Theories and Methods

Learning Outcome

PhD students will learn and reflect critically on interdisciplinary approaches and methodologies applied in the research on culture and heritage. The students will be equipped to develop their doctoral theses according to the current state of theory and research in critical cultural and heritage studies.


The seminar discusses the most important cultural / social scientific theories and methodologies for a crticial and research based study of heritage.
In particular, the seminar focuses on such cultural and social scientific theories and methods that scrutinize the powerful social, political and technological practices through which the field of heritage is constructed both within and across national borders.
These theories address heritage not as a given entity, but rather as things that are socially produced and continually negotiated by a variety of discourses and actors. From this perspective, heritage can be considered as a field in which the centrality of culture and its relation to identity are constantly struggled over. Boundaries such as ‘the past’ and ‘the present’ or ‘us’ and ‘them’ are connected to different self-conceptions and ways of belonging as well as to processes of othering and exclusion.