Heritage & Environment

The Program “Heritage and Environment” studies the long-term histories and changing heritage of human living space from prehistory up to the present, exploring new ideas about the relationships between nature and culture, human agency and materiality, global interactions and local engagement, and engages questions of cultural transmission and future design. As anthropologists, archaeologists, architects, engineers, geographers, heritage researchers and historians, we seek to address these narratives in interdisciplinary ways.

Exploring heritage in the context of the environment requires novel theoretical, methodological and conceptual approaches as well as instruments that acknowledge the inseparability of natural and cultural heritage, the interconnection of spatial and conceptual aspects of heritage, and the importance of water related heritage for the future. We apply interdisciplinary methods like the biography of landscape and we are interested in methods of modelling landscape change. This leads to new policy, design, education, and outreach tools. See for example the exhibition Oliedam in collaboration with Museum Rotterdam. Open access platforms and augmented reality tools (i.e. Black Gold) are among the Digital Humanities initiatives we pursue.

“Heritage and Environment”  generates new interdisciplinary research in this fascinating field and establishes collaboration in academic training (LDE minor Heritage & Design and Comparative Perspectives on Urban Cultures), publications (Journal of European Landscapes at Amsterdam University Press) and academic events, such as the Water and Heritage for the FUTURE symposium with ICOMOS NL, and the Heritage and Tourism in Coastal landscapes session in the Heritage Tourism and Hospitality International Conference 2017. In addition, it intends to create an inspirational environment for PhDs and RMA’s by organizing the joint Re-Scape colloquium with Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam six times per academic year.

The research coordinators of Heritage and Environment are Paul Rabé and Maurits Ertsen. For more information, please read the group’s position statement.