Heritage Alliance of the New Silk Road (HANSR) lecture series

The Heritage Alliance of the New Silk Road (HANSR) is pleased to present the Heritage Summer Lecture Series, showcasing some examples of the range and diversity of Heritage research across the network.

These talks cover tangible and intangible heritage in diverse forms and media around the globe, from high art to vernacular crafts and traditions that are meaningful for local communities. Two of these presentations also highlight the threats to heritage that climate change presents and the importance of heritage in a world threatened by climate change.

We hope that you will enjoy these fascinating presentations and that they will expand your understanding of the importance of heritage worldwide.

Introduction to Kun Opera

Dr Casey Schoenberger, Associate Professor, Department of Chinese Culture, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Kun opera or Kunqu is the oldest continuous Chinese performing tradition. Maturing around five hundred years ago in the prosperous Yangzi River delta region, it quickly became the most popular form of drama among educated elites empire wide.

The lyrics for Kun opera were viewed as a kind of poetry. Librettists “filled in,” mixed, and matched existing musical templates. The defining characteristics of Kun performance are a careful attention to pronunciation of each segment of a syllable and close coordination of music, choreography, and song in an unbroken flow.

Chinese Culture: Tradition, Transformation and Interaction

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

This vibrant XSeries program showcases 15 experts in Chinese culture led by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. It is composed of 3 compact courses and 15 fascinating topics.

The topics touch on Chinese philosophy, Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism, Sunzi, food and cuisine, politics, strategic thinking, literature, paintings, operas, education, and the history of China’s cultural exchanges with other countries and regions. Each compact course is around 2–4 hours per week, for 6 weeks.

Interested students may register an account at edX to attend the lectures, and access to all lecturing materials and some review questions for free. Attending certificate and the complete set of review and graded questions will be subject to certain fees charged by edX.

Building Climate Resilience through Communities, Landscapes and Cultural Heritage

Professor Neil Macdonald, University of Liverpool

Professor Macdonald presented one of Historic England’s Friday webinar series, entitles 'Building Climate Resilience through Communities, Landscapes and Cultural Heritage'.

These free weekly webinars, hosted by Historic England’s Environmental Strategy team in collaboration with the Climate Heritage Network, provide delegates with an in-depth look at a range of topics related to climate change and cultural heritage presented by international experts in heritage and climate change research, policy and practice.

You can view Neil’s lecture, and the others in the series, here.

Preserving Heritage, Sustaining Development and Empowering Communities in the M'Hamid Oasis, Morocco

Dr Giamila Quattrone, University of Liverpool

In June 2021, Giamila delivered the talk Preserving Heritage, Sustaining Development and Empowering Communities in the M'Hamid Oasis, Morocco at the ENGAGE NETWORK conference Towards a Global Agenda for Humanitarian Heritage: a Community-Centred Vision towards the Future of Global Heritage.

Desertification, socio-cultural change, lack of infrastructural provisions and unemployment have coalesced in the M’Hamid Oasis, on the fringes of the Moroccan Sahara, triggering outmigration and consequent desertion of its traditional settlements. In danger of disappearing, along with the earthen built fabrics, is also a rich heritage of music, dance, poetry, culinary traditions, textile crafts and building knowledge.

This talk presents Restoring, Recording and Inventorying the Tangible and Intangible Heritage of the M’Hamid Oasis, Morocco, a project done in 2019 in partnership with Terrachidia and CineTecture. During a workshop held in Ksar Ouled Youssef, international participants helped local master builders and young apprentices to restore the Marabout of Sidi Abdellah Khalifa. Buildings were documented, interviews were held to understand local needs and aspirations, while crafts demonstrations, dance, music and chanted poetry performances were filmed.

The project film M’Hamid Oasis Morocco and book Ouled Youssef. An Old Ksar in the M’Hamid Oasis showcase the cultural significance of this place, create wider awareness of its struggle for survival, and highlight its untapped tourism potential.

The event was streamed on Facebook here (Giamila’s talk runs from 45:54 to 1:16:37)

How Biscuits Became Italian: The Fleeting Nature of Country of Origin Effect

Dr Daniela Pirani, University of Liverpool

Dr Pirani originally delivered this talk at the Business History Conference.

This working paper looks at the trajectory of biscuits between the 1850s and 1930s, showing how biscuits have entered the Italian marketplace as an English commodity, and how they have then been nationalised as an Italian product, giving rise to a national market and a new understanding of this commodity.

This paper contributes to business history literature by providing novel data that illustrate how Italian companies entered the global bakery market by imitating English products, and how this in turn affected the national market. Castro and Saiz (2019) suggest that country of origin is, along with nation branding, an answer to globalisation, and both have a ‘sweeping away’ potential towards local brands. This paper attempts a slightly different approach by looking at how the Italian bakery industry emerged and structured by appropriating the British know how and the premium associated with the country of origin. This theorisation is supported by mostly unpublished data collected in Italy about Italian bakery businesses at the turn of the 19th century.

Heritage Research Theme keynote Lecture 2021

Paul Boniface, Secretary of the National Trust

Paul Boniface, lectures on governance, human resources and conservation management both nationally and internationally, joined us at the University of Liverpool on 27 January 2021 to deliver the Heritage Research Theme's keynote lecture.

In his talk 'People & Places: The History, Properties and Personalities of the National Trust', Paul charts the history of the National Trust from the end of the nineteenth century to the current day, explaining the charity’s mission and how it has responded to the changing conservation challenges and concerns of different generations.

Engineering Internationalism: Colonialism, the Cold War and UNESCO’s victory in Nubia

International Heritage Keynote Lecture 2021 with Professor Lynn Meskell

Lynn Meskell is the Richard D. Green Professor of Anthropology in the School of Arts and Sciences, Professor in the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation, and curator in the Middle East and Asia sections at the Penn Museum at the University of Pennsylvania. She is currently A.D. White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University (2019–2025).

Lynn’s lecture explored some of the issues she sets out in her book, A Future in Ruins: UNESCO, World Heritage, and the Dream of Peace.

Best known for its World Heritage program committed to "the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity," the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was founded in 1945 as an intergovernmental agency aimed at fostering peace, humanitarianism, and intercultural understanding.

Drawing of the example of Nubia, Lynn’s lecture explores UNECO’s role in the region from the late 19th Century.

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