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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Architecture and Landscape Architecture

Postgraduate Course: Interdisciplinary Research Methods for Cultural Heritage (ARCH11291)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryHow do we re-produce the past in the present? How have we done so in the past, how might we do so in the future? And why does it matter?
How can we speculate through these practices of reproduction? And what can we learn by doing so?
The aim of the course is to cultivate a critical awareness of many positions available to researchers in cultural heritage. Processes of inquiry - both practical and theory-driven - are the focus of this course that introduces students to key conceptual tools for interdisciplinary research in this area.
Course description Traditionally understood as, on the one hand, the practice of the preservation of valuable objects and on the other, as the promulgation of officially sanctioned collective identities, Cultural Heritage is currently emerging as a set of experimental practices, engaging with contemporary developments including new technologies, decolonisation and restitution, and shifting global relations that invite beyond-Western epistemologies of the past.

Tourism and the cultural and creative industries, decolonisation, the digital, the city, and movements of people (and their heritages) are subjects that affect us all. Heritage is a subject to which our own institutions, both as ideas, and places, have an urgent troubled and necessary connection, at the scale of nations, at the scale of the Universities and other cultural institutions, and at the scale of the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.

This emergent discourse is too broad and too mobile to belong to one subject area or its traditions. The programme proposed here offers a way to engage with these problematic opportunities and to benefit from the synoptic insights available if we work together to address them. This course is designed to introduce you, therefore, to the diverse research practices that engage with cultural heritage today.

It is also designed to introduce you to practices and protocols that will underpin your own research as a PhD. Student more generally, including: Research Rigour, Originality, Integrity and Plagiarism; Presenting and Curating Research; Working with the Archive, Navigating the Digital turn; Decolonising knowledge; and Practices of research writing. This course will complement subject specific expertise you will develop in collaboration with your own supervisors.

The course is delivered over 11 weeks with the course colloquium normally scheduled for week 12. Weekly seminars are followed by work-in-progress workshops with participating research students and invited speakers, relevant to the research interests of the student cohort and their supervisors.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Research: Show a critical understanding of research methods that are appropriate to the materials, techniques and theories you engage with in your research practice.
  2. Analyse: Demonstrate how you have reviewed, developed and structured your research practice in ways that are informed by original, creative and pertinent research.
  3. Synthesise and communicate: display imagination, resourcefulness and initiative in the written, spoken and visual communication of your current research ideas.
Reading List
Eco, Umberto (2015) How to Write a Thesis. (Cambridge: MIT press)

Harrison, Rodney and Sterling, Colin (eds.) (2020) Deterritorializing the Future: Heritage in, of and after the Anthropocene. (Open Humanities Press)

Otero-Pailos, Jorge, Arrhennius, Thordis (eds.) (2016) Experimental Preservation. (Zurich : Lars Mueller)

Ricoeur, Paul (tr. Kathleen Blamey and David Pellauer) (2004) Memory, History, Forgetting. (Chicago, London: University of Chicago Press

Smith, Laurajane (2006) The Uses of Heritage. (New York : Routledge)

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Generic cognitive skills (e.g. evaluation, critical analysis) including:
- developing original and creative responses to problems and issues in cultural heritage
- apply critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis to key issues in cultural heritage
- critically reviewing, consolidating and extending knowledge and thinking in cultural heritage

Communication, numeracy and IT skills, including:
- Communicating with peers, more senior colleagues and specialists
- Communicating using appropriate methods to a range of audiences with different levels of expertise and adopt communication to the context and purpose

Autonomy, accountability and working with others, including:
- taking responsibility for own work
- practicing research in ways which draw on critical reflection on own and others' roles and responsibilities
- exercising substantial autonomy and initiative in research activities
- managing professional and ethical issues related to research
KeywordsHeritage,interdisciplinarity,research practices
Course organiserMr Edward Hollis
Course secretary
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