Connecting Things: Objects and Heritage Constructions (Sixth Annual Conference)

25-26 November 2022, Architekturforum Berlin

Narratives that inform heritage references are linked to certain forms of materialisations; among them, artefacts, built structures and places, photographs and other images, texts and oral accounts. What insights can a focus on such ‘things’ yield about present-day references to the past? For example, how ‘things’ come to be considered significant, irrelevant or offensive by certain actors, whether they carry fixed socio-cultural meanings, and what role they play in the formation of new or as yet under-recognised constructs of heritage?

This perspective is gaining new importance outside of classical heritage discourses; as not only research objects of relevance increase in number, but also as contradictory appropriations and interpretations find increasing interest. Moreover, this expanded view of the object calls for a review of the guiding theoretical concepts in heritage research; such as (conceptual) understandings of the temporality and materiality of heritage objects.

By placing the focus on research objects, the 6th annual conference of the DFG Research Training Group ‘Identity and Heritage’ invites participants to raise such open theoretical questions. The conference is not only a space in which to present research outcomes, but also a forum for reviewing established research approaches, contexts, and situations. The standard lecture format will be supplemented by dialogues and, depending on interest, also by audio/visual formats (e.g. posters, videos or display of research objects).