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Christiane Brosius confirmed as speaker of FI TCH



19 May 2021

Flagship Initiative Transforming Cultural Heritage (FI TCH) is an 18-month project that brings together Heidelberg University's diverse disciplinary and region-specific competencies in researching and practically dealing with cultural heritage. Its aim is to network research in the humanities and social sciences at Ruperto Carola in the field of Heritage Studies, thereby strengthening the link between the University's
Fields of Focus III "Cultural Dynamics in Globalized Worlds" and
IV "Self-Regulation and Regulation: Individuals and Societies." Prof. Christiane Brosius, professor of
Visual and Media Anthropology at the HCTS and former deputy speaker of the Flagship Initiative, has been confirmed in her role by the
Board and the
Rectorate of Heidelberg University. Together with
Prof. Dirk Werle, she will continue supporting the initiative in the framework of the Excellence Strategy’s vision of placing cultural heritage at the center of research, teaching, and transfer in innovative ways.
The research on cultural heritage at the center of the activities of the Flagship encompasses questions of high social relevance: besides the protection and preservation of cultural properties, these include issues of cultural and social diversity, political dimensions of (democratic) decision-making mechanisms, and aspects of civil societies. Other key questions are linked to mobility and migration, the legal definition of ownership, the provenance and repatriation of cultural goods, and the economic aspects of tourism and (illegal) trade. The impact of phenomena such as climate change, natural disasters, armed conflicts, and societal crises on cultural heritage are also being researched as part of the Flagship Initiative.
By critically examining the concepts of “authenticity” and “integrity” and other issues connected to ideological instrumentalization, and investigating the agency of a range of actors involved in claims of ownership over cultural heritage, the Flagship aims to make significant contributions to a highly topical field of research. “With the FI TCH, not only will Heidelberg University be able to underline its comprehensiveness and strengthen the ties across its different disciplines, but also bring in ‘new wind’ by considering issues of today’s global challenges, such as migration, climate change, and urbanization. For this reason, the initiative focuses on building bridges with the Social Sciences.” – explains Brosius.

Christiane Brosius is the professor of
Visual and Media Anthropology at the HCTS. She co-directs, with
Prof. Axel Michaels (Heidelberg Academy of Sciences), the
Nepal Heritage Documentation Project (NHDP) at the HCTS. She is also the co-founder of
Tasveerghar, an interdisciplinary digital platform on South Asian visual popular culture. Her research focuses on art production, urban transformation, and cultural heritage in South Asia.