Iryna Shalaginova

Title of the Dissertation

Heritage Interpretation as a Mechanism for Understanding Heritage Sites: a Constructivist Approach

Supervisor(s): Prof. Marie-Theres Albert, Prof. Andreas Köstler (Uni Potsdam),
Prof. Christer Petersen


This research examines the concept of understanding and heritage interpretation in view of constructivist theories. It offers a new approach to heritage interpretation by considering it as a mechanism of understanding. Based on this new approach a communication model and techniques are developed to ensure quality communication of heritage sites, which have been tested practically in two cross-section studies in Berlin.

Short Bio

Iryna Shalaginova is a published author and a young scholar actively working in the field of heritage interpretation. She has received B.A. in Pedagogics at Zhytomyr State Pedagogical University (Ukraine) and M.A. in World Heritage Studies at Brandenburg University of Technology (BTU) Cottbus (Germany). Currently she is doing her PhD in the area of Heritage Interpretation at BTU Cottbus. From 2006 till 2008, she was a scholarship holder of the UNESCO-Vacation Patrimoine World Heritage Site Management Scholarships Programme and gained international experience in the areas of heritage management and interpretation. Since 2009, Iryna Shalaginova is the co-founder of and works as a heritage consultant at Kultur-Interpretation Deutschland UG, a consulting company working in the field of strategic interpretive planning for cultural heritage sites.  Since July 2010, she is the member of a Supervisory Committee of Interpret Europe – European Association for Heritage Interpretation e.V. In June 2011, she was elected the president of the International Association of World Heritage Professionals e.V., an alumni association and professional network of World Heritage Studies.