Together with Elisabeth Niklasson at Stanford University I am hosting a session at the EAA in Maastricht on “Archaeology and the European far-right: attitudes and responses from heritage bureaucracies.”
Abstract: Heritage bureaucracies represent a combination of technologies, texts and communities of practice that have been given a mandate to manage the remains of the past and transform political directives into action; whether it is through funding programmes, guidelines for archaeological archives and museums, or by setting priorities for Cultural Resource Management. Thus, they form part of the political fabric that makes up contemporary Europe at local, regional, national and international levels. As this fabric is increasingly torn in conflicting directions, the ideas about what heritage and archaeology should “do” for society changes. Marking the 25th anniversary of Maastricht, the politics of the past as relevant as ever. In this session, we examine heritage bureaucracies’ attitudes and responses to the rise of the European far-right. More specifically, we want to explore the following: What characterises far–right heritage policy? How do the often slow-moving structures of heritage bureaucracies impact the implementation of far-right policies? How are policies pushed forward or stalled through governing tools such as laws, planning regulations, white papers, budgets and management plans? In what way have the conditions introduced by New Public Management since the 1980s affected the possibility for far-right policies to take hold? Finally, we want to address how the rise of the far-right in different parts of Europe may force forth a situation where heritage bureaucracies have to address the fine line between limits of political compliance and academic ideals of democratizing heritage.
Join us for exciting presentations and engaging discussions on 1 September at 2pm.