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Heritage Protection in a Global Context: Institutional Practices and Policies


Admission requirements

Only the students who have formally been admitted to the following master-programmes have access to this course:

  • Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology

  • Asian Studies

  • Archeological Heritage and Museums Studies



This course explores the discourses and institutional practices surrounding heritage from an anthropological perspective, drawing on case studies from various parts of the world. In the past few decades, museums have been proliferating all over the world, many of them set up by and for previously disenfranchised groups, and often concerned with issues of culture, representation, and meaning. During the same time period, UNESCO has spearheaded globalized efforts to safeguard heritage, through projects like the World Heritage List and a series of conventions. In this course, we will ask how “heritage” gets constructed in specific instances through the various discourses (institutional, legal, national, international) around the concept as well as policies aimed at its preservation. Through reading and discussion, we will examine some of the key issues with which both anthropologists and heritage professionals are struggling, including: representation; strategies for “decolonizing” or “reclaiming” museums and heritage; repatriation and illicit trade; globalization, and tourism.


November 4 – December, 2013
Mondays 13-16 h
Location: room SA37 except on 11-11 room 5A42 and 2-12 room 5B14,
Pieter de la Court Building, Wassenaarseweg 52, Leiden

Mode of instruction

Total 5 ECTS = 140 study hours (sbu):

  • Lectures 8 × 3 h / 24 hours (36 sbu)

  • 2 workshops 9 hours (18 sbu) *

  • Study of literature (120 sbu)

Assesment method

  • Weekly assignments

  • Final paper

  • Active participation at all class meetings is required, including leading discussion for one class period (as part of a small group of students); short written responses to the readings are due prior to each class meeting; on the last day of class, you will present a poster on a heritage-related topic of your choice, on which you will carry out additional independent research.


Blackboard will be used to make information and assignments available. The blackboard module for this course wil be availavle for registration from the end of August 2013.

Reading list

  • Kreps, C. 2003. Liberating Culture: Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Museums, Curation, and Heritage Preservation Routledge

  • Additional texts will be made available through blackboard


Students are required to register for this course in Usis and on Blackboard.

Contact infromation

Dr. Henrike Florusbosch: