Trans-Atlantic Dialogues in Cultural Heritage

minature elvis figurine being held up in front of graceland

With our partners at CHAMP, at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign we seek to generate a series of research questions which examine Old World and New World perspectives on cultural heritage. We start from the position of genuine two-way exploration as to where are the continuities and disturbances in the ways that heritage is constructed, consumed, mediated and filtered through cultural lenses that themselves display patterns and overlaps of similarities and difference. We take as our starting point two dominant cultural tropes, powerful but contested, that are linked through historical engagement and contemporary everyday connection. Each side of the Atlantic – both North and South – offers its own geographical and historical specificity expressed and projected through heritage. But in geopolitical terms and through everyday mobilities, people, objects and ideas flow backward and forward across the Atlantic, each shaping the heritage of the other for better or worse and each shaping the meanings and values that heritage conveys. Where, and in what ways are these Trans-Atlantic heritages connected? Where, and in what ways are they not? What can we learn from reflecting on the different contexts and cultures as they produce, consume, absorb, resist, and experience the heritage of the other?


Find out more about CHAMP by visiting their website



 “Encounters with Popular Pasts: Meanings and Myths at the Interface Between Heritage and Popular Culture” from 23-24 May 2013 at Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois

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