University of Liverpool Welcomes Heritage Researchers from Around the World

Posted on: 6 September 2018 by Nick Jones in 2018 Posts

Silk Road Event Attendees
Delegates at the 'Curating the Past for the Future' event.

This week (3-4 September 2018), the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences welcomed academics from China, Kazakhstan, Australia and the USA to the University for a programme of presentations and activities on the theme of ‘Heritage: curating the past for the future.’

Hosted by Professor Dinah Birch, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Cultural Engagement, and joined by Professors Lin Foxhall and Georgina Endfield,  the event explored different understandings of heritage, and shared issues, solutions and good practice around the curation and presentation of heritage today.

The event took place as part of the University Alliance of the Silk Road, of which the University of Liverpool is a member, and delegates all discussed heritage in a Silk Road context. The university Alliance of the Silk Road is a non-profit university alliance based at Xi'an Jiaotong University. Its mission is to build educational collaboration and promote economic growth in countries along the Silk Road Economic Belt

Heritage is also one of the University of Liverpool’s research themes, so the event was a key opportunity to explore many of the concerns that inform ongoing research at the University. These included preserving global history and historical sites to ensure our knowledge and understanding of the past can continue to inform regeneration for the future, and guaranteeing research insights go on to define new ways of thinking about and engaging with contemporary issues.

On 3 September, the School of the Arts Library was the venue for a day of presentations and talks, including:

  • Peter Biehl of the State University of New York, Buffalo presenting ‘The future of archaeology is heritage: teaching and researching heritage in a globalized world’
  • Scott Hawken, from the University of New South Wales who delivered a talk on ‘The mega-urban region and the anthropocene: a long term view of urban ecosystems and urban sustainability in Asia’
  • Soumyen Bandyopadhyay of the University of Liverpool discussing ‘Architectural and landscape heritage in the Middle East’
  • Justina Yung from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, who shared her work on ‘Restoring and preserving the diaspora-family buildings in a former war blockade island: community experience in developing heritage-oriented tourism in Kinmen’
  • Lu Pan, also of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University who presented ‘Forgetting Cenotaph: Understanding Spatial Changes in Statue Square in Postwar Hong Kong’
  • Harold Mytum from the University of Liverpool looking at ‘Heritage initiatives in northwest England’
  • Kristina Bekenova and Neil Collins, both from Nazarbayev University, who presented their insights into ‘Sharing heritage on the Silk Road: EU cultural diplomacy in Central Asia’
  • Huqin Zhang and Jian Xu, Yayuan Qu of Xi’an Jiaotong University, who talked about ‘A Comprehensive System of Monitoring and Evaluation of Preservation for Heritage Sites on Guanzhong Zone in China’
  • Bazarkul Zholdybekova of Al-Farabi University, Kazakhstan, who offered a presentation on ‘Al-Farabi heritage in the formation of global citizenship on the Silk Road’

From these presentations and subsequent round-table discussions, delegates looked at such wide-ranging topics as heritage protection, how to manage the loss of heritage, and the debates around restoration, including digital restoration and presentation. The group aims to pursue further work around the theme of heritage, resilience and community wellbeing.

After this full day of sharing ideas, the next day delegates were able to sample some of Liverpool’s own unique heritage with a walking tour of the city’s famous waterfront, taking in the sights such as the famous Liver Building, the Albert Dock and the world-renowned Merseyside Maritime Museum.

It was an honour to host such illustrious guests here at the University, and a privilege to be part of such a productive and insightful knowledge exchange.

Keywords: Events.