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Collaborative Research Fora: Heritage

Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology faculty associated with the Heritage Policy, Practices, and Values thematic working group share an interest in the ways that cultural forms—particularly expressive forms such as music, festival, dress, and verbal art—become complex public emblems of past and present identities. Many department faculty are also interested in the ways that these expressions can become foci for contestation and conflict in a range of settings while, in some other contexts, they can instead become resources for cultural renewal and social revitalization. The diverse and manifold career of heritage across time and societies is a key concern for many department faculty. Of interest as well are the conceptual and real world relationships linking heritage to neighboring concepts such as tradition, folklore, identity and culture. The complex and contradictory relationships obtaining between vernacular understandings of heritage and those encoded in formal law and policy at the local, regional, national and international levels have proven vital sites of inquiry for folklorists and ethnomusicologists. Members of our department have engaged actively in these disciplinary inquiries.

The Heritage Policy, Practices, and Values working group is presently planning an interdisciplinary conference to be held at Indiana University Bloomington in early Spring 2016. The multidisciplinary gathering will gather together heritage studies scholars from around the campus with the goal of fostering greater dialogue and exchange not only among the students and faculty in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology but with colleagues in neighboring fields including archaeology, cultural anthropology, linguistic anthropology, religious studies and history.