nl en

Heritage Protection in a Global Context


NB: The starting date of this course has been moved to February 27th, instead of February 20th.

Admission requirements

Only the following categories of students can register for this course:

  • Students enrolled for the BA programme “CA-DS” at Leiden University who have passed the Propedeuse

  • Students enrolled for the Minor CA-OS

  • Exchange and Study Abroad students who had been admitted to this course

  • Pre-master students who have completed their Admission procedure for the master CA-DS. and have been formally admitted to this course as part of the pre-master programme.

Please see the registration procedure below.


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.

Course Objectives

Upon successful completion of the course, you will be able to:

  • demonstrate, in writing and oral presentation, a familiarity with key concepts from the institutional discourses and practices surrounding the concept of heritage preservation;

  • critically analyze institutional discourses regarding heritage preservation and the way in which these shape and are shaped by the specifics of social, political and economic realities on the ground;

  • carry out a small research project on a well-defined topic relating to heritage preservation, locating and using secondary sources (lit review);

  • clearly articulate your findings from the above mentioned project, both in written/visual form (poster) as well as in an oral presentation.


NB: The starting date of this course has been moved to February 20th, 2017 (instead of January 30th as originally planned).

Mode of instruction

Total 10 ECTS = 280 study hours (sbu):

  • Tutorials (12 sessions)

  • Literature study

  • Writing assignments

  • Field trip

  • Research for poster project

Assesment method


Registration in uSis

  • Registration in Usis is obligatory for the lectures (H) for all participants. Please consult the course registration website for information on registration periods and further instructions.

  • Registration for the exam is NOT necessary because this course does not have one final (classical) exam.

  • NB: Exchange students: those who have officially been admitted to this course during the Admission Procedure, will be registered in usis by the faculty-administration.


Blackboard will be used to make information and assignments available. Registration on Blackboard is obligatory for all participants.

Reading list

  • Sørensen, MLS & J Carman (eds) (2009) Heritage Studies: Methods and Approaches. Routledge.

  • Different articles (titles will be spread through Blackboard)

Contact information

Annet Pauwelussen, MSc MA