Apr 13 2017

The Workshops: Claiming the Past, Belonging for the Future

Posted at 6:00 pm under Workshops '17

The second workshop we want to introduce this week will deal with a variety of questions on claims to/of heritage and their implications. Workshop 2 “Claiming the Past, Belonging for the Future” will be convened by Marianne Constable and Leti Volpp. This is their abstract for this workshop:

Heritage, heredity, and inheritance all come from the past and yet their claims are not simply historical. Indeed, as present-day acts, claims of heritage set up what belongs to whom for the future. What kinds of claims are these? Are they distinct as claims? What is it to make or state or stake a claim? How are legal claims performed? What do claims, as speech acts, involve? Does every claim involve an assertion of fact plus a demand for recognition? When are claims as to heritage factual? When are they claims of law? To what do they appeal? And what sort of evidence do they call for? How does what counts as evidence of a particular claim change over time?

Drawing in part on the work of J. L. Austin on speech acts and referring to a small number of documents drawn from various legal contexts — particular statutes, local regulations, trial transcripts, and possibly UN documents — we’ll begin to touch on the complexity of these issues as they relate to cultural heritage and historic preservation. Readings will include scholarship about the 20th-century legal history of archeology and about encounters between different traditions.

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