Cross-Generational Research at the University of Hamburg
Making Connectivity Work Young Europeans and Cultural Heritage
Passing on cultural heritages to the younger generation is essential not only to safeguard and preserve the value of European heritage sites, but also to foster a sense of communal understanding/ responsibility across our continent. In light of ongoing political trends towards nationalism in Europe (e.g. Brexit) and riots as we have seen in London, Paris, and just recently in Hamburg (e.g. G20), these examples show that the idea of good life (I) is at stake – raising the research question of how participatory projects can play a role in forging connectivity between the young generation and society at large.
Against this background, we plead for a deeper understanding of how young people of the public operate and can be heard, engaged, and empowered. We ask: To what extent is cultural heritage important for the young in Europe? Which perspectives and motives do emerging researchers have, that make them want to explore cultural heritages? Which heritage sites do young people regard as meaningful and relevant to their everyday life? What significance do young people attribute to different cultural traditions, objects, manners of expression? How does cultural knowledge circulate in their everyday life? How do they develop it further while being considerate to social and cultural change?
About Young Heritage Studio (II)
The Young Heritage Studio (III) is a platform/ knowledge hub founded at the University of Hamburg to un- cover currently-unknown perspectives, bearings and adaptions of cultural heritage. Designed by the young, for the young, our aim is to find new ways of approaching cultural heritage with the domain of safeguarding it alongside professional memory practices in Europe. Hence, Young Heritage Studio is a Community of Practice (IV), uniting different generations of scientists i.e. emerging researchers (BA, MA and PhD students) as well as professional researchers (post-doc and professor level): Our commitment is anthropological, a combination of disciplined conceptual work and participant-observation based inquiry (V) – but it is also experimental, based on cross-generational research and study in order to guide us toward a more integrative and inclusive mode of #SharingHeritage in relation to young people ́s every- day lives.
Structure and Planned Activities
The Young Heritage Studio composes four dimensions of thought experiments, scientific findings and dissemination:
- Early-stage researchers individual research projects (ongoing)
- Student Study on Making Connectivity Work: Young People and Culture (spring semester 2018): Analysis (and typology) of successful projects that already reconnect young people to society in the cultural field and beyond, explored by young students (BA, MA)
- European Students Association for Cultural Heritage (ESACH): local ESACH network at University of Hamburg, sharing knowledge with other local initiatives and students in Europe
- (Academic) Young Heritage Studio Diary: The Young Heritage Studio will create a social media strategy in the form of a collaborative, cross-generational academic diary for the public and (popular) scientific dissemination of anthropological reflection and knowledge formation via @digilabhh on twitter, instagram and the blog digilab-culture.de.
Coordination and Contact
Ragna Quellmann, Julia Rausch, Olivia Stracke, Sarah Junker & Larissa Borck
in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Gertraud Koch & Samantha Lutz
University of Hamburg
Institute of European Ethnology / Cultural Anthropology Edmund-Siemers Allee 1 (West Wing)
I Collier, Stephen J.; Lakoff, Andrew (2005): On regimes of living. In: Aihwa Ong and Stephen J. Collier (eds.): Global assemblages: technology, politics, and ethics as anthropological problems. Malden, Mass.: Blackwell Publishing, pp. 2239.
II Considering reflections about new forms of collaboration in big research groups such as design studios and labs (Rabinow/Marcus/Faubion/Rees 2008), the Young Heritage Studio is a venue of experimentation and mode of cross-generational research and learning in cultural anthropology (cf. Koch, Gertraud; Lutz, Samantha; Stumpf, Teresa; Tijerina García, Alejandra (2013)).
III Sharing Heritage is the topic of the European Cultural Heritage Year 2018 and was also topic at the confer- ence Sharing is Caring Hamburg Extension at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg and the Uni- versity of Hamburg. The cross-generational student initiative Young Heritage Studio was developed from this backdrop. See further: http://sharecare.nu/category/hamburgx2017/
IV Wenger, Etienne; McDermott, Richard Arnold; Snyder, William (2002): Cultivating communities of practice. A guide to managing knowledge. Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business School Press.
V http://anthropos-lab.net/about (17.07.2017).