About the network
Network for Heritage Studies in Sweden
Research on cultural heritage processes is current, important and occurs in various subjects and at various universities and colleges. Some mobilization is taking place at institutions of higher education in Göteborg, Stockholm and Linköping as well as at certain museums. Many of these environments are still small and spread out across various disciplines and institutions that do not have long-term funding. The demand on knowledge has broadened from the National Heritage Board (Riksantikvarieämbetet) and other central actors to regions, municipalities and museums around the country as a growing decentralization and updating of national heritage has commenced within several political and societal areas. The various funds of the European Union, concepts such as cultural planning and also cultural industries all add new contexts and dimensions to cultural heritage politics.
Over the past few years, heritage studies have grown both nationally and internationally and can be said to be somewhere between specialized museology and general cultural studies. It deals with multidisciplinary cultural heritage research which combines old core subjects such as archaeology, history, ethnology, anthropology with competencies in areas such as museology, sociology, science of education and didactics as well as philosophy. This field does more than just add together all these competencies, through working on a level reflecting about how that which we call cultural heritage is being ‘canonized’, and goes from being memories, history, archives, monuments, objects, stories etc. to becoming this now increasingly popular and expandable phenomenon called ‘cultural heritage’.
To change and develop research efforts into a common and relevant resource, a research network is being created where the goal is to:
- Catalogue national cultural heritage research across school and disciplinary boundaries after 15 years of expanding research and researcher education in the field.
- Create easily accessible information about completed and ongoing research projects that facilitate a scientific sharing of the workload, synergy in the formulation of new projects and beneficial research results.
- Facilitate competence sharing in research education by announcing courses, guest researchers etc.
- Contribute with a collective node for international networks within heritage studies.
- Through increasing accessibility also increase the chances of research results being used in critical discussions on society as well as for more instrumental goals of sustainability, welfare and integration.
During two years the network will:
- Catalogue research and create a portal with processed and updated information about completed and ongoing national research. A newsletter will be available to all interested.
- Arrange three workshops nationally within relevant environments that ensure both a relevant delimitation of the work and nationwide support.
- Organize two conferences. In June 2012, an international conference regarding heritage studies will be held in Gothenburg. This will be an opportunity for the national network to link with an international one. A national conference that follows up the aforementioned conference will be held during the spring of 2013 at which time the initial surveys will be more deeply examined. Together, they will cumatively develop the forefront of research, internationalization, relevant applications and transfers of knowledge.
- Appoint an international reference group to secure the highest international quality and occupational development will be coordinated with the networks we have in respective environments and international projects.
The group that initiated this work is lead by Magdalena Hillström (Tema Q, Linköping University, Summoner), Christer Ahlberger (University of Gothenburg, area of expertise; cultural heritage) and Fredrik Svanberg (head of research, The National Historical Museum).
Contact is Maria Höglund, Linköping University (email@example.com).
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