• The Politics of Preservation: An Interdisciplinary Discussion of Cultural Heritage and Historic Preservation

    by  • February 23, 2016 • Faculty Workshops/ Conferences • 0 Comments

    Over the past century we have steadily shifted more resources, both intellectual and monetary, to preserving historic properties and protecting cultural heritage. More recently we have added to this preservation focus increasing concerns about who is entitled to define and lay claim to material culture from the past. Here in the United States these debates play out in the context of historic properties, the National Historic Preservation Act, and a variety of legislative acts that protect the cultural heritage of Native Americans. In the international realm these debates focus on the identification and protection of world heritage sites and the illicit movement of antiquities.

    Regardless of the separate and at times even conflicting legal regimes that govern the preservation of domestic historic properties and international cultural heritage, they share some of the same historic and cultural roots and give rise to similar issues and questions. Why do we put so much stock in the preservation of our material culture and built environments, even at the expense of other social and economic goals? How do we define what is worth saving and whose voices are privileged in that process? How do we reconcile the communal goals at the heart of preservation with concerns about protecting private property and sovereignty?

    This one-day conference will explore these issues through a cross-disciplinary discussion between leaders in the fields of archeology, anthropology, history, architecture, and law.

    The Politics of Preservation
    Friday, April 29, 2016
    Morris Hall, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law
    565 W Adams St, Chicago IL

    Confirmed Speakers:

    Jennifer Anderson Associate Professor of History, Stony Brook University

    Daniel Bluestone Professor of History of Art & Architecture; Director of the Preservation Studies Program, Boston University

    Patty Gerstenblith, Distinguished Research Professor of Law; Director of the Center for Art, Museum & Cultural Heritage Law, DePaul College of Law

    Richard Handler Professor of Anthropology; Director of the Global Development Studies Program, University of Virginia

    Gunny Harboe Founder and President, Harboe Architects; Adjunct Professor of Architecture, IIT School of Architecture

    Sonia Katyal Chancellor’s Professor of Law, UC Berkeley Law School

    Morag Kersel Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Archaeology, DePaul University

    Marla Miller Professor of History; Director of the Public History Program, UMass Amherst

    Carolyn Purnell Visiting Assistant Professor and the Jack Miller Center Postdoctoral Fellow, IIT Lewis College of Human Sciences

    Lawrence Rothfield, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature; Research Affiliate and Former Faculty Director of the Cultural Policy Center, University of Chicago

    Frank Vagnone Principal, Twisted Preservation

    This event is made possible in partnership with the Jack Miller Center and through the support of a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.

    Read more and RSVP on our Conference Page.


    The purpose of the C-K Faculty Blog is to provide a forum that brings together all the rich intellectual contributions of the Chicago-Kent faculty and to encourage respectful and scholarly dialogue within the extended Chicago-Kent community, including faculty, students, alumni and colleagues at other law schools and universities. For questions or more information, contact the C-K Faculty Blog Editor by e-mail at facultyscholarship@kentlaw.iit.edu.

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