Cultural Heritage – University of Copenhagen

ADI Conference 2018 > Panels > Cultural Heritage

10th Annual International ADI Conference
Asian Dynamics Initiative, University of Copenhagen
18-20 June 2018    


Cultural Heritage: Kulturarv or 文化遗产 - an attempt towards a one-word dictionary 

Conveners:  Marie Roesgaard and Ingolf Thuesen, Dept. of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen

The panel will address the meaning of the word heritage in Chinese and in Danish. The importance of heritage cannot be overemphasised. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has negotiated a series of international conventions recognising the significant role of movable and immovable, on land and submerged/underwater, tangible cultural and natural heritage and intangible cultural heritage in identity-building, international co-operation, peace and reconciliation initiatives. More recently, it has ensured that the role of heritage - as a form of culture and wellspring of creativity - is recognised as an enabler and driver of sustainable (economic, social and environmental) development through a majority of the Sustainable Development Goals under the 2030 Agenda for  Sustainable Development adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2015. However, the dynamism of the term ‘heritage’, with its fluid meanings and diverse semantic fields in various languages and indeed within the same language, lends itself, more so than perhaps some other terms, to multiple contextual interpretations and translations which have to be taken on board if we are to protect and preserve our “world heritage”.  This One Word Dictionary Project on Heritage is to be located against the backdrop of such an endeavour.

There is no such thing as a one to one translation of the word heritage and the same counts for culture. It is argued that in order to improve cross-cultural understanding cultural heritage should be understood in its original language and context. Experts are invited in this panel to present various aspects of the meaning of the Danish and Chinese word for cultural heritage, either from a linguistic perspective or from its meaning in contemporary society. How is heritage constructed and handled in China and in Denmark.

The panel is organized as the annual conference of Centre of Denmark Studies, Beijing International Studies University.

Prof. Qiu Ming Beijing International Studies University
Prof. Zheng Chengjun Beijing International Studies University
Prof. Zhang Xihua, Beijing International Studies University
Prof. Ma Chi, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences
Prof. Christoph Harbsmeier, ToRS, University of Copenhagen