This was originally posted on the 28th January - but we've been having such a good discussion I thought I should move it back to the 'top', so that it doesn't get lost in the list of conference alerts and other notices! Come on, let us know what you think...
I was lucky enough to be selected to attend the Heritage of the Recent Past colloquium at the University of Leicester last Friday. Organised by Dr Lisanne Gibson, from the Department of Museum Studies and John Pendlebury (School of Architecture Planning and Landscape, University of Newcastle), the colloquium was the first of a series of three exploring the preservation of historical environments.
The day raised more questions than answers all revolving around the concept of heritage and particularly what to validate now as important or significant, to preserve for the future.
So, here are some things to ponder:
What is, and how does something become 'heritage'?
How and by whom is it identified?
Who is it for?
What does it mean?
And how is heritage used?
Answers on a postcard to... :) No, not really. But let us know what you think by leaving a comment or two.
I should also point out that the colloquia are supported by a publically-accessible discussion board if you would like to get involved in the research cluster. Oh, and I'd urge you to apply to attend the remaining two colloquia in March and June - the day was, for me, characterised by a really productive, inclusive and jovial atmosphere. There was none of the standoffish and, frankly intimidating, academic posturing you sometimes get at these sort of events. Everyone was prepared to really get stuck in and contribute. All in all it was a really positive, thought-provoking and inspiring day.
The Attic (a name which commemorates our first physical location) is, first and foremost, a site for the research students of the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester: a virtual community which aims to include all students, be they campus-based and full-time, or distance-learning and overseas. But we welcome contributions from students of museum studies - and allied subject areas - from outside the School and from around the world. Here you will find a lot of serious stuff, like exhibition and research seminar reviews, conference alerts and calls for papers, but there's also some 'fluff'; the things that inspire, distract and keep us going. After all, while we may be dead serious academic types, we're human too.