Forthcoming events

Monday, January 18th, 2021
Thursday, 4 February 2021, 1-2 pm (British time): Cornelius Holtorf will be a guest at the Cambridge Heritage Research Centre and present a talk on “The Future in Heritage Studies and its Future.”
In this talk, I will review the significance of the future in heritage studies. The future is part of the very idea of heritage conservation, from local collections to the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, but also a common rhetorical trope of heritage management. References to the future may legitimate existing power structures or they may liberate current practice from presentism. To date, the anticipated needs and benefits of heritage for specific future generations have very rarely been explicitly addressed or critically discussed. I argue that as heritage is increasingly linked to the Agenda 2030, the significance of the future in heritage studies is set to increase, and a thorough critical engagement with this notion and its meaning is urgently needed. I will briefly summarise the work on Heritage Futures I have been involved in over the past decade, presently in the context of a UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures.
To receive a link to this event please register at:

29 March 2021, kl 18.00 – 19.30 (Central European Time) – Cornelius Holtorf will be in conversation with Nicole Deufel discussing Future Archaeology at Volkshochschule Aalen (via Zoom). The conversation will be in German.

In diesem Gespräch mit Prof. Dr. Cornelius Holtorf geht es um „Zukunftsarchäologie“. Dieser Begriff scheint zunächst ein Widerspruch zu sein, verbindet man Archäologie doch in der Regel mit der Vergangenheit und ihrer Erforschung. Aber gerade diese Expertise der Archäologie, nämlich das Wissen um zeitliche Veränderungen, ist es auch, die sie auf einzigartige Weise dazu befähigt, über die Herausforderungen der Zukunft nachzudenken. Die Zukunft ist ungewiss, und schon heute zeichnen sich vielfältige Herausforderungen ab, vom Klimawandel bis hin zur Überalterung der menschlichen Gesellschaft. Welche Aufgaben die Archäologie in diesem Zusammenhang konkret übernehmen kann, ist deshalb eine wichtige Frage der Zukunftsarchäologie. Dieser wollen wir in diesem Gespräch nachgehen.

More details and registration (free, by 29/3 12 noon) here.

Forskning, kunskap och museer i museilagens Sverige

Monday, January 18th, 2021

I The Journal Nordic Museology 2020:2 publicerade Anders Högberg tillsammans med Klas Grinell artikeln: Perspektiv: Lagstadgad kunskap. Om svensk museipolitik och forskning.

Vad betyder museilagens betoning av kunskapsuppbyggnad för museers forskning? Hur ser relationerna mellan forskning, kunskap och museer ut i museilagens Sverige? Artikeln redogör också för i vilket sammanhang museilagen tillkom.

The Journal Nordic Museology 2020:2

Prof Anders Högberg UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures

Professor Anders Högberg UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures

Målarboken – Arkeologi idag finns nu i svensk version

Tuesday, January 12th, 2021

Målarboken Archeology Today som gavs ut förra året finns nu även i en svensk version. Den visar hur arkeologer arbetar idag med nya tillämpningar. Åsikter och idéer som uttrycks i denna målarbok är författarnas egna. De delas inte nödvändigtvis av UNESCO. Författare: Cornelius Holtorf (text) and Daniel Lindskog (illustrationer). Tack till Riksbanken Jubileumsfond för stöd.

För nedladdning

Den engelska versionen kan beställas som print eller laddas ner{B75F45BA-A140-442F-ADCB-6568EAB2CC8C}

What is the point of time capsules?

Friday, January 1st, 2021

Jason Feifer recorded an interesting podcast on “How to Communicate With the Future” (45 min). Feifer is sceptical about time capsules and other such endeavours to send messages to the future. Among others, the podcast contains an interview with Jon Lomberg, designer of the Voyager Golden Record launched in 1977. 

Feifer argues that time capsules are not much good for what they purport to achieve and mostly a way of helping ourselves finding meaning and patterns in our own present. What we should do instead of constructing time capsules and other messages to the future is to build a better world today so that future generations do not need to receive any additional information because they already have what they need from us.

Archaeology Today – now in print

Thursday, December 31st, 2020

Our unique colouring book Archaeology Today (for children and adults alike!) is now available

Various activities October – December 2020

Wednesday, December 30th, 2020

Cornelius Holtorf attended the ICOMOS General Assembly Marker Event hosted by Australia ICOMOS in Sydney, on the occasion oft the planned physical General Assembly what was postponed to 2023. (7 October 2020)

Cornelius Holtorf commented for the Swedish National Commission for UNESCO on the First draft of the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science. (18 October 2020)

Cornelius Holtorf attended the online conference on “Humanities and Social Sciences for Sustainability – Cultural and regional dimensions of global sustainability” (21-22 October 2020).

Cornelius Holtorf took part in a meeting with regional politicians, civil servants and experts in the Counties of Kronoberg and Uppsala concerning progress in the nomination process of a serial UNESCO World Heritage site on “The rise of systematic biology”, currently the only site on the Swedish tentative list (22 October 2020).

Cornelius Holtorf participated in the World Heritage Council meeting for the World Heritage site “Agricultural Landscape  of Southern Öland” in Kastlösa, Öland (23 October 2020).

Cornelius Holtorf contributed with a Q&A session on heritage futures, sustainable development, and cultural resilience in the context of UNESCO to a course taught by Annalisa Bolin on “Rights and Ethics in Heritage” at Stanford University, USA (27 October 2020)

Cornelius Holtorf and Anders Högberg attended a meeting of the Expert Group on Awareness Preservation associated with the Working Party on Information, Data and Knowledge Management (WP-IDKM) at the OECD’s Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) based in Paris to discuss its Programme of Work 2020-2022 (4 November 2020) 

Cornelius Holtorf attended the First General Assembly of the global Climate Heritage Network, of which the UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures is a member. The meeting featured among others a presentation on culture and climate action by Karima Bennoune, Professor of Law at UC Davis and UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights (16 November 2020).

Cornelius Holtorf presented a lecture (on zoom) entitled “Der Coburger Weg – Eine Archäologie” for 12 students attending a seminar class on Was bleibt vom Coburger Weg? at Hochschule Coburg, Coburg, Germany (20 November 2020).

Cornelius Holtorf attended a Webinar of the ICOMOS Sustainable Development Goals Working Group on The Role of Cultural Heritage in Building Environmental Resilience (20 November 2020).

Cornelius Holtorf presented a keynote talk on “What academic freedom may mean in the humanities” for ca 40 participants of the international zoom conference Academic Freedom and Social Change organized by Linnaeus University (24 November 2020).

Cornelius Holtorf commented on the draft Action Plan for implementing the National World Heritage Strategy sent out for consultation by the Swedish National Heritage Board (1 December 2020).

Cornelius Holtorf co-chaired and Anders Högberg participated in the first project meeting bringing together 19 representatives of the regional tourist industry and researchers of Linnaeus University to discuss “Post-Pandemic Tourism Development”. The project is funded by the Kamprad Family Foundation (3 December 2020). 

Cornelius Holtorf had a meeting discussing future collaboration with Louise Hoffman Borgö and Elene Negussie working at the Swedish National Heritage Board with implementing the new World Heritage Strategy for Sweden (11 December 2020).

Cornelius Holtorf participated in the Annual General Meeting of the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee for Interpretation  and Presentation (ICIP) (14 December 2020).

Cornelius Holtorf presented a talk on “How to institutionalize a ‘people-centered-approach’ to heritage” for an international project based at Kyushu University, Japan, working on Developing Methodologies for Integrated Governance to Protect Cultural Heritage (17 December 2020).

Cornelius Holtorf commented on an ICOMOS draft document on “Cultural Heritage for Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals: A Policy Guidance for All Cultural Heritage and Development Actors” (27 December 2020).

Wow! The Future is calling!

Tuesday, December 29th, 2020

After years of thinking, drawing, writing, editing and re-editing, illustrator Pernilla Frid and archaeologist Cornelius Holtorf published a unique children’s book (which is really for adults).

Brazilian futures thinking

Monday, December 28th, 2020

What is the role of cultural heritage in constructing futures?

An interview on “cultural heritage building up future thinking” between Cornelius Holtorf and the Brazilian archaeologist Tiago Muniz, published (in English and Portuguese) in Cadernos do Lepaarq 17, no. 34, 2020, 337-

A pdf is directly accessible here 

Popular academic papers

Thursday, December 17th, 2020

Cornelius Holtorf’s article “Embracing change: how cultural resilience is increased through cultural heritage” has been very popular. Since its publication two years ago it has attracted more than 9,000 viewers on the publisher’s online forum. According to the same site, it is now the third most-read paper in the journal World Archaeology (since start of the statistics in 2011).

The paper No future in archaeological heritage management?, co-authored by Anders Högberg, Cornelius Holtorf, Sarah May and Gustav Wollentz in World Archaeology in 2017, has attracted more than 6,000 viewers and holds place 9 in the same list.

Anders Högberg fortsätter i Statens historiska museers insynsråd

Wednesday, December 16th, 2020

Insynsrådets uppgift är att utöva insyn i verksamheten och ge myndighetschefen råd.

– Jag har arbetat i insynsrådet sedan 2015. Det är ett både utmanande och tillfredställande arbete. Statens historiska museer har vuxit kraftigt sedan 2015. Nya museer och verksamheter har införlivats i myndigheten vilket medfört stora omorganisationer. Det är förändringar som krävt engagemang från insynsrådet. Det är verkligen givande att omsätta forskning och samverkanskompetens som kommer ur mitt universitetsarbete till aktiva råd och diskussioner i myndighetens arbete, säger Anders Högberg som nu får fortsatt förtroende till 2023.

Prof Anders Högberg UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures

Prof Anders Högberg UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures