Bodies – english version

in, as, of, with, and ‘Identity and Heritage’

Over the last thirty years, academic interest in conceptualising bodies has significantly risen. The focus has shifted from bodies as passive objects to subjects, instruments, arenas and sources of knowledge production, especially in studying identity and heritage constructions. Boosted by socialist-feminist scholars, bodies have found their way into various disciplines, including art and cultural studies, urban geography and architectural theory.

Bodies are thereby to be understood as socially constructed and politically charged concepts embedded in social power relations of knowledge production. Processes of attributing meaning to heritage and identity can also be re-examined through the lens of the human, non-human, built, digital, and imagined bodies.

The field of tension between the conceptualisation of bodies becomes apparent in the example of heritage conservation when, on the one hand, visitors to cultural heritage sites are primarily seen as a threat to the preservation of built heritage and, at the same time, there is talk of the physicality, even corporeality, of the object. These and other ambivalences make it seem necessary to rethink the role of bodies and their relations to material and immaterial heritage by giving more significant consideration to aspects such as vulnerability, emotions, disciplining and control, (political) inclusion and exclusion, revitalisation, appropriation and/or decay. 

The 8th annual DFG Research Training Group 2227 Identity and Heritage conference will occur in Berlin on 7 and 8 November 2024. It will deal with the relations between body, identity, and heritage. The focus here is on more than just establishing definitions of the body in the respective disciplinary contexts but on bringing together different approaches, practices, and debates to a deeper understanding of bodies, bodily experience, and embodiment in heritage theories.


We do not charge a fee for participation in our conference, but ask for timely and binding registration.

Questions about the programme can be sent to Name Name:



Scarlett Wilks can help you book an overnight stay: