Sites of transformations? Glocal perspectives on UNESCO’s mixed World Heritage Sites

Herdis Hølleland defended her doctoral thesis Practicing World Heritage. Approaching the changing faces of the World Heritage Convention for the degree Philosophiae Doctor (Ph.D.) on 20 August 2013.

About the project

World Heritage Sites (WHS) are in many ways bureaucratic constructions where past and present meet as well as social, cultural and political discourses take place. WH status is likely to alter a site, and its social, cultural, natural and economic settings at some level. This project aims to examine the socio-historical development of UNESCO’s mixed cultural and natural properties, and look at the extent to which processes of transformation follow inscription. In order to analyze heritage’s impact on the local community and global visitors, practice-orientated fieldwork will be conducted at WHS in Australia and New Zealand. Furthermore, comparative textual analysis of UNESCO documents of the remaining 23 mixed properties will undertaken. This will enable an in-depth understanding of heritage’s role in local and global placemaking strategies as well as contribute to the theoretical and methodological development of the new field of ‘Heritage Studies’.



Anne Eriksen - professor at the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages.

Owe Ronström - professor at Gotland University.

Herdis Hølleland worked at the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages 2010-2013.

Hølleland's project blog.