Past annual conferences


WITH/OUT IDENTITY. On the Question of Identity Constructions in Spaces, Heritage and Communities (7th Annual Conference)

On the one hand, vagueness and the questionable tendency to essentialise the term lead to a certain avoidance of its use. On the other hand, referring back to concepts of identity provides an important frame of reference – especially for those communities that are refused to articulate history, memory and bodies of knowledge themselves. The construction of spaces and cultural heritage is crucial to the question of how identity is appropriated, negotiated or asserted in social, political and thus also physical spaces. The 7th annual conference of the Research Training Group therefore understands the concept of identity as a projection field in which groups and communities constitute themselves and imagine commonalities in reference to spatial as well as material cultural heritage. For a critical examination of identity constructions, the conference will take up current and socio-political discourses on heritage and […]



Connecting Things: Objects and Heritage Constructions (6th Annual Conference)

This year’s conference focuses on the objects that come into view when researching identity and heritage constructs: when things are ascribed symbolic meaning, and often multiple and potentially conflicting meaning, they can become relevant as ‘heritage’ for perceptions of commonality and self.



Censored? Conflicted Concepts of Cultural Heritage (Fifth Annual Conference)

25.-26. November 2021, Bauhaus University Weimar In recent years, the terms ‘cancel culture,’ ‘political correctness,’ ‘call-out culture,’ and ‘censorship’ have dominated debates about freedom of speech and scientific research, discussions about memorial sites and the removals of monuments as well as critiques of museum exhibition practices. During the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States, England, and Belgium, protesters were faced with allegations of censorship, moralism, and iconoclasm after monuments to Confederate generals and slave traders became a central focus of the protests. Similar accusations had already begun circulating in 2018, as the #MeToo movement triggered a critical reassessment of artworks on public display, and several exhibitions worldwide were closed, postponed, or had individual exhibits removed.



Practices of Inheritance – Metaphors, Materializations, Power Constellations (Fourth Annual Conference=)

19.-20. November 2020, Videokonferenz Identities are formed through concrete references to the past. This reference to the past can be understood as a practice of inheritance, which can be of material or immaterial form. However, this inheritance practice is not shaped by stable inheritance relationships but represents a public and conflict-ridden process of appropriation. By taking a perspective on the ‚practices of inheritance‘, we would like to examine the diverse social and institutionalized practices and the cultural techniques of referring to the past and identity-construction.



Unsteady Constructions (Third Annual Conference)

21-22 November 2019, Architekturforum, Technical University Berlin The term “construction” refers in architecture and monument preservation mostly to the built world, in social and cultural sciences, however, to the social production of symbolic meaning. Understanding the material environment in relation to its social nature is one of the central concerns of the Research Training Group “Identity and Heritage”. Those who speak of “heritage” in the context of “identity” often promise “continuity” and “stability”. Nonetheless, these are promises that last only as long as people engage in related narratives. As these are increasingly questioned and the term “identity” has become a contested category, the familiar “constructions” become unstable, which is especially evident in moments of conflict, the conscious acquisition of identity and moments of loss.



Collecting loss (Second Annual Conference)

It is the tension inherent in the absence of people, things, places or symbols, which turns loss into a community inspiring force. According to Aleida Assmann, it seems »much more difficult to store gaps, voids and absence than the experience of a presence« (Assmann, 2006). Current technologies promise the possibility of fully documenting the world. Nothing would be lost. This would lead to something we could think of as a non-biased, total archive, that would be almost impossible to navigate. Contrary to this stands the idea of the classifying archive, which, by definition, is constituted by selection, exclusion and thus by deliberate disposal.



Denkmal-Erbe-Heritage (First Annual Conference)

From 5 to 7 October, the Research Training Group “Identity and Heritage” will hold its First Annual Conference in cooperation with the Arbeitskreis für Theorie und Lehre der Denkmalpflege e.V. (AKTLD). The first part will take place under the title “Concepts of industrial culture”. The second part with the topic „Landscapes. The second part, entitled “Industrie-Erbe-Landschaft. Identity constructions in “post”-industrial societies” is the responsibility of the Research Training Group. 5–7 Oktober 2017, Technical University Berlin