The Routledge Companion to Intangible Cultural Heritage: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Routledge Companion to Intangible Cultural Heritage

1st Edition

Edited by Michelle L. Stefano, Peter Davis


502 pages

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pub: 2016-12-08
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This collection provides an in-depth and up-to-date examination of the concept of Intangible Cultural Heritage and the issues surrounding its value to society. Critically engaging with the UNESCO 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, the book also discusses local-level conceptualizations of living cultural traditions, practices and expressions, and reflects on the efforts that seek to safeguard them. Exploring a global range of case studies, the book considers the diverse perspectives currently involved with intangible cultural heritage and presents a rich picture of the geographic, socioeconomic and political contexts impacting research in this area. With contributions from established and emerging scholars, public servants, professionals, students and community members, this volume is also deeply enhanced by an interdisciplinary approach which draws on the theories and practices of heritage and museum studies, anthropology, folklore studies, ethnomusicology, and the study of cultural policy and related law. The Routledge Companion to Intangible Cultural Heritage undoubtedly broadens the international heritage discourse and is an invaluable learning tool for instructors, students and practitioners in the field.


"It is a most welcome addition to literature, and a must-have for all who want to deepen their understanding of the scholarly research into and safeguarding practice of Intangible Cultural Heritage. (…) With the publication of this Routledge Companion, Intangible Cultural Heritage has certainly reached a new level of scholarly recognition. And that is a very good thing."

- Steven Engelsman, Director, Weltmuseum Wien, Austria

"The Routledge Companion to Intangible Cultural Heritgae provides asnapshop- or rather, a whole picture album- of the evolution of a profoundly important cultural policiy and paradigm[…] The editors have assembled here a massive and varied set of essays- 38 individual chapters written by 54 authors, including anthropologists, folklorists, legals scholars, museum professionals, ethomusicologists, and community members."

- Michael Dylan Foster, University of California, USA

Table of Contents

Introduction Michelle Stefano and Peter Davis

A Decade Later: Critical Reflections on the UNESCO-ICH Paradigm

1. Development of UNESCO’s 2003 Convention: Creating a New Heritage Protection Paradigm? Janet Blake

2. The Examination of Nomination Files under the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Rieks Smeets and Harriet Deacon

3. A Conversation with Richard Kurin

4. Placing Intangible Cultural Heritage, Owing a Tradition, Affirming Sovereignty: the Role of Spatiality in the Practice of the 2003 Convention Chiara Bortolloto

5. Is Intangible Cultural Heritage an Anthropological Topic? Towards Interdisciplinarity in France Christian Hottin and Sylvie Grenet

6. The Impact of UNESCO’s 2003 Convention on National Policy-making: Developing a New Heritage Protection Paradigm? Janet Blake

Reality Check: The Challenges Facing ICH Safeguarding

7. From the Bottom Up: the Identification and Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Guyana Aron Mazel, Gerard Corsane, Raquel Thomas and Samantha James

8. Making the Past Pay? Intangible (Cultural) Heritage in South Africa and Mauritius Rosabelle Boswell

9. A Conversation with Yelsy Hernández Zamora on Intangible Cultural Heritage in Cuba

10. The Management of Intangible Cultural Heritage in China Tracey L-D Lu

11. Ageing Musically: Tangible Sites of Intangible Cultural Heritage Bradley Hanson

12. Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Czech Republic: Between National and Local Heritage Petr Janeček

13. Damming Ava Mezin: Challenges to Safeguarding Minority Intangible Cultural Heritage in Turkey Sarah Elliott

14. Documenting and Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage: the Experience in Scotland Alison McCleery and Jared Bowers

Intangible Cultural Heritage Up Close

15. Officially Ridin’ Swangas: Slab as Tangible and Intangible Cultural Heritage in Houston, Texas Langston Collin Wilkins

16. Locating Intangible Cultural Heritage in Norway Joel Taylor

17. Intangible Cultural Heritage in India: Reflections on Selected Forms of Dance Parasmoni Dutta

18. Second-hand as Living Heritage: Intangible Dimensions of Things with History

Staffan Appelgren and Anna Bohlin

19. A Conversation with Linina Phuttitarn on Safeguarding a Spiritual Festival in Thailand

20. Public Experiences and the Social Capacity of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Japan: Bingata, a Textile-Dyeing Practice from Okinawa Sumiko Sarashima

21. Stretching the Dough: Economic Resiliency and the Kinaesthetics of Food Heritage across the US-Mexico Border Maribel Alvarez

Intangible Cultural Heritage and Place

22. Refuting Timelessness: Emerging Relationships to Intangible Cultural Heritage for Younger Indigenous Australians Amanda Kearney and Gabrielle Kowalewski

23. Common Ground: Insurgence, Imagination and Intangible Cultural Heritage Jos Smith

24. Indigenous Geography and Place-Based Intangible Cultural Heritage RDK Herman

25. ‘If there’s no place to dance to it, it’s going to die’: A Conversation on the Living Tradition of Baltimore Club Music and the Importance of Place Michelle L. Stefano with Christopher Clayton and Baronhawk Poitier

26. Landscape and Intangible Cultural Heritage: Interactions, Memories and Meanings Maggie Roe

Intangible Cultural Heritage, Museums and Archives

27. Making History Tangible: POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Warsaw Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett

28. A Conversation with Clifford Murphy on Archives and Intangible Cultural Heritage

29. Bin Jelmood House: Narrating an Intangible History in Qatar Scott Cooper and Karen Exell

30. Standing in the Gap: Lumbee Cultural Preservation at the Baltimore American Indian Center Ashley Minner

31. A Conversation with Tara Gujadhur on the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Center in Laos

32. Museums and Intangible Cultural Heritage in Lusophone Countries Ana Mercedes Stoffel and Isabel Victor

Alternative Approaches to Safeguarding and Promoting Intangible Cultural Heritage

33. Safeguarding Maritime Intangible Cultural Heritage: Ecomuseum Batana, Croatia Dragana Lucija Ratković Aydemir

34. Reflections of a Heritage Professional: Intangible Cultural Heritage at the Ecomuseum of Terraces and Vineyards, Italy Donatella Murtas

35. Conveying Peruvian Intangible Heritage through Digital Environments Natalie Underberg-Goode

36. Growing Ecomuseums on the Canadian Prairies: Prospects for Intangible Cultural Heritage Glenn Sutter

37. The Intangible Made Tangible in Wales Einir M. Young, Gwenan H. Griffith, Marc Evans, S. Arwel Jones

38. A Conversation with Paula dos Santos and Marcelle Pereira on Intangible Cultural Heritage and Social and Ecological Justice

About the Editors

Michelle L. Stefano is a Folklife Specialist (Research and Programs) at the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress, Washington, DC. From 2011-2016, Stefano worked for Maryland Traditions, the folklife program of the state of Maryland, of which she was its Co-Director from 2015-2016. From 2012-2016, she led the partnership between Maryland Traditions and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where she was Visiting Assistant Professor in American Studies. She co-edited Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage (2012) with Peter Davis and Gerard Corsane.

Peter Davis is Emeritus Professor of Museology in the International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies at Newcastle University, UK. He is honorary editor of Archives of Natural History, the journal of the Society for the History of Natural History, and a series editor for Heritage Matters. His research interests include the interactions between nature, culture and concepts of place and space. He has published widely on ecomuseums and intangible cultural heritage.

About the Series

Routledge Companions

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Archaeology