Event to put heritage theory into practice
Taking place on Saturday 5 November, from 10am to 5pm at Leeds City Museum, the event will bring together heritage researchers and professionals to discuss the ways in which ideas, theories and academic research can benefit the industry now and in the future.
Speakers at the event will include: Lisa Traynor, the Assistant Curator of Firearms at the Royal Armouries, discussing Archduke Franz Ferdinand and body armour; and project volunteers for the BAM! Sistahood! In Newcastle, on the cultural, social and political generations of black, Asian and minority ethnic and refugees (BAMER) in the North East of England. Dr Bernadette Lynch, Honorary Research Associate at University College, London, and former Deputy Director of Manchester Museum, is set to deliver the keynote presentation.
For more information, and to book a place at this free event, please click here.
Taras Nakonecznyj, Leeds Beckett University PhD student and co-organiser of the event, explained: “With this event, we want to explore how practice can enrich theory, and why we need academic research within heritage. What can research add to heritage projects and events? How can a grounding in experience change our understanding of theory, if we approach it with ‘applicability’ in mind?”
Leonie Wieser, Northumbria University PhD student and co-organiser, said: “We encounter heritage in the built environment, in commemorations and festivals; but also in how we think about ourselves and where we belong, where our family is from and what we think might happen to this city, this country and our ideals in the future.
“Academic research asks why and how we do this, but is always itself embedded in a tradition. This is why the relationship between what we do and what we think will be explored in our event. We can add perspectives to think about the value of the past for present and future. Academic research adds a lot to public knowledge about history and heritage, but does not exist outside it. Many things can only be understood and improved if they are tried in practice, such as developing new methods in heritage making, conserving and valuing, and this is where theory and practice exist together most closely.”
Taras and Leonie’s PhD projects are both sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)’s Heritage Consortium. Leonie’s research is centred around the use of the past in the present day: within academia, museums and communities, and in particular in relation to the representation of migration to Tyneside.
Taras’s research is based on the formation of identity, and people’s perception of, the historic city of York. This involves investigating local government policies and plans alongside alternative and grass roots stories: such as festivals; the rise of digital tourism; and alternative subcultures, such as goths, who have been treated as outsiders to the city.
Taras added: “Heritage is subconsciously active: we engage with it constantly, whether it be the Headrow or Millennium square, The Royal Armouries or Armley Mill, we have some link to these and our surroundings in Leeds. Whether we have visited on trips or been told tales, our entire understanding of the world is influenced by heritage in its broadest term: traditions, oral histories, myths, legends, architecture and culture. Our research tries to examine and highlight the existence of it without alienating people. Heritage sites, in particular those such as the Thackeray Medical Museum and the Royal Armouries, are pre-identified as being something of heritage; but as researchers we can show how their practices relate to other aspects of heritage that are more difficult to define.”