Heritage Pathway for Hilary Term 2020: Heritage and Authenticity

HP at Hailes Abbey

Heritage Pathway, led by Dr Oliver Cox and Alice Purkiss as a pathway within the Researcher Development and Training Programme, provides undergraduates, postgraduate students and Early Career Researchers at the University of Oxford with the skills, knowledge and confidence to engage effectively and efficiently with a wide range of partners in the heritage, museums and cultural sector.

The theme for 2019-2020 is Heritage and Authenticity. Ideas around authenticity lie at the heart of many questions in the heritage sector and most of these questions are context and nation specific. Variations of the question ‘Is it real?’ underpin all aspects of work in the heritage sector.

This term’s sessions will place the question of authenticity in an international context, to suggest that approaches to authenticity are invariably linked to dynamic issues of cultural and societal expressions and values. As the heritage sector is increasingly globalized, it is more important than ever to interrogate global variations in what it means to be authentic.

Workshops will run on alternate Thursdays from 3pm to 5pm in the 3rd Floor Seminar Room, Radcliffe Humanities Building, Woodstock Road and will be followed by drinks and networking until 5:45pm. You can book all three of this term's sessions using this link, or follow the links below to book each session individually.

If you are a student or researcher interested in heritage-related opportunities such as workshops, internships, talks and events, do consider signing up to our heritage pathway mailing list. To do so, send an email to heritage-pathway-subscribe@maillist.ox.ac.uk (no subject line or email content necessary). The Oxford University Heritage Network brings together heritage researchers and practitioners from across the University, and offer a range of events and networking opportunities. Sign up for their mailing list here.


30th January 2020 - Authenticity in Chinese Heritage

Dr Anke Hein - Understanding Authenticity in China’s Cultural Heritage

Dr Anke Hein is Peter Moores Associate Professor in Chinese Archaeology at the University of Oxford. Alongisde Dr Christopher Forster, Anke leads a TORCH Heritage Seed Fund Project exploring the construction of authenticity in China’s cultural heritage.

Jennifer Richards – Preventative Conservation in North-West China

Jennifer Richards is a doctoral researcher in the Landscape Dynamics Research Cluster. Her work explores the use of site-scale, natural approaches to conservation of earthen heritage sites in north west China.

Book here.


13th February 2020 - Authenticity in South Asian Heritage

Dr Kieran Hazzard – South Asian Collections at Powis Castle

Dr Kieran Hazzard is a Knowledge Exchange Fellow at the Ashmolean Museum, where he is working in partnership with the National Trust to explore the provenance of the South Asian collections of the Clive family at Powis Castle.

Jonathan Wallis – Co-curating South Asian Collections at Derby Museums

Jonathan Wallis is a curator at the National Trust, and previously was Head of Museums for Derby Museums Trust where he worked closely with the local South Asian community to redisplay Derby’s collections and collaborated on a loan exhibition from the British Museum.

Book here.


27th February 2020 - Authenticity in African Cultural Heritage

Dr Mai Musie and Dr Jacopo Gnisci – Ethiopian and Eritrean Heritage in the Bodleian Library

Dr Mai Musie and Dr Jacopo Gnisci led a project at the The Bodleian Libraries in Oxford, who care for a collection of manuscripts and icons from Ethiopia and Eritrea, including illuminated gospels in Ge’ez, the KƏbrä Nägäst, and The Harp of Mary, to work with Ethiopian and Eritrean communities to find out more about these precious objects and co-create events which will share them with the public. They have recently been received a TORCH Heritage Seed Fund award to continue the project.

Dr Olly Owens - Rail development and public heritage in Nigeria: Connecting past and future

Dr Olly Owens’ research interests centre on political anthropology and the relations between governments and publics in West Africa. In 2018 he was awarded a Knowledge Exchange Fellowship to develop a partnership with a Lagos-based railway heritage group.

Book here.