Heritage as Aid and Diplomacy in Asia 26 – 28 May 2016

Cultural (heritage) diplomacy is a well thought strategy carried out by some states. Pioneer countries in cultural diplomacy include France, Italy, the Netherlands but also India and Japan.

Today, most Asian states are following on that path: in the past years, China, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia have considerably strengthened their investment in regional “heritage cooperation”. Some of them, like India or Japan, have had a long history of cultural international intervention. In spite of a growing academic interest in the politics of heritage in Asia, few studies have directly questioned the role of international and transnational cooperation in the field of heritage conservation. The relative shortage of historical, sociological, political, and ethnographic researches on the multiple incarnations of ‘Heritage As Aid or as Diplomacy’, – as extensively described in the conference description on the website- , is all the more surprising when we consider how cultural and heritage management represents a major area of international cooperation as well as a powerful instrument of ‘soft’ influence by states, corporate forces and social elites on Asia-based heritage practices.

This conference will address the relevant international and transnational actors as objects of study and will engage in a threefold exploration (see the conference website for details):

  1. Knowledge production
  2. Geopolitics of heritage as diplomacy
  3. Ethnographies of international agents and ‘cultural experts’

The three themes outlined above chart the area we wish to call ‘Heritage as Aid and Diplomacy’.

The program
For a detailed conference description and the program, please visit our website www.iias.asia/heritageaid

Registration and contact
If you are interested in attending the conference, please register before Friday 20 May via the registration form available on our website www.iias.asia/heritageaid

For enquires about the conference, please contact Ms. Martina van den Haak at m.c.van.den.haak@iias.nl

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