Københavns Universitet
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The Best We Share. Nation, Culture and World-Making in the UNESCO World Heritage Arena

Forelæsning — Public book talk with Christoph Brumann from the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle.


Date & Time:

Room 10.3.28 (lunch room), Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, South Campu, UCPH

Hosted by:
Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies and ADI



The UNESCO World Heritage Convention is one of the most widely ratified international treaties, and a place on the World Heritage List is a widely coveted mark of distinction. Building on ethnographic fieldwork at Committee sessions, interviews and documentary study, the book links the change in operations of the World Heritage Committee with structural nation-centeredness, vulnerable procedures for evaluation, monitoring and decision-making, and loose heritage conceptions that have been inconsistently applied. As the most ambitious study of the World Heritage arena so far, this volume dissects the inner workings of a prominent global body, demonstrating the power of ethnography in the highly formalised and diplomatic context of a multilateral organisation. It also highlights the impact of muted tensions between the Global North and Global South on international affairs.

Christoph Brumann is Head of Research Group at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle, and Honorary Professor of Anthropology at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg. His books include World Heritage on the Ground: Ethnographic Perspectives (co-edited with David Berliner, Berghahn Books, 2016) and Tradition, Democracy and the Townscape of Kyoto: Claiming a Right to the Past (Routledge, 2012).