/EncatcSCHOLAR SPECIAL delivers on Intangible Cultural Heritage & Higher Education

/EncatcSCHOLAR SPECIAL delivers on Intangible Cultural Heritage & Higher Education

This special issue of /encatcSCHOLAR is part of the legacy of the 2017 UNESCO-ENCATC project “Learning on intangible heritage: building teachers’ capacity for a sustainable future”. This newly published edition of the /encatcSCHOLAR is a unique teaching tool for educators from all over the world and includes curated teaching material for their ICH programmes. It is also an invaluable source of knowledge for researchers and scholars looking for the latest publications in the field of ICH.

With a new vision of cultural heritage gaining prominence, UNESCO encourages integration of intangible cultural heritage (ICH) in training programmes for future decision-makers and professionals in related fields, such as heritage studies, cultural management or sustainable development. However, despite international recognition of ICH and its critical importance for sustainable development, the theme has been largely neglected in relevant studies in almost all the world regions.

In this context, the UNESCO-ENCATC project “Learning on intangible heritage: building teachers’ capacity for a sustainable future” aimed to revisit the training programmes of universities, as well as to strengthen their capacity building in ICH and, by doing that, help UNESCO raise awareness about the 2003 Convention and its purpose. This project was implemented by ENCATC under UNESCO’s Participation Programme 2016-2017 and in partnership with 3Walks-Cultural Research, Training and Knowledge and Social Transfer. Dr. Cristina Ortega, director of 3Walks and an ENCATC member, was in charge of the scientific coordination of this project.

The results of the mapping of higher education programmes teaching ICH – carried out in the framework of that project – are presented in the form of a piece in the newly created “Research” section. The section “Network” is also inaugurated in this special issue, with a contribution by Frederic Vacheron, Director of Villa Ocampo UNESCO Observatory, who explains the process of creation and characteristics of the Latin America and the Caribbean Academic Cooperation Network on ICH (ReCA PCI LAC). In the “Case Analysis” section, Ilaria Guglielmetti and Agostina Lavagnino, from the School of Design of the Polytechnic University of Milan (whose programme was identified in the mapping) and the Etnographical and Social History Archive of Lombardy Region, respectively, share with us their experience in developing their “Intangible Search Inventory”. Finally, a piece on the round table organized in the framework of the UNESCO-ENCATC project is included in the “Proceedings” section.

ENCATC hopes this issue contributes to foster teaching on ICH in Europe and beyond as well as to promote discussion on ICH and, in particular, on the need to integrate it in higher education curricula! 

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