onsdag 19 april 2017

Protected memories - Language, Concepts and Ideology of Archaeological Heritage Governance

Dr. Johanna Enqvist (University of Helsinki) presents her PhD thesis work titled "Protected memories - Language, Concepts and Ideology of Archaeological Heritage Governance” (University of Helsinki, 2016) at the Research Seminar at the Department of ALM on Tuesday April 25, 2017 at 2-4 pm in room 3/0015, English Park Campus. The seminar language is English.

The abstract of Johanna's PhD thesis can be found below:

"The dissertation explores the key concepts of archaeological heritage management in Finland: their aspects, definitions and meanings, the history of the concepts and especially the contemporary, official discourse surrounding them  – the ways in which people represent, talk and write about  archaeological heritage  [arkeologinen perintö] and  ancient remains  [muinaisjäännös]. The social context of the study was focused on the Finnish archaeologists who worked in the intersecting fields of heritage management and academic archaeology. The texts, produced by the archaeologists, were analysed by means of critical discourse analysis; the findings of the analysis were compared to one of the most important contributions in the development of critical heritage studies: Laurajane Smith's (2005) theory of the authorized heritage discourse (AHD).

The study dissects the ideologies, identities and interaction which are constructed and maintained by the Finnish AHD. Consistent with Smith s arguments, the Finnish AHD appears as an ideological construction that is dominated by heritage officials and experts, and thus excludes other members of society from taking part in the processes that define heritage. The world view of the AHD represents reality as being divided into indisputable and naturalized conceptual categories, as well as into the quantitative results of measurements and numbers in the pursuit of scientific rigour. Archaeological heritage is defined and evaluated by the experts as material objects whose physical integrity, interpretation and representation of which archaeologists control.

The AHD is maintained in the network of official texts which concatenate and refer to each other. The vital intertextual element of these texts is derived from the Finnish Antiquities Act, prepared in the 1950s, which carries the connotations of nationalism and a juridical discourse. The social significance of heritage management, protection and research of archaeological heritage is thus reduced to obeying the law in the AHD.

The results and the conclusions of the study, concerning the historical contingency, causes, effects and action of the official heritage discourse, are vital in order to promote the more inclusive and participatory heritage practices in Finland in the future,  the democratised heritage discourse , which consists in the emancipatory interest of the research."

The thesis is written in Finnish and the full text can be found at https://helda.helsinki.fi/handle/10138/162811 More information about Dr. Enqvist can be found at https://tuhat.helsinki.fi/portal/sv/person/joenqvis 

torsdag 6 april 2017

Encounters of amateurs and professionals with tangible cultural heritage

The two speakers in this seminar introduce different perspectives on engagements with tangible cultural heritage outside the realm of custodial heritage organizations and academic scholarship, and explore the diversity of actors, practices, and implications of such engagements for the poetics and ethics of institutional heritage work. Suzie Thomas explores the engagement of metal detectorists with difficult and dark heritage of the recent past in northern Europe, and questions the response of official archaeology towards this activity. Costis Dallas looks into the curation and affiliative identity practices of heritage professionals, source communities and amateurs on social network sites in Greece, and probes their institutional implications. Based on their research, speakers will debate questions of identity work, social curation, place and objectual agency, participation and creativity, contestation and power, and institutional logic emerging from these onsite and online explorations of heritage encounters outside the fold of custodial heritage practice.
Dr Suzie Thomas is University Lecturer in Museology at the University of Helsinki, Finland. She obtained her PhD in Heritage Studies from Newcastle University, UK, in 2009. Since September 2015 she has been on research leave to work on the Lapland's Dark Heritage project (http://blogs.helsinki.fi/lapland-dark-heritage), funded by the Academy of Finland. She is co-editor of the Journal of Community Archaeology and Heritage.
Prof. Costis Dallas is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Information, University of Toronto, and Research Fellow of the Digital Curation Unit, "Athena" Research Centre, Greece. His current research is on digital curation of thing cultures "in the wild", on scholarly practices in the pervasive digital environment, and on identity and memory work in social network site interactions around cultural heritage.
The seminar is organised in collaboration with Arcaheological Information in the Digital Society research project (arkdis-project.blogspot.se) and COST Action CA15201 Archeological practices and knowledge work in the digital environment (www.arkwork.eu) and Research Node KOM (Knowledge Organisation and Power).