Heritage interpretation is about raising public awareness and understanding of a cultural heritage place, and effectively communicating its potential range of values and significances to different audiences. In this course you will explore the concept of memory, and investigate what should be remembered—and why—and from whose points of views should such interpretations be made. Particularly problematic is the concept of dark heritage—remembering and interpreting sites of injustice, conflict and atrocity—which are threaded throughout the course.
A wide variety of interpretive techniques are explored, including:
letting a place speak for itself (genus loci)
print, verbal, audio and visual communications
restorations, recreations and reconstructions of the past.
Many case studies will be presented and discussed. The course will be delivered through lectures, discussions, working in small groups and participant presentations.
Topics will include:
an introduction to heritage interpretation and presentation
the discourses of interpretation: from whose points of view do we interpret the past?
spirit of place (genus loci): letting a historic place speak for itself
the written word: signs, signs, everywhere a sign
the spoken word: verbal narratives
thinking visually: communicating without words
using restorations and reconstructions to create a sense of the past
recreating the historic environment: historic house museums and historic villages
interpretation centres: formally introducing a historic place
two different walls, two different ways of interpreting the past: the great wall of China and the Berlin Wall
interpreting sites of atrocity: the Nanking Massacre (China), the Killing Fields (Cambodia), and Auschwitz (Poland)
Note: though not required, prior experience in a cultural organization would be an asset for success in this course.
Please contact the Program Coordinator, Tusa Shea, directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or concerns.
Alastair Kerr is an expert in heritage planning and historic resource evaluation, and is a leading theorist in heritage conservation in Canada. He holds a BA and an MA in art and architectural history from the University of Victoria.
For the past 33 years Alastair has worked for the British Columbia Heritage Branch where he has had extensive experience in policy development, strategic planning, historic resource evaluation, historic site and heritage planning, heritage law, public consultation and participation programs, downtown revitalization, dispute resolution, and training. Currently Alastair is the Manager of Heritage Programs in the Heritage Branch, Ministry of Tourism, Sport, and the Arts.
A $100 registration deposit is required with each registration. The $100 registration deposit is credited towards the tuition fee. This registration deposit will only be refunded if you withdraw your application prior to the registration deadline or if the course is cancelled. The University reserves the right to cancel or reschedule courses.
Credit vs non-credit
Credit refers to degree credit. If you are taking a course or program for credit through UVic Continuing Studies, it means that course or program provides credit towards a degree at UVic or another authorized university. Credit students have to meet certain criteria, such as being accepted to both UVic Continuing Studies and the University of Victoria.