Session: #324

Theme & Session Format

Archaeological heritage and museum management: future chances, future risks
Session format:
Round table (only list of confirmed discussants(session co-organizers)

Title & Content

Politics of Heritage and New Authoritarianisms
In recent years, Europe has been going through significant social changes that simultaneously affect and are the result of struggles about memory and political identity. Whereas post-WW2 peace was founded on an anti-fascist consensus, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the vanishing of the former Eastern bloc shifted European political consensus towards capitalist-oriented liberal democracy. This shift was crucial for the political and institutional rearrangements that took place during the integration of former socialist countries within the European Union, and for North-South relations across the Mediterranean basin. However, both the anti-fascist and liberal consensus were rooted in the emancipatory politics inherited from the Enlightenment. Since 2010, the continent has been witnessing the rise of new forms of authoritarianism built on reactionary politics. These new authoritarianisms reject the emancipatory program of liberal democracy, while still relying on its electoral mechanisms and market economy for social legitimacy. Recent consequences of this reactionary shift include a humanitarian crisis at its borders and the return of colonial nostalgia, as well as the reshaping of nationalist movements across Europe. In this session we ask: How are these transformations affecting the understanding and management of cultural heritage? What is impact of the practice of archaeology, preservation studies and other disciplines on new authoritarianisms? Are archaeologists and cultural heritage experts contributing to generate a rhetoric of "crisis"? How can we intervene in the present context?
Politics of Heritage, Authoritarianism, Archaeology, Cultural Heritage
Session associated with MERC:
Session associated with CIfA:
Session associated with SAfA:
Session associated with CAA:
Session associated with DGUF:
Session associated with other:


Main organiser:
Rui Gomes Coelho (Portugal) 1
Francesco Iacono (Italy) 2
1. Rutgers University, USA
2. University of Bologna, Italy