Sammi McKee via The Saint

The UNESCO Chair convenes webinars at the University of St Andrews

This spring the UNESCO Chair on Applied Studies of Intangible Cultural Heritage is invited to convene a webinar series at the Centre for Minorities Research at Scotland’s oldest university, St Andrews.

The series called Living Heritage: Challenges in the politics of ownership and belonging brings together scholars from three UNESCO Chairs (from Estonia, Latvia and France). They all work with the concept and context of living heritage that either constrains or enhances diversity, minority positions and dimensions of indigeneity.

The proposed approach will consider the relevant framework spelt out by international UN agencies like UNESCO and their legal instruments of conventions. This provides a political background to social, cultural and environmental challenges and concerns, including Sustainable Development Goals. At the same time, this does not limit our discussions but allows a broader outlook extending from local communities and practices to governmental policies and global heritage regimes. 

This seminar invites us to reconsider how we conceptualise heritage mobility, accessibility, inclusion, and exclusion through embodied practices and experiences with a focus on minorities. 

  • How are minorities addressed, or do minorities position themselves in this framework? 
  • What kind of agency dynamics become instrumental?
  • What kind of political claims are generated or subdued? 


SCHEDULE: Thursdays 3-4pm (GMT)
Find the Zoom link on the webpage of CMR.

14 March 
Kristin Kuutma, University of Tartu 
The complexities of living heritage, its representational effects and affordances for minorities 

28 March
Elo-Hanna Seljamaa University of Tartu 
The politics of belonging in national contexts 

11 April
Anita Vaivade Latvian Academy of Culture 
The legal context and constraints of indigenous heritage 

25 April
Chiara Bortolotto Cergy University, Paris 
Living heritage and the issues of and concerns for sustainability 

9 May
Aet Annist University of Tartu 
Community representations, heritage positions and environmental challenges


The Centre for Minorities Research (CMR) is a timely initiative that brings together interdisciplinary expertise from an outstanding pool of staff from across six Schools at the University of St Andrews. CMR explores the complexities, challenges and opportunities, continuities and discontinuities, unity and ruptures of the ‘everyday lives’ of minorities. 

Homepage of the UNESCO Chair on Applied Studies of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Facebook page of the UNESCO Chair.

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