Nature & Culture: Heritage in Context
May 16, 2016 - May 19, 2016
Faculty of Environmental Sciences
Ing. Lukáš Pospíšil
Faculty of Environmental Sciences, CZU Prague
The dichotomy between nature and culture in heritage conservation has often seemed like an either/or proposition. But in recent years, heritage designations at the international, national, regional and local levels are beginning to reflect the fact that nature and culture are indivisible. This is true for the application of all of heritage’s associated disciplines: landscape, architecture, archaeology, folklore, ethnobotany, history, ethnography, planning, agriculture and public health, just to name a few. In fact, there is probably no discipline in the humanities, social or natural sciences that is not affected by either culture, nature or, more often, both. What this means for researchers and professionals is a necessity for inter- and multi-disciplinary conservation and preservation efforts. Gone are the days when heritage professionals can oppose ecological conservation efforts – and vice versa – without significant effects to the resources. On the other hand, increased efforts to achieve the conservation of integrated natural and cultural systems will result in higher adaptability and resilience, critical outcomes in the era of climate change. This three-day conference is the 7th in a series of annual conferences exploring the relevance of heritage in present-day society. This year’s conference is sponsored by the Center for Heritage & Society at the University of Massachusetts, in conjunction with the Faculty of Environmental Sciences at the Czech University of Life Sciences. The Czech Republic is a particularly appropriate location to explore these themes since both nature and culture are an integral part of Czech culture and society. The Conference explores this link between nature and culture in an interconnected series of events designed to highlight different ways of thinking about heritage, nature and their interface. The event will include a three-day scientific symposium, organized field trips to explore key cultural and natural heritage sites, and a juried film and photograph exhibition.