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Programme for Annual Conference online

Jun 20, 2016

The programme for the 8th Annual Conference at the Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context” is now online on the Cluster’s website. David Freedberg (London) and Sinan Antoon (New York) will give the keynote speeches and twelve panels as well as two round table discussions will address topics related to the conference’s theme "Making, Sustaining, Breaking – The Politics of Heritage and Culture".

The conference takes place from October 12 – 14, 2016 in Heidelberg and opens with a keynote at the Great Hall of the Old University. This year’s opening keynote will be delivered by Nayanjot Lahiri from Ashoka University in Delhi on October 12. Sinan Antoon from New York University will give a second keynote speech following the panels on October 13.

The panels on October 13 and 14 are organized in two different formats: the morning panels will be plenary sessions devoted to broader themes of the conference, while the afternoon will feature parallel sections, with panels in different formats, with a view to foster more intensive dialogic exchange. All panels will be held at or near the Karl-Jaspers-Centre.
The conference will address some of the urgent questions that surround heritage as a political and cultural issue at a historical juncture when the idea of culture is being drawn into a field of intense contestation. While in certain intellectual circles and scholarly discussions culture is slowly but steadily uncoupled from the nation, these impulses are at the same time countered by moves to reinforce – even reinvent – national identities as culturally homogenous. As societies confront their transcultural pasts, the concept of a monolithic, integrative heritage is not only becoming increasingly untenable, it is turning into a site of conflict. Ruptures induced by the spatial and cultural displacements that come with modernity and contemporary globalization have in turn meant a return to notions of an ancient, untainted civilizational identity in many regions of the world.

The Annual Conference 2016 is a collaborative enterprise of the Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context” at Heidelberg University, the Forum Transregionale Studien, the Max Weber Stiftung - Deutsche Geisteswissenschaftliche Institute im Ausland, and the German Archaeological Institute in Berlin. It is organised by Prof. Dr. Monica Juneja, Dr. Michael Falser and Dr. Philipp Stockhammer on behalf of Research Area D "Historicities and Heritage".

Please find the full program here and visit the conference website for detailed information.

Picture Credits
1) Statue photographed in 1963.©UNESCO/A. Lezine via Wikimedia Commons (
2) Reconstuction efforts after the Buddhas were demolished by the Taliban in 2001. ©Carl Montgomery (
3) Replica at Arkady Fiedler Museum in Puszczykowo. ©Jsporysz via Wikimedia Commons (


  • Buddhas of Bamiyan, Afghanistan (credits below)