Speaker Series - Trinidad Rico
Friday, November 08, 2019, 12:00pm - 01:00pm
Trinidad Rico, Department of Art History, Rutgers University
What do cultural heritage landscapes look like? The case of Qatar
While the heritage industry in the State of Qatar has grown exponentially over the last decade, it is a built landscape dominated by ultra-modernism, marked by new construction and urban (re) planning. Besides the concern with a more traditional ‘heritage' in the Eurocentric sense under the auspices of UNESCO, heritage preservation hides in plain sight in familiar processes of cultural development and re-development in Qatar. In this talk, I examine heritage preservation narratives that go practically unnoticed as part of a 7-year ethnographic project that examines the emergence of heritage preservation instruments and traditions in contemporary Qatar. In doing so, I invoke various intersecting discourses: the establishment of state-sponsored attitudes towards modernization in general; imported value-systems brought about by projects of urban development and their experts; and the role of local agency and innovation.
Trinidad Rico is Associate Professor and Director of the Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies program in the Department of Art History at Rutgers, and Senior Honorary Lecturer at the Institute of Archaeology of University College London. She holds a BA in Archaeology from the University of Cambridge, and MA in Principles of Conservation from University College London, and a PhD in Anthropology from Stanford University. Her ethnographic research into heritage preservation practices focuses on the study of vernacularization of heritage discourses and expertise, with her main research project focusing on the mobilization of the idea of ‘Islamic values’ in preservation practices across the Arabian Peninsula. She is co-editor of Cultural Heritage in the Arabian Peninsula and Heritage Keywords: Rhetoric and Redescription in Cultural Heritage as well as author of Constructing Destruction: Heritage narratives in the tsunami. She is also founding editor of the series Heritage Studies in the Muslim World and editor of the first volume of the series, The Making of Islamic Heritage: Muslim Pasts and Heritage Presents.