Heritage Geographies: Politics, Uses and Governance of the Past, Lecce (Italy), May 29-31 2020

Heritage is a complex idea. It is an ambiguous term to translate with its multiple meanings and layer integrating elements referring to the past, culture, memory, identity, conservation and also, regretfully, conflict. Although heritage refers to the past, not everything from our past may enter into our heritage. Heritage is made only of what we want to remember. And what we do want others and future generations to remember about us. In this way, memories become the legacy, at times stylized, and for the most part selected and embellished. If we think about traditional cuisine as an intangible heritage, we do not want to eat everything that was consumed in the past, but only what in the food of the past we believe is worthy of being eaten. As regards physical heritage, we do not celebrate the narrow alleys full of mud and sewage of our historic urban centres, nor the smell, but we want to preserve just the houses and their walls, as if they were the shells of a different life. If heritage is selective, one of the big questions about heritage is the role of mediators. You can have a heritage from below or you need to have someone to help you understand what is important to pass on to your children about that past. Which institutions, then, must take on the role of creation/preservation of the heritage, and on what scale must they operate? What is the role of geo-parks, museums and ecomuseums, and what is the relationship between conservation activities, local institutions and society? Eventually, is it possible to talk about heritage from below?
But heritage is not only selective; it can be controversial too, and even disputed. It is not just a question of culture, conservation and patrimonialization. It is an issue of power. „He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past“. This is not just a brilliant quote from George Orwell’s 1984. It is also a way for underlining the role of power in relation to the making of heritage. Because, he who controls the present, he also controls the heritage. Because of its political relevance, heritage can be built in a way that promotes a message of peace. Or, it may suggest feelings of hatred and claims of revenge.
The management of controversial places of memory and heritage therefore has an important political meaning. Geographical names can also celebrate a past that you want to impose. Or forget. In some cases, there is a double toponymy, which on the one hand celebrates the unity of the nation-state and of the majority population, on the other hand recalls the cultural specificity of the territory. In others, there are names in two or three different languages. Yet in other places, tourism erases the traditional toponymy and imposes its own, more in tune with the happy image that you want to promote. For this reason, a thematic conference on the „geographies of the heritage“ opens a broad debate, which can involve many of the voices that the IGU commissions may put together.

Sessions and papers could be devoted to the following sub-themes:

1. Heritage governance
2. Heritage and Urban Planning
3. Heritage-telling
4. Patrimonialization of cultural heritage
5. Heritage and ICTs
6. Memories from the territories and educational strategies
7. Heritage geopolitics
8. Heritage and knowledge economy
9. Heritage for consumption: tourists and tourism
10. Heritage and toponymy
11. Southern thinking. Heritages and Mediterranean cultures
12. Dark Heritage (from below)





Local organizers
Fabio Pollice, Dept of History, Society and Human Studies, University of Salento, Italy
Mario Capasso, Dept. of Humanities, University of Salento, Italy
Anna Trono, Dept. of Cultural Heritage, University of Salento, Italy

Info :


 For this session, we welcome empirical or theoretical contributions that place heritage-related issues in the context of Mediterranean histories, cultures and circulations. The Mediterranean has disgracefully become a (disputed and violent) frontier, while in several historical periods it has been a „valley“ putting different cultures in mutual communication and cross-pollination. These notions, which are expressed in a heterogeneous way, can be found in the works of classical geographers such as Carl Ritter and Elisée Reclus, of artists such as Paul Signac and Henri Matisse and leading 20th-century European intellectuals such as Paul Valéry, Albert Camus and Gilles Deleuze. More recently, similar ideas have returned in the ‚Southern Thinking‘ by Franco Cassano and in the concept of plural ‚South‘ by Latin American authors of the Modernity-Coloniality-Decoloniality movement. Contributions refreshing the relations between these lines of thought and debates on geography and heritage, tangible and intangible, would be greatly appreciated.
We would especially like to receive proposals on:
Decolonial thinking and geographies of the Souths Southern thinking and postcolonial, decolonial and anticolonial approaches in geography and cognate disciplines Southern thinking and decoloniality in their relation to feminism and gendered approaches Mediterranean worlds and metaphors in geography Historical geographies of Italy and other Mediterranean countries Historical geographies and geopolitics of land and sea Critical and radical geographies and their relations to heritage issues Works and lives of geographers committed to intercultural dialogue, anti-racism and anti-colonialism Geopoetics, artistic and literary geographies from/about the Souths Geography and geophilosophy Geographies of migration and culture’s meetings
Any other topic in the history and philosophy of geography [Organisers: Marcella Schmidt di Friedberg and Federico Ferretti] To submit your abstract, please follow the guidelines below and send it to info@heritagegeographies.it 
When submitting your abstract, please include: • Submitter’s contact details (Full first and family name(s), email, phone number, country) • Presenting author’s and co-Authors’ details (Full first and family name(s), postal address, mail) • Affiliation details: Institution/Company/University, city, country • Abstract type: poster or oral • Session number • Abstract title • Abstract text: the abstract should not exceed 2500 characters spaces included • Keywords: up to 5 keywords may be provided http://www.heritagegeographies.it/home.htm 
Deadline: 31st December 2019 Acceptance: 31st January 2020 For info : federico.ferretti@ucd.ie