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Faculty Workshops/ Conferences

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

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.

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