Lecturer in Heritage Management; Programme Director for MA Heritage Management
‘Heritage: History, Theory and Practice’ is part of the MA Heritage Management at Queen Mary. The module introduces students to the theory of heritage and museum practice and invites them to reflect on the work of heritage organisations and sites, where they will work for half of their time on the programme.
The prevailing discourse around heritage is a traditional, Eurocentric one. 'Heritage: History, Theory and Practice' has been designed to challenge this ingrained view and expose students to issues that may arise from it. Often, these issues pertain to diversity and inclusivity in heritage and museums.
More broadly, the module also encourages students who come from diverse backgrounds to think about the nature of heritage as it currently exists around the world.
The module has been designed to centre issues such as colonialism and slavery; for example, by engaging students in discussions about monuments which relate to these.
Students are also encouraged to answer the question 'what is heritage?', which has allowed for the sharing of diverse perspectives. Further, the module examines the destruction of heritage, touching on recent events involving the controversial toppling of statues. This has allowed for rich discussion and debate to take place.
The topics covered each week of the module are as follows:
Going forward, there are plans to further amplify voices outside the western academic tradition by including more of these in the module's reading lists.
The module organisers also acknowledge that educators must consider and recognise their positionality and their privilege while teaching students and creating their teaching content. When necessary, they should not hesitate to seek support from colleagues and those with experience of the area.
Dr Ed Legon would like to thank Dr Jessica Jacobs and Dr Chris Moffat for their input in these aspects of the module.