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Heritage Shifts in East Asia: Communication between Global Policies and Local Practices

Notions of HeritageHeritage Changes Itself (Geographical and Linguistic Processes of Transformation)TourismActivists and Experts
Heritage changes itselfHeritage and geographyLinguistic transformation of heritageNotions of heritage
Regular session
9:00, Mardi 7 Juin 2016 (8 heures)
To date, there has been much scholarly discussion and critique about how ideas and policies of "heritage" may be operating globally. There have also been ethnographic studies providing "on the ground" perspectives. In this session, we aim to establish a bridge between local-level empirical study and global heritage discourse. By addressing "heritage" in relation to processes of modernization and globalization in East Asia, we seek to investigate the dynamic communication between global heritage policies and local practices in that region. Rather than assuming that a Euro-centric discourse necessarily operates, we intend to explore the dialectical shifts of heritage discourse between international regimes and national and local presentations. We also wish to examine the tensions and opportunities in the process of interpreting, imagining and practicing heritage in the East Asian context of shifting economic and cultural values.
With these issues in mind, we invite papers looking into the following themes:
•What are the routes and modes of transport by which notions such as heritage, preservation, museum or authenticity—that originally emerged from Europe—travel to East Asian countries such as China, Korea or Japan?
•What concepts and practices do such notions meet when they arrive and how do populations interact with them? How are they professionally translated and interpreted and popularly imagined and practised on the ground?
•Through what kinds of processes and practices is the global heritage system variously put into operation and transformed at national and local levels?
•What roles do international professional groups, including heritage experts and nature conservationists, play in shaping the activities of Asian heritage practitioners and managers—and vice versa?
•How are documents and decisions concerning heritage conservation made at international levels (e.g. World Heritage) transmitted to East Asia and how do local actors variously take up, negotiate, resist or ignore these in whole or part?
• In what ways may local heritage decision-makers enlist national and international agents in order to meet their own economic and political agendas?
•How do international tourists and global tour operators imagine and influence heritage tourism in East Asia, and how do those variously respond?
Instead of focusing on single-site case-studies from diverse national contexts, this session engages with East Asia as an important ground for testing the global dynamics of heritage discourse in relation to the intensified mobility of concepts, objects, media and human beings.
We welcome projects with inter-disciplinary approaches to deepen the insight of the complex picture of the heritage system in the era of cultural and economic globalization. By investigating the proposition that cultures are an attribute of human societies formed by transcultural relationships, our session will collectively strive to cast new light on heritage politics, memory, governance, and the complex and often contradictory association of power and culture.
California State University Chico, Department of Anthropology, United States
Assistant Professor

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