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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Architecture - History

Undergraduate Course: Sustainable Heritage: Historical Justice and Environmental Action through Heritage Management (ARHI10056)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course examines how and why we need a more sustainable approach to the analysis of our historic environment. By looking at a variety of case studies, it will demonstrate how including gender, class, race, sexuality and disability in our study of the past provides a broader understanding of our built environment, whilst also considering how the impact of the climate emergency on historic sites defines significant challenges to heritage in the future. Through analysis of national and international policies, it will address how to effectively engage with these issues by way of intellectual discourse and operative processes.
Course description This course considers how the understanding and interpretation of heritage through a more sustainable approach can lead to the better management of our built environment.

By exploring heritage outside of the traditional lens, we will discuss our understanding of the Past through new perspectives in historical research, our approaches to the Present through current policies, practices and management of the historic environment, and the management of the Future in anticipating the risks of, and developing strategies for, challenges to heritage that are yet to come.

The semester begins with an examination of how and why we need a more inclusive approach to our analysis of the past that includes discussions on gender, class, race, sexuality and disability. It will look at a variety of case studies to consider how conversations that have better visibility of these aspects of society significantly broaden our understanding of the past and help us to further understand the society that we live in today.

It will consider how these aspects are addressed within current historic environment management strategies and outputs, including national and international policies, public displays and literature. Analysis of these will highlight the obstacles that can arise when real-life cases meet best practice, and will demonstrate the role that our communities, cultures and technologies play in defining what heritage is, and its significance as a key asset in shaping a more positive, healthy and prosperous society.

The final third of this course examines the impact of the climate emergency on the historic environment, and the significant future challenges that this raises. It will explore current efforts to engage with, and demonstrate the effects of, climate change through the recording, analysis and interpretation of our heritage in urban and rural landscapes. The course finishes by considering how re-focusing historic environment management from economic, to environmental prioritisation is necessary to ensure the sustainable management of our heritage in the future.

Throughout the course excursions into related fields will be necessary from time to time.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an awareness of other conversations within the historic environment outside of traditional narratives
  2. Evaluate current approaches to the interpretation of our historic environment
  3. Define current and future issues and challenges facing our historic environment
  4. Critically appraise published policy documents relating to the sustainable management of the historic environment
  5. Communicate measured and justifiable responses to live heritage cases
Reading List
Grahn, W. and Wilson, R., Gender and Heritage: Performance, Place and Politics, 2018
Kehoe K, and Dalgleish, C: History, heritage, and Sustainable Development-: A position statement on the Scottish Highlands, 2018.
Mullan, S. and Newman, S. Slavery, Abolition and the University of Glasgow. Report and Recommendations of the University of Glasgow History of Slavery Steering Committee, 2018.
RCMG and the National Trust, Prejudice and Pride: LGBTQ Heritage and its contemporary implications, 2018.
UNESCO, Moving forward: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, 2015.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Through new approaches to historic analysis and heritage management this course will enhance both (1.) Knowledge and Understanding and (2.) Practice: Applied Knowledge, Skills and Understanding in the interpretation and managment of the historic environment.
The opportunity to explore and assess current policies on heritage management and the use of case studies to explore current approaches to historic analysis of heritage sites will provide opportunitiy to engage with (3. )Generic Cognitive Skills.
The in-class activities and assessment methods will provide opportunities to practice (4.) Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills, and will give opportunity for (5.) Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others.
KeywordsHeritage,Architecture,Urbanism,Gender,Race,Community,Environment,Climate Change,Archaeology
Course organiserDr Kirsten Carter McKee
Course secretaryMiss Amanda Fleet
Tel: (0131 6)50 2328
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