of early modern collecting and the collected objects in today's society. Here, critical issues are raised concerning colonial histories and relations in Sápmi, motivations and ideologies of collecting over time, and the rights to Sámi cultural heritage today and in the future.

We will discuss aspects of the early modern collecting of Sámi material culture, as part of a larger context of colonial and missionary policies, and extractive industries, in the Sámi areas in the 17th and 18th centuries – with special focus on the Sámi drums. The Sámi sacred drums, which were important objects in Sámi indigenous religion, have in many ways been at the center of the early modern religious encounters and conflicts. The use of the drums was forbidden by state and church authorities and many drums were destroyed or confiscated. At the same time, the drums attracted much interest and were coveted by many collectors in early modern Europe. Today, surviving Sámi drums can be found in museums in several countries in Europe.

The management of Sámi cultural heritage varies between the different countries. There are professional Sámi museums in each Nordic country, which have prominent collections of cultural items. However, most of the oldest and rarest items are still situated outside the Sámi area in Nordic and European museums, managed by others. This can be seen as a paradox, since Sámi museums have the best knowledge of Sámi cultural heritage. Today Sámi museums are working to get the lost objects returned, and repatriation is one of the most interesting challenges that the post-colonial museum world is facing. We will discuss some of the complexities of repatriation claims and processes concerning Sámi heritage in the Nordic countries. Finally, we will also present some cases of the use of museum collections in processes of cultural and social revitalization in Sámi communities, exemplifying the meaning and values of old collections of Sámi material culture for contemporary Sámi societies.

Eeva-Kristiina Harlin is a doctoral researcher at the University of Oulu, Giellagas Institute (Institute for Sámi Cultural Studies) in Finland. Her PhD project deals with tangible Sámi heritage and repatriation politics in the Nordic countries. Currently she works with the project “Domestication of Indigenous Discourses? Processes of Constructing Political Subjects in Sápmi” at the University of Oulu. She is also involved in the research project “Collecting Sápmi: Early Modern Globalization of Sámi Material Culture and Sámi Cultural Heritage Today”, based at the Swedish History Museum and Uppsala University. Previously she has worked as a curator in the largest Norwegian Sámi museum (RiddoDuottarMuseat), as a project manager in a Nordic repatriation project (“Recalling Ancestral Voices”) in the Finnish Sámi museum Siida and as an archaeologist at the National Board of Antiquities in Finland. Eeva-Kristiina has her MA from archaeology from the University of Helsinki, Finland and she has also majored in osteoarchaeology at the University of Stockholm, Sweden. She is specialized in Sámi collections, repatriation and historical archaeology related to Sámi culture.

Carl-Gösta (C-G) Ojala is a researcher in archaeology at the Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, Uppsala University. His main research interests include history and heritage in Northern Fennoscandia and northern Russia, Sámi history and archaeology, Russian and Soviet archaeology, as well as issues of heritage, identity, politics and ethics. His Ph.D. dissertation Sámi prehistories: The politics of archaeology and identity in northernmost Europe (2009) discusses Sámi prehistory and archaeology, partly from a research historical perspective and partly from a more contemporary perspective, dealing with issues of Sámi heritage management, cultural rights and debates on repatriation of Sámi cultural heritage and reburial of Sámi human remains.

C-G is currently working with two research projects, together with Jonas M. Nordin from the Swedish History Museum in Stockholm and other researchers, focusing on the early modern colonial history in Sápmi, and its legacies today: “Collecting Sápmi: Early Modern Globalization of Sámi Material Culture and Sámi Cultural Heritage Today”, which aims to examine early modern interest in and collecting of Sámi material culture and to follow the movement of Sámi objects between scholars and collectors around Europe, and “A Colonial Arena: Landscape, People and Globalization in Inland Northern Sweden in the Early Modern Period”, which deals with industrialization, mining and missionary campaigns in the Sámi areas in northern Sweden in the 17th and 18th centuries.

In his research, C-G is also interested in exploring comparative perspectives on histories of archaeology and concepts of ethnicity, nationalism and indigeneity in the Nordic countries and Russia and the Soviet Union.

Kontaktpersoner: Mattias Legnér, mattias.legner@konstvet.uu.se,
Carina Johansson, carina.johansson@etnologi.uu.se,
Joakim Andersson, joakim.andersson@konstvet.uu.se,
Gunilla Runesson, gunilla.runesson@arkeologi.uu.se,