Panel proposal for the 5th Congress of the “French Network on Asian and the Pacific Studies” : “How do you say heritage? Words & Discourses of Heritage in Contemporary Asia”

Panel proposal for the 5th Congress of the “French Network on Asian and the Pacific Studies” : “How do you say heritage?  Words & Discourses of Heritage in Contemporary Asia”

This panel will look at Asia-based heritage discourses, constructed in vernacular or in international languages.

Recent research on the heritage of Asia (inter alia, Winter and Daly 2014; Byrne 2014) has identified the gaps between internationalized heritage discourses and the local approaches that draw on local customs and beliefs. This panel will consider these gaps as opportunities for intercultural contacts. It will question if, and how, discourses communicate hybrid knowledge, produced through the exchanges between different cultural systems.

Is it possible to translate the notions of heritage, and to what extent? Which specific meanings, associated with vernacular vocabularies, are not translatable in international languages? Is innovation intrinsic to any attempt of translation? How do heritage stakeholders creatively transform “authorized heritage discourses” (Smith 2006) in their mother tongues (e.g. in national legislations)? Do they communicate the same meanings and strategies when they speak different languages?

These are among the questions being addressed by this panel. More broadly, we are looking for interdisciplinary contributions from linguists, anthropologists, and other heritage specialists that address:

– The discourses underpinning heritage practices. These papers will closely relate the analysis of discourse to the historical, cultural, political, and social context of enunciation. They will also address the relations between verbal communications and photography, iconography, exhibition, architecture, etc.

– The vocabulary of heritage. These papers will focus on one or few significant words in the vernacular languages (and, eventually, in international languages), and will investigate on their etymology, semiology, and cultural and historical background, with reference to precise contexts of use.

Deadline for sending your paper abstract: February 20th

Notification of acceptance: February 24th

Please, send your 200 words abstracts to: Dr. Adele Esposito, CNRS-AUSSER Research Fellow; Lecturer, Leiden University :


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