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Heritage projects and community engagement


Compulsory attendance


Admission requirements

Bachelor’s degree in Archaeology or a relevant discipline.


Heritage projects are managed by a wide variety of institutions: from (commercial) agencies concerned with cultural resource management to faculty and staff of universities to NGO’s, museums and archives and tourist organisations. The very wide range of sectors and activities involved in ‘community engagement and heritage’ begs examination into their commonalities and differences. Through a critical analysis of case studies and literature we start unpacking some of the key concepts central to the topic of ‘heritage projects and community’.

Academically, concepts such as community, heritage, communal heritage, indigeneity, relationality, co-creativity have been actively discussed and (are being) deconstructed. All the while, one of today’s core challenges to these very same institutions remains how to engage stakeholders in heritage studies. Through a number of transdisciplinary discussions and case studies we try to examine current practices, politics of engagement and the represented power relations.

Course objectives

  • The ability to critically assess literature and argue one’s position;

  • Maintain a discussion on the basis of the assigned literature;

  • Learn to work in a team setting under the guidance of a primus inter pares, and establish a research strategy in a team setting;

  • Improve skills in searching for setting up a community engagement heritage project;

  • Convincingly present research results orally and in writing in a poster presentation or interactive media production.

Besides, for RMA-students:

  • Ability to set up, organise and handle a team research project as the primus inter pares and carry out interviews with heritage professionals and ‘community’ members;

  • Acquisition of the skills to be the editor of a co-authored academic paper situating the data, methodology or theoretical approach into a broader context of current heritage research.

Ects distribution

The course load will be distributed as follows:

  • 7×2 hours of lectures (including the presentations) (1 ects);

  • 280 pages of literature (2 ects);

  • 20 hours of practical work for the project research proposal and set-up, preparing a team presentation through the development of a poster or interactive media production (1 ects);

  • Final paper of max. 2,000 words (1 ects).


Course schedule details can be found in the MA time schedule.

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures;

  • Seminars;

  • Presentations.

Assessment method

  • Project proposal (30%);

  • Oral presentation (20%);

  • Final paper containing the results of the project (30%);

  • Poster or interactive media production (20%).

Assessment deadline

The project proposal is to be pitched and handed in during the course. Team presentations are scheduled at the end of the course.

All assessment deadlines (exams, retakes, paper deadlines etc.) can be found in the examination schedule.

Reading list

  • E. Waterton & S. Watson (eds), _Heritage and Community Engagement: Collaboration or Contestation? London: Routledge (2011);

  • L. van Broekhoven, C. Buijs & P. Hovens, Sharing Knowledge and Cultural Heritage First Nations of the Americas. Leiden: Sidestone Press (2011);

  • K. Fouseki, “Community Voices, Curatorial Choices” (2010) in: Museum and Society, Nov 2010. 8(3) 180-192;

  • W. Modest & V. Golding, Museums and Communities: Curators, Collections and Collaboration. London: Bloomsbury Academic (2013).

Other literature is to be defined through independent and team research.


Register for this course via uSis.
Instructions for registration can be found in the uSis manual.

Exchange and Study Abroad students: please see the Prospective students website for information on how to apply.

Contractonderwijs: all information (costs, registration, entry requirements, etc.) for those who are interested in taking this course as a Contractstudents is on the Contractonderwijs Archeologie webpage (in Dutch).

Contact information

For more information about this course, please contact mw. dr. L.N.K. van Broekhoven.