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A Companion to Heritage Studies

Professors Máiréad Nic Craith and Ullrich Kockel of Heriot-Watt's Intercultural Research Centre, in association with Professor William Logan of Deakin University, Melbourne, have produced a comprehensive, state-of-the-art interdisciplinary reference work for the study of cultural heritage, published in Wiley-Blackwell's prestigious Companion series.

Read more ...

On High Seas

On High Seas, written by the IRC's Dr Ashvin Devasundaram and performed with Infinite Realms, is the first intercultural musical fusion featuring the Bela Baharr - a unique Indian classical instrument recently invented by Naviin Gandharv.The new MSc in Cultural Resource Management is now up and running.

Germans in Britain

GERMANS IN BRITAIN is a touring exhibition created by the Migration Museum Project, which will be on display at the National Records of Scotland, 6 July - 7 August 2015. The exhibition is brought to Edinburgh on the initiative of Heriot-Watt's Intercultural Research Centre, and with the generous support of the German Consulate-General Edinburgh and the National Records of Scotland.

Congress of the International Society for Ethnology and Folklore

From 22-25 June 2015, members of the IRC participated in the congress of the International Society for Ethnology and Folklore (SIEF) in Zagreb. The theme for 2015 was “Utopias–Realities–Heritages”, and the IRC team contributed significantly to the debate, not just by the usual conference activities of presenting papers and chairing panels. Dr Kerstin Pfeiffer has been elected as secretary of the new SIEF Working Group on "Body, Emotions, and Senses", and Vitalija Stepušaitytė was selected to join the closing roundtable as an inspiring young researcher. A full report is available here.

Spanish in Contact

New Times, New Spaces, New SpeakersSIS-EES

7th International Conference of Hispanic Linguistics

(5th Biennial Meeting of the International Association for the Study of Spanish in Society [SiS])

in collaboration with COST Action IS1306 New Speakers in a Multilingual Europe: Opportunities and Challenges

and Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh

28th – 29th May 2015

Haga clic aquí para ver la versión en español.

Over recent decades, linguistic and sociolinguistic research has been transformed by an increasing focus on the social, cultural and linguistic changes brought about by globalisation, increased mobility, transnational flows, new technologies and a changing political and economic landscape. These changes have had major implications for the ways in which we conceptualise the relationship between language and society in the twenty-first century. A new communicative order has emerged in which we find new types of speakers, new forms of language and new modes of communication. The conference theme addresses the challenges and opportunities that this new communicative order presents to researchers working with Spanish and situations of Spanish in contact in the twenty-first century. In addition to papers related to the conference theme, we also welcome any other submissions that are related to Spanish in Society.


Confirmed plenary speakers

• David Block (ICREA/Universitat de Lleida)

• Jaine Beswick (University of Southampton)

• Joan Pujolar (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya)

Registration is now open. Please contact Nicola Bermingham for more details.

International Association for the Study of Spanish in Society
Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies, Heriot-Watt University
COST Action IS1306 New Speakers in a Multilingual Europe: Opportunities and Challenges

SIEF 2015



At the 2015 congress of the Société Internationale d´Ethnologie et de Folklore (SIEF) in Zagreb, members of the IRC, in collaboration with colleagues from Estonia, Germany, Ireland, Poland and Slovenia, convened three panels and two workshops.


Panel on Heritage as social, economic and utopian resource (in collaboration with University of Tartu, Estonia)

Panel on Scales of home in today's Europe (part of the IRC's international research collaboration programme on Cultural Imaginaries of Home  and the SIEF Place Wisdom working group)

Panel on Realism, imaginary, and ambivalences of utopia (in collaboration with Slovenian Academy of Sciences)

Workshop on Mapping home: a place wisdom workshop (part ofthe IRC's international research collaboration programme on Cultural Imaginaries of Home and the SIEF Place Wisdom working group)

Workshop on Exploring waterscape heritages: a place wisdom workshop (part of the IRC's new Waterscape Heritages programme, initiated in July 2014, and the SIEF Place Wisdom working group)


Ethnographers' Gathering (2)

DTD12:00-3:30pm on Wednesday, 10 December 2014
Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh Campus

Following the first gathering on 18 June, most people said or wrote in their feedback that it would be good to know more about what colleagues are doing and "where they're coming from" in terms of ethnographic work. At this second gathering, three colleagues – Claudia Angelelli, Robert MacIntosh and Kate Sang – will introduce their work, reflecting on their experience with different research contexts and ethnographic purposes. Where appropriate, they will also touch on one or more of the four key issues that were identified in the feedback as topics of special interest for future sessions:

• ethnographic vs. experimental approaches

• ethical dilemmas of informal material ('data') collection and participant observation

• action research - definition, purposes, key features and some examples

• key principles of ethnography (rather than just ethnographic methods)

The presentations and individual discussions will be followed by a more general exchange in which we can compare/contrast the three examples and reflect on how they relate to other colleagues' own experience of ethnography.

Attendance is free but places are limited. Please contact Prof. Ullrich Kockel for further details.

Ethnographers' Gathering (3)

Ethnography as Genre – Issues and Potentials

18 March 2015
John Coulson Building
North Foyer 16

 Following a couple of very interesting and useful meetings last year, the gatherings of ethnographers will continue in 2015.

In our first gathering, we ethnography1explored some general ideas and perspectives, and in the second one we discussed different ethnographic methods used by three of our colleagues. Our third meeting will turn the spotlight on ethnography as a genre – "writing about culture(s)".

Drawing on examples from ethnographic practice, including a current PhD project by Vitalija Stepušaitytė and work in progress by Ullrich Kockel, we explore strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats of different, sometimes unconventional ways of writing academically about cultural issues: what can ethnography as a genre achieve and contribute, and where are its limits?

In the course of our explorations, we will have an opportunity to consider ethnographic vs. experimental approaches (including "morphogenetic" fieldwork and action research) and some of the ethical dilemmas arising from critical conditions of good ethnography, such as good rapport and cultural immersion.

Refreshments will be provided. Attendance is free but places are limited. You can book a place here.

If you are interested in attending, you might like to read this review of Katherine Boo's Behind the Beautiful Forevers in preparation.

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