Last week, my mom was telling me about how, when visiting our grandparents’ house, all my five-year-old sister wanted to do was get McDonalds and eat it in the cemetery where my grandmother is buried, like they had done last time they visited. This kid owns my heart. (We also discovered yesterday that we both want to be mermaids when we grow up.) Personally, I can’t think of anything that sounds so nice and peaceful. I spend more than average amounts of time in cemeteries, so adding a McDouble to the experience sounds like perfection. This fondness for the company of names and stones (combined with a love for Ireland and Irish history that takes up the entire upper right portion of my heart) is what made me so excited to find this audio clip by Historic Graves, as part of the Day of Archaeology. Historic Graves is an Ireland-based grassroots heritage project designed to train local community groups in low-cost, high-tech field surveys of historic graveyards and the recording of their own oral histories. This three-minute clip of the noises in the Garrankinnefeake cemetery in east Cork is the most peaceful thing I’ve heard all week. I've been replaying it constantly since last night. What’s more, the website has an entire section devoted to audio and video of graveyard-related projects, as well as a blog. Oh, what’s that? I just made your day? You’re welcome.
Saturday, July 30, 2011
I’ve been hearing about Day of Archaeology 2011 on Twitter for a while, and despite visits to the website I couldn’t figure out exactly what it was all about. It wasn’t until it actually happened that I really got it (way to go, Meg). Yesterday, roughly 400 archaeologists contributed to the Day of Archaeology website to chronicle what each was doing on one day, July 29, 2011, in order to shed light on what it is archaeologists actually do besides dig. Well, now that the day is over, you have hundreds of posts you can sift through and enjoy to learn about how individual archaeologists are working, researching, and loving their jobs.
Friday, July 29, 2011
The other day my good friend, The Obedient Woman, was talking about all her warm fuzzy feelings for the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and their recent Dale Chihuly exhibition. I just sat there, being all like whatever, until I had to admit that my feelings toward the MFA definitely aren’t warm or fuzzy, even when Dale Chihuly is involved. (I admit, the man has a magical way with hot sand.) The Obedient Woman and I are the kind of friends that call each other “dumb ass” affectionately and search out exhibitions of books made from human skin. (Surprisingly, not all that hard to find in Boston. Who knew.) So, as surprised as she was to hear that I’m not big on the MFA, she knows me well enough that her first question was, “Do they have a naughty collecting history?” And I was like, “GIRL, LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT THE WEARY HERAKLES BULL CRAP THEY’VE BEEN PULLING THE LAST TWENTY YEARS.”
After decades of denial and uncooperative bad behavior, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts is finally returning the top half of a statue known as the Weary Herakles; they have owned the bust since it was gifted to them by Leon Levy and Shelby White in 1981, while the bottom half has remained in Turkey, the sad victim of a violent looting. This Boston.com article does a very good job of summing up the saga from start to finish but, you know me, I’m never quite satisfied with how little the media does to reinforce the fact that the MFA totally and royally screwed the eff up. Perhaps more than any other museum, the MFA has suffered from Acute Museum Denial. Despite the obviousness of this particular case (a molding of the two pieces proved they fit PERFECTLY), they have refused to gracefully acknowledge and apologize for their heavily tainted collecting history and the blatant shows of disrespect they have engaged in by denying Turkey and other countries the return of their own cultural property.
This kind of behavior is the anti-thesis of what museums are for, or at least what they should be for. Art is not simply a pretty thing; most of the time, it is also a cultural object that holds significant meaning for the culture that created it and the modern peoples acting as custodians of that culture. The golden era of taking without questioning is over; museums are no longer the sole owners of their collections, nor do I think they should be. The globalization and digitization of our world has made it increasingly impossible for these institutions to hoard history for themselves, as has been customary. The evolution of information technology has empowered origin countries to take back what was stolen from them, and museums are slow-moving in realizing that the game has changed. I think that because of these surges in the evolution of information technology, my generation has a very different understanding of “ownership”, particularly as it applies to cultural property. I think that more than any other era, our various technologies have taught us how to share information. I really hope this inherent belief in the fair and equal sharing of information for education will greatly affect how we retool museums when we ourselves are museum professionals and scholars.
Really really rich people + education = the founding of the Yale Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage, which was funded by a gift of #25 million dollars from Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin ’78. The Institute will be focused on the conservation and digitization of art and artifacts; the conservation core will work on providing specialized tools and new technologies and methods to reduce the threats to cultural objects, while the the digitization side will apply new technological tools to capture, store, curate, and share findings and materials digitally. Over time, the Institute would like to build its faculty and staff resources to become more involved in addressing preservation issues in the field. It was also noted in the article that a program of online courses will be developed based on the University’s cultural heritage collections.
This makes me a happy camper. However, as psyched as I am to see all these new opportunities for some quality hardcore academia in cultural heritage studies, I hope Yale will remember its undergraduate students as the Institute develops. We like fancy research opportunities, state-of-the-art-equipment, and internship opportunities too. Yalies past and future, you better demand it.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
I’ve been googling “cultural heritage studies grad program” every now and then, mostly to see if I missed any programs the first bajillion times I searched it. The Newcastle University International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies’ many programs didn’t pop up until the second or third afternoon of avid Googling, but the persistence was worth it. Newcastle University doesn’t just have a Cultural Heritage Studies MA or a Museum Studies MA, or even an MA that combines the two. No. Why have one or two programs when you could have six programs in this field, each with multiple degree types: Art Museum and Gallery Education, Art Museum and Gallery Studies, Art as Enterprise, Heritage Education & Interpretation, Heritage Management, and Museum Studies.
I want to be in all these programs, but I’m particularly taken by the Heritage Education and Interpretation program. The Master of Arts is a 12 month course full time, and 24 months part time; a Postgraduate diploma is 9 months full-time and 18 months part time; and a Masters of Heritage Practice (what!) is 24 months full time and 48 part time. This program is intended to prepare students to work in the heritage sector and to equip students what the skills and knowledge they might need for research degrees. Modules familiarize students with the workings of the museum, gallery, and heritage sectors and allow opportunities for students to “rub shoulders” with students from other programs, as well as engage in program-specific seminars. Like most programs, there is a compulsory 8-week work placement at a heritage sit or organization, followed by the dissertation. The Centre as a whole has close ties with international bodies like UNESCO, national organizations and museums, and heritage organizations like English Heritage and the National Trust.
Newcastle’s website has been wooing me hard, and I can’t put my finger on why, exactly. The Centre’s main page lists 10 reasons to study at ICCHS; the first reason is expert and friendly staff. After seeing a lot of programs emphasize how competitive they are, it’s really nice to just see a program that says, “Hi. We’re friendly, we know our stuff, you should study with us.” Other reasons include the employability of students (boo ya), the vast range of guest lecturers, the intensity of the course, the hands-on approach to teaching and learning by doing, and the dynamism and closeness of the community’s work, trips, seminars, society, and parties. This school actually reminds me a lot of the school I already go to with its emphasis on hard work, joyous parties, and its unique ability to bring the world to its doorstep though it may not be in a major city like London. Is this the British Bennington? Do the kids at Newcastle University also wear too much plaid, talk about how art itself pisses them off, and eat vegan for health purposes while smoking multiple packs a day? Oh man. I want to go to there.
Monday, July 25, 2011
A few years ago, James Kennedy, an amateur fossil hunter, found a piece of fossilized bone at Vero Beach in Florida. For two years, the bone sat in a box under his kitchen sink (!!!) until he discovered that on the bone was an engraving of a mammoth. After three years of research, scientists have determined that the engraving on the fossilized bone (which belonged to a mammoth, a mastadon, or a giant sloth) is the oldest known prehistoric art ever found in the Western Hemisphere, clocking in at 13,000 years old.
This excites me. I am legitimately excited about this find. HOWEVER, I’m really not so keen on its finder, James Kennedy, or on the NPR article about this event. NPR has featured some unfortunately misleading word use before, but I’m having a hard time finding anything redeeming about Kennedy’s first quote: “I mean I’m not a scientist. I just go out and dig up bones good. I’m good at finding them. That’s one thing I do do, buddy.” Yeah, buddy. I’m sure you do do.
I’m frustrated for three big reasons right now: first, this guy may have found an incredibly important artifact (ecofact? which word would be best here?), the importance of which has brought Vero Beach to the attention of archaeologists and researchers again, but who knows what kind of context he may have destroyed in order to get this bone. Second, he’s going to sell the bone. Not donate it to a major institution that could keep it safe and make it available to the public and to scholars for research, but sell it to someone rich enough who may or may not make it available for research and education. He automatically looses about a thousand points with me for this. Third, this NPR article is the only one I can find that has recently covered this story, and they seem to be playing up the “treasure hunter makes it big” angle and encouraging looting.
Yikes, NPR. This is not what loving history responsibly looks like, and you should know that. This is not what we’re encouraging here. We are encouraging people having an interest in these things, but being wise enough to know that if they want to interact with them on regular basis, they should get a degree first or volunteer for a legitimate institution/organization. Not go and dig stuff up and keep it under their kitchen sinks. We are encouraging the preservation of history, no matter how old, and the sharing of this history with the world, not just one person for lots of money. We are also encouraging better journalism; you made Charles Lacer sound like a looter, and you’re sort of making James Kennedy sound like one too. If there is something I am missing from this story that may be redeeming, then I am sorry, Mr. Kennedy, for disliking you. However, from what I understand, James Kennedy is not interested in loving history or finding ways to enjoy prehistoric artifacts in a responsible way. This is 2011, not 1911. Most of us are aware that there are many legal and mutually beneficial ways to enjoy and preserve very very old things. Those people who are aware of this and choose to dig anyway should be financially bitch slapped by the government for consciously threatening the preservation of our common history.
Sunday, July 24, 2011
National Heritage Board and Smithsonian Institution build workshops to train Singapore's museum and heritage sector
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has reviewed its process in accepting eight artifacts loaned by Joseph Lewis, who was indicted last week in a massive antiquities bust, to determine that their process was thorough and that they accepted the artifacts “in good faith.” In the Richmond Times-Dispatch interview, Alex Nyerges, the museum director and CEO, called Lewis, “a charming fellow, a passionate collector and somebody that I would say from a personal standpoint is a reliable and I think conscientious collector.” Yeah, well, they said that about Marion True, too. Nyerges said the museum re-examined their process in accepting Lewis’s donation to determine whether they had been thorough enough in making their decision, coming to the conclusion that “the answer is yes.” The article doesn’t mention exactly what this process entailed, and the museum has not released a statement explaining their process. To their credit, the museum has been quite transparent in providing information on the artifacts from the Lewis collection. They even notified the U.S. Attorney’s Office in new York through the Virginia attorney general’s office to state their willingness to cooperate in the investigation.
However, the quote that really gets me going is when Nyerges says that the eight artifacts loaned “are not particularly rare or valuable objects.” He is quoted, “They actually speak much more to the cultural history of the ancient Egyptian civilization. They are not what I would consider to be priceless or extremely valuable. And this is not meant to be a pejorative statement, but they are more common and ordinary than not.”
I don’t even know where to begin with this statement. So, ancient cultural objects are only worth the money they could fetch at auction? The information they contain about the people and cultures who made them is really just a bonus, and definitely not necessary at an art museum, where it’s all about how pretty the stuff is anyway, right? Is this a “once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all” kind of deal? Oh, and the prettiest things don’t communicate information about their culture? It’s only the less pretty, more boring things that have anything to say? How is he defining “common and ordinary”? Is he suggesting that we’ve all got some of this stuff in our grandmothers’ attics? That if I brought an Egyptian canopic jar to The Antiques Roadshow, I’d only get enough money to buy a used car?
This is a truly unacceptable show of disrespect to the objects, the people who made them, and the people whose organs they contained (and thought would accompany them for forever in the afterlife) by a man who is supposed to be their guardian and ambassador. I love museums, and I do not think vilifying museums does anyone any good in dealing with the illicit antiquities trade, but I believe these kinds of statements from museum officials are indicative of how little has changed despite years of scandal and embarrassment over antiquities. From what I am seeing as a student, the mindset toward cultural property in art museums is still highly influenced by a collector’s point of view. That is, they emphasize the monetary value and aesthetic appeal of cultural objects over the objects’ original cultural meaning and function. I personally think this view is too narrow and corrupt to do museum-goers much good. I am so unimpressed by Alex Nyerges right now, despite his efforts to take responsibility for the artifacts in his temporary care.
Earlier this week, I attempted to read Matthew Bogdanos’s Thieves of Baghdad. I admire Bogdanos. I really do. I find his tireless efforts to recover Iraq’s stolen artifacts and to bring attention to the illicit antiquities trade incredibly noble. I am so grateful that we have him and others like him serving in our Armed Forces to keep the cultural heritage of occupied countries safe. I wish there were more people like him in every military force. But, unfortunately, I think his book is unreadable.
The first two chapters were interesting, but crudely written. I kept chugging, thinking maybe the quotes from Classical authors interjected every five lines might subside after the introductory chapters. I snorted at his comparison of analyzing crimes scenes to losing your virginity (you can only do it once? It’s not that funny, Bogdanos), and I was moved by his interactions with Dr. Nawala al-Mutwali, the then-director of the Iraq National Museum. But then he felt the need to cover his entire life’s story, including blow-by-blow details of his experience in New York City during September 11, 2001, which were often graphic and disturbing. After I had a good cry about 9/11 (I lived outside D.C. at the time; that stuff stays fresh, man) I was like, “I didn’t read this book to cry about 9/11 again. What is his freaking point?”
Well, my freaking point is that there seem to be a lot of really badly written books out there about the illicit antiquities trade, but you don’t have to waste hours of your life figuring out which ones are useless. I’ve already done that for you. I’ve included a new page (next to the Resources page) with a list of books I have found most helpful and most intelligently written on cultural heritage, the illicit antiquities trade, archaeology, museums, etc. Because I am always reading, the list is always being updated.
If you have any suggestions, let me know! I'm currently working on The Medici Conspiracy by Peter Watson, Master Pieces, by Thomas Hoving, and Whose Muse?, edited by James Cuno.
Saturday, July 23, 2011
- encouraging the study of unprovenanced artifacts against professionally excavated artifacts may yield a lot of insight into what we didn't know about the orphan objects, and may help discover their origin countries;
- after years of dishonest collecting and dishonorable attitudes toward origin countries, art museums may be able to redeem themselves by supporting the education of a younger generation that will not make the same mistakes as older generations;
- collaborating on a degree program may be a good opportunity for the museum world and archaeologists to find a way to work together to preserve our cultural heritage, instead of just arguing about who does it better and who's making it worse.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
In my internet ramblings over the last few days, I’ve discovered that I left out a few crucial programs from my first post on cultural heritage studies for undergraduates. How utterly negligent of me. Here are some more opportunities for you to get your heritage on while getting a BA, not after:
Big fat duh. I totally forgot to include this amazing program the first time I covered this topic. The Center for Heritage and Society caters to both undergraduate and graduate programs at the school, as well as providing research opportunities for scholars in heritage related fields. This past May, they hosted the conference, “Why Does The Past Matter?”, which honored scholars Henry Cleere (former Director of the Council for British Archaeology and currently Senior Advisor to the US-based Global Heritage Fund), Barbara Little (an author who takes an activist approach to historical archaeology), and David Lowenthal (emeritus professor of geography and honorary research fellow at University College London, and Fulbright, Guggenheim, Leverhulme, and Landes Fellow. Whew.) Most excitingly, they offer courses for both undergraduates and graduates. This upcoming fall, the only course listed is a graduate level seminar called Heritage as Politics. But hey. It only says “graduate LEVEL”, which means if you’re an undergrad at UMass Amherst and you’re pushy, passionate, and accomplished enough, you might be able to get in. I say “might” because I don’t go to UMass Amherst so I don’t know if that kind of thing is allowed like it is at Bennington. We’re pretty incorrigible at Bennington.
I just discovered this center today and man oh man am I excited about it. Penn CHC is a research, outreach, and educational center that studies the threats to cultural heritage from looting, the illicit antiquities trade, and commercial development, and promotes heritage policies, and, my favorite, connects cultural heritage and human rights by asking, “Is there a basic human right to have your Cultural Heritage protected?” Their events page have an impressive number of past lectures, and projects are ongoing in eight countries. The best part: the center offers courses for both undergraduate and graduate students, AND they have trained law enforcement agents in the Immigration and Customs Enforcement and in Customs and Border Patrol. (They got swagger, man.) Two undergraduate courses are listed: “Public Policy, Museums, and Cultural Heritage” and “Ethic, Archaeology, and Cultural”. Both are listed for fall semester and are taught by Dr. Richard M. Leventhal, the founder of the center. There’s even a fancy little section where two undergraduate students working in close collaboration with Penn CHC are profiled. I could spend a really long time talking about all the opportunities I keep finding on this site, but I won’t. Just please. Check it OUT.
This is one of the strangest and coolest programs I’ve found so far. The Cultural Heritage Informatics Initiative isn’t just into cultural heritage; it’s into the creative application of informing, communicating, and computing cultural heritage. They define “informatics” as a term used to “describe the creative application of information, communication, and computing technologies (broadly defined) to address the needs, challenges, and content of a specific domain.” CHI believes collaboration is necessary for cultural heritage informatics, and stress the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration. To accomplish this, CHI has a fieldschool that takes place from late May to early July on the Michigan Statue University campus. The CHI Fieldschool employs the model of an archaeological fieldschool but instead of working on a dig, students work collaboratively on several cultural heritage informatics projects. The site says, “The CHI Fieldschool is built firmly on the principle that students develop a far better understanding of cultural heritage informatics by actually building tools, applications, and digital user experiences than they do with passive analysis and commentary. The added benefit is that by building tools, applications, and digital user experiences, students also have the opportunity to make a tangible and potentially significant contribution to the cultural heritage community.” They go on to note the importance of learning digital media, information technology, and computing technology, which is vital to cultural heritage fields, yet many professionals only acquire these skills after their graduate degree. So they’re helping both graduate and undergraduate students to make digital know-how a major part of their education now rather than later.
I am now seriously considering applying to the fieldschool for next summer.
THIS STUFF IS SO COOL, EVERYBODY. Sometimes I just can’t keep my excitement at an inside-voice level.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Lee Rosenbaum at CultureGrrl has obtained a list from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts of works that were loaned by Joseph Lewis II, who was indicted last week with three dealers. There are 8 artifacts, all of which appear to be Egyptian. Many have ambiguous and suspect provenances in Swiss collections conveniently dated before 1970; Dr. David Gill questions exactly which Swiss collections these are, and whether they belonged to Swiss dealers'. The museum stated that they were all accepted in "good faith". Please. Anyone even slightly involved in this business knows that Switzerland has no policy on importing and exporting antiquities, making it the perfect destination for dealers who need to fake provenances. These pieces may or may not have been looted, but the museum should have been much more thorough in researching the origins of their pieces, regardless of the owner, as opposed to blindly accepting objects "in good faith". Have we learned nothing from all the major museum scandals over the past decade?
Monday, July 18, 2011
Sunday, July 17, 2011
I’ve been reading a lot of wonderful reviews over the summer for Chasing Aphrodite, by Jason Felch and Ralph Frammolino. (I particularly recommend Derek Fincham’s review, which I think best sums up the superiority of this text as a highly efficient and effective journalistic take on the Getty’s scandals.) Now that I have finally read it for myself, Chasing Aphrodite didn’t let me down. Everything everyone has been saying in various reviews applies to my view as well: it is a beautifully written tome that seamlessly organizes decades of complicated transgressions and scandals into one fluid linear narrative. Magically, this is done without any dryness or sensationalism whatsoever. All the complicated U.S. and international laws on antiquities and trafficking are described briefly and effectively; the personal in-fighting and politics at the Getty are mentioned when necessary but not hyped up for a glorified gossip fest; and though the personal views of the authors are somewhat transparent in their treatment of figures like Philippe de Montebello and James Cuno (I’m not disagreeing or anything though), they have still set themselves far enough back to give a fair and thorough account.
The perks that no one with a Master’s degree likes to talk about are the truly endearing and irrelevant bits of information that infuse the book with a beautiful sense of humanity. I found myself “awwing” out loud when Daniela Rizzo and Maurizio Pellegrini fall in love while matching photos of antiquities from Giacomo Medici’s raided warehouse to photos of works at the Getty over pizza during all-nighters. That’s my ultimate idea of romance. I’m not kidding. At the end of the book, I was particularly tickled by the mention of Tom Cruise and Katie Holme’s wedding, which took place during the final stages of the legal battle over the Getty’s looted Italian artifacts. I was even more tickled when the authors referred to them as “TomKat” and described the totally surreal scene of two beaten down lawyers trying to figure out their case in a hotel lobby, surrounded by celebrities in town for the nuptials.
Quirks aside, I firmly believe that every student interested in the illicit antiquities trade should read this book. It is non-negotiable in fostering your understanding of the issues. Not only is it well-written and entertaining, but it describes the trade from the top down better than any other book I’ve read so far. Without sparing any detail of how complicated, intricate, and straight up confusing the trade can be, the authors have clearly and eloquently laid out all the types of major contenders, the roles they play, how they play them, and the consequences. They do a particularly good job of demonstrating how badly equipped police forces are in dealing with these issues and how ineffective the law has been in staunching the flow of artifacts from ground to collector. In this book, you will learn what took me years and multiple books and articles to understand: how the trade is configured, how it operates, the names and roles of the most important people who were operating and benefitting from the trade, and how it came to be this way.
Most importantly, though the Getty scandal is unique, the points of view expressed by many of the people in the book are not. This all happened just a few years ago, and I get the feeling that many museums and institutions are already acting like it’s as historical as Napoleon dragging whole temples back with him from Egypt. There’s this sense of “people just don’t do that anymore”, which is totally false and incredibly dangerous. College students, I’m talking to you. Study the people in this book. Take your time to note the best and worst parts of this world we’ll soon be stepping into, because even though it has changed, in many ways it is still the same. (Especially because James Cuno is now at the Getty.) We need to prepare ourselves for the kind of politics, hypocrisy, and temptations that we’ll find there, and begin building and solidifying our own ethical codes while we’re still dirt poor and not in a position to accept great sums of money for doing questionable things at major institutions.
Saturday, July 16, 2011
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
If any of you are in the Washington, D.C. metro area this week, you should totes go check out the Folklife Festival on the Mall, which is resuming tomorrow the 7th through the 11th. This year's festival is focusing on Colombia, The Peace Corps, and Rhythm and Blues! I was an intern for the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage a few years ago (under the wonderful Betty Belanus and Dorey Butter - hi!), and I can't begin to tell you how hard these people work to create such an amazing event. The first year I went, I saw the prince of Bhutan give the most beautiful welcome speech. So go check it out and tell everybody and everything that I say hi and I miss it!
I had the weirdest train of thought today that started somewhere around here in this blog, and then noodled over to Tumblr, which has made a lot more sense to me lately, and that reminded me of Xanga, which reminded me of the blog I had on Xanga during high school and is still floating somewhere around the internet. Somehow, I remembered all my old screen name/password information, and spent the morning rereading my high school life. Which was horrifying, unsurprisingly. Before there was Facebook, and even Myspace, there was Xanga for me and my group of friends. I can't believe we found so much entertainment in blogging the minutiae of our totally lame day-to-day lives.
Of course, all this life thinking has been accompanied by whole days spent researching graduate programs in cultural heritage studies. For your condensed research pleasure, I’m doing two things with all this information: 1) giving you the highlights and the reviews on my fave programs in a series of blog posts, and listing all the other programs in a page, like the About section, as a resource for YOU, needy college student/educator. When I’m done, you’ll have realized you never thought you could be so excited about grad school.
University College London, MA in Cultural Heritage Studies
This is currently the program I have salivated over the most. It might be my imagination/limited experience, but it seems to be the best program for cultural heritage studies anywhere in the world. As the description says, it is built both for students who want to study cultural heritage as an academic subject and for students looking to be employed in the field. Big selling points: the program only lasts a year (part-time students complete it in two years), and is “unique as a UK academic department in having an ethics policy concerning the illicit trade in antiquities.” The extensive and incredibly detailed prospectus set the program apart for me; many other schools do not include so much information on their programs’ philosophies, structure, and methods. The prospectus is huge fun. Enjoy this delicious little excerpt:
“As such we shall critically re-‐visit the core question – what constitutes cultural heritage? -‐ and engage with the concerns (notably the moral-‐ethical issues) that shape and define a contemporary ‘politics of recognition’ and the possible futures of cultural heritage studies. By seeking to identify and problematise both the intellectual and operational strategies by which cultural heritage studies can engage responsibly with these new agendas and constituencies, this degree programme will focus not only on the critical contributions of archaeology, anthropology, museology, conservation, visual and material culture studies to this new dynamic but capture links and seize upon interventions currently being made elsewhere within the academy, at policy level and ‘on the ground’ which are led by alternative sets of values, lived experiences, strategic approaches and critical theorisations."
Are you excited yet?! If not, the course options have titles like, “Antiquities and the Law” and “Managing Museums” and “Understanding Objects”, which, personally, makes my heart beat a little faster. However, the testimonials from alums are kind of lame; while Simon Allwood, MA in Managing Archaeological Sites, says of his program, “Fantastic course with unbelievable support from all the tutors.”, Elena Payami, MA Cultural Heritage, says only, “It will get you thinking, that’s for sure.”