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CFA: The Politics of Heritage, 5-10 September 2022 (Leuven)

By May 24, 2022November 1st, 2022No Comments

Europaeum Summer School – ‘The Politics of Heritage’

5-10 September 2022 | KU Leuven, Belgium
Applications for this event are now closed.
Is this for you?

Who owns historical artefacts? Is it more important to conserve and display them or to return them to their country of origin? Are they valid targets in warfare? Hear from experts and be ready to contribute your own thoughts. A truly multi-disciplinary approach.
Applicants must be studying towards a master’s or doctorate and must be attending a university that is a member of the Europaeum network.

Content and approach

Debates and struggles to do with historical memory are front and centre of politics in our era. From the destruction of artefacts through warfare, to the contestation of the heritage of the colonial era, to the omnipresence of the Second World War in conversations about security in Europe, there are myriad examples of how the past resonates in the present. It is not just a question for scholars; it is discussed by activist networks and social movements from local through to global levels, and challenged or instrumentalised by political leaders. At its core are questions of power, historical justice, responsibility and moral obligation.

The Summer School, organised by the Europaeum in partnership with KU Leuven, will explore the complex issue of heritage, in both its material and ideational dimensions, with a special focus on Europe’s tangled relationship with the non-Western world in the colonial period and after. We will also be discussing heritage as a focal point of international diplomacy and of conflicts within and between states. The cases of Ukraine, Afghanistan,  the Balkans, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and of conflicts in various parts of Sub-Saharan Africa will be of special interest.  The Summer School will be exploring the politics of heritage from the conceptual and methodological vantage point of a variety of disciplines, including History, Archaeology, Social Anthropology, Law, Politics, and International Relations. This, our 29th Summer School, will bring together scholars and experts from across the Europaeum network and beyond, to discuss this urgent topic over five days of talks, panels, working groups, debates, role-playing, discussions, and cultural activities. It will include a visit to the renowned AfricaMuseum in Tervuren, formerly known as The Royal Museum for Central Africa.

Who can apply

We welcome applications from master’s and doctoral students from within the Europaeum network who wish to either present a 10 to 15-minute paper or contribute to the discussions. Participants will be given pre-event reading materials and join lively working groups during the event. Those not presenting a paper will be allocated a role as discussant to kick-start Q&A sessions following on from presentations.

How to apply

Please read the full details in the Guidance for Applicants page before applying. You will need to submit the following documents – all in English – to by the new deadline of 18 July 2022.

  • a completed application form
  • a CV
  • a statement of purpose (max 500 words) giving details of your academic interests and what you would expect to gain from attending this event. Applicants who do not wish to present a paper are encouraged to demonstrate strong affinity with the topic.
  • a reference from your supervisor or academic advisor
  • a title and abstract (up to 500 words) if you are proposing to present a paper

The Guidance for Applicants page should answer most queries. If not, Michael at will be happy to help.