Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


VIRTUAL IAS Festival: Alternative Epistemologies for Critical Heritage Studies

04 May 2021, 2:30 pm–4:00 pm


This symposium of CCHS Small Grants Awardees celebrates participatory and performative approaches to heritage research.

This event is free.

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Institute of Advanced Studies

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Key to critical heritage studies is embedding diverse forms of knowledge through participation, acknowledging and highlighting various ways of knowing and of being. This short symposium of CCHS Small Grants Awardees celebrates participatory and performative approaches to heritage research that explores and contributes to pathways to alternative epistemologies, through videos, performances and presentations.

Participants: Catalina Ortiz, Johanna Dale, Antonio Sennis, Rebecca Gordon, Renata Peters, Helia Marcal and Alda Terracciano (Chair: Theano Moussouri).

Living Heritage Atlas

Dr Catalina Ortiz (UCL Bartlett Development Planning Unit, catalina.ortiz@ucl.ac.uk)
The pandemic has called for alternative methods of teaching and research, but can such methods also produce alternative epistemologies? In Spring 2020, UCL DPU students embarked on a remote, digital co-creation exercise with Moravia Cultural Centre, the Moravia Resiste Collective and the Cooperative Coinvite from Medellín, Colombia. Together we created a ‘Living Heritage Atlas’ of affective cartographies – enquiring into care, migration, recycling, connection and memory. Students and community organisations utilised a living heritage approach, using storytelling to uphold a different story of Moravia and respond to threats of displacement couched in terms of urban transformation. The Atlas sees living heritage as a concept capable of enabling a rethinking of urban futures as well as pasts. The digital exhibition will introduce the Atlas as a co-creation process as well as a potential tool for combatting spatial violence and challenging teleological understandings of urban development.

Embodying knowledge: a new heritage route for Maldon’s medieval leper hospital ruins

Dr Johanna Dale (UCL History, johanna.dale@ucl.ac.uk – lead contact) & Dr Antonio Sennis (UCL History, a.sennis@ucl.ac.uk)
A 15-minute video about our CCHS project to create a new medieval heritage route in Maldon, Essex, exploring the epistemic value of heritage walking routes. The Maldon leper hospital ruins, a nationally important survival and the town’s only scheduled ancient monument, are a 20-minute walk from the town centre and surrounded by postwar residential development. They are off the tourist trail and many local people do not even know they exist. Our 5 km walking route links the hospital to a variety of other medieval sites, using walking as a way of increasing knowledge about the site and creating an understanding of the networks that connected the hospital to the medieval town and other local institutions.

Resituating epistemologies in conservation theory and practice

Dr Rebecca Gordon (UCL History of Art, rebecca.a.gordon@ucl.ac.uk), Dr Renata Peters (UCL Institute of Archaeology, m.peters@ucl.ac.uk) & Dr Hélia Marçal (UCL History of Art, h.marcal@ucl.ac.uk)
This paper will approach conservation theory through perspectives on care and practices of responsibility. It will start by exploring the key themes raised in the symposium ‘Living through heritage’, which will take place in the first quarter of 2021. Drawing on diverse theoretical backgrounds and cultural geographies, it will discuss how conservation is intertwined with practices of participation and performativity. The second section of our talk will explore the potential repositioning of conservation as a care practice, linking humans and nonhumans in processes of responsible co-constitution.

Mapping Latin America Memory Routes

Dr Alda Terracciano (UCL Department of Information Studies, a.terracciano@ucl.ac.uk)
This project was a collaboration between researchers at UCL Information Studies and Geography departments, and the external non-academic community group Pueblito Paisa, to pilot a participatory design methodology, to be further developed in a wider research project on eliciting community memories for culturally diverse urban design and digital heritage. The work used participatory mapping and community memories to represent community issues around urban gentrification.

This talk forms part of the IAS five-year anniversary festival on the theme of ‘Alternative Epistemologies’.

All welcome. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need assistance on the day, and follow this FAQ link for more information and to read our virtual events code of conduct. All of our events are free, but you can support the IAS here.