Prof. Dorit Kluge and Prof. Gabriele Mielke from the hwtk joined Dr Catherine Morgan-Proux from our partner university in Clermont-Ferrand for a conference in China at the beginning of September. Hangzhou, with its around eight million inhabitants, is located south-west of Shanghai. From 1 to 6 September, the city’s renowned Zhejiang University hosted the Association of Critical Heritage Studies (ACHS) Conference, which takes place every two years. The conference welcomes experts from around the world who discuss questions of cultural heritage, be it from the perspective of archaeology, anthropology, economics, ecology or art history. In a combined session on the topics of ‘Transgressing borders in cultural heritage marketing’ and ‘Heritage and leisure/recreation/tourism’, led by Prof. Dorit Kluge and Prof. Huimei Liu, Prof. Gabriele Mielke made a very interesting presentation on the effects the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro had on cultural tourism.
Our French colleague, Dr Catherine Morgan-Proux, inspired her audience with a talk on how artists’ sketchbooks can be used in the interpretation and image-building of cultural heritage sites. Beyond the numerous sessions on offer, the conference also included many plenary lectures and a programme of excursions to the prehistoric Liangzhu archaeological site, which is currently in the process of being nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our colleagues have since returned to Berlin and France, but they are already planning the continuation of their exchange of ideas: an English-language publication on the marketing of cultural heritage with contributions from renowned international researchers as well as a session on intercultural approaches in museology and museum management for the next ACHS Conference in London in 2020. Our professors would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the organisers at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou for the wonderful experience in China and anticipation is already growing for the next conference at University College London in 2020.