Colonized Objects and Bodies in Europe
New challenges and new perspectives on the De-colonialization of Cultural Heritage
CALL FOR PAPERS
- Organizer: Coimbra Group, Working groups Heritage and Development Cooperation; Jeremy Upton (Edinburgh), Giuliana Tomasella (Padova), Julien Bobineau (Würzburg)
- Format: conference at the University of Würzburg (Germany)
- Date: 24th and 25th of June 2022
In both the ex-colonial and the ex-colonized worlds, visions of Africa and its colonial past have become incarcerated in stereotypes, dichotomies, and historical misrepresentation. Especially in European Cultural Heritage, we see a mixture of these ambivalent subjects and habits of lack of self-searching. But the restitution debate in Europe on cultural objects from Africa (Sarr/Savoy 2018) and the Black Lives Matter movement, which also reached Europe in 2020, have set the course for a questioning of the colonial essence of Cultural Heritage. Recent questions about history politics, cultural memory and cultural traditions are now also – and above all – debated in public. Museums, Cultural Heritage institutions, Universities with their collections and their self-image are now more than ever in the spotlight of the dynamics of a global debate. In the course of the conference, we aim to discuss the following questions:
– How can Cultural Heritage be decolonized in science, society, politics, and institutions to avoid ideological extremism?
– Are there national differences and similarities in Europe?
– Who are the actors and networks involved in defending the status quo or in decolo-nizing Cultural Heritage?
– What are the direct and indirect consequences of unreflect and stereotypical Cultural Heritage in Europe?
– How can the ‘decolonialization of Cultural Heritage’ contribute to the field of devel-opment cooperation with the African continent?
The conference will be organized within four sessions:
1. Historical misrepresentation: The concealment of colonial history in Cultural Heritage
2. The survival of Stereotypes: Reflections on the Imaginary within Cultural Heritage
3. University’s collection: Current states and new approaches
4. European Museums: Restitutions and new displays
The conference is organised under the umbrella of the Coimbra Group, an association of long-established European multidisciplinary universities of high international standard.
Abstracts of max. 300 words and a short bio of max. 200 words should be sent to julien.bobineau(at)uni-wuerzburg and giuliana.tomasella(at)unipd.it by 30 September 2021.