The Chair of Heritage Studies, which is hosting the 4th ENCOUNTER-Conference, has its premises in Collegium Polonicum on the right bank of the Odra river, linking the German town Frankfurt with its Polish neighbouring town Słubice. The Chair was created in the late 1990s with the objective of dealing with the cultural heritage of the German-Polish border region. Being a part of the Faculty of Social and Cultural Sciences the chair represents a broader and critical approach to the heritage conservation by merging classical theory and methodology of the field with those of human, political and spatial sciences.

Modernity and late modernity are regarded as particularly important and insightful periods for the research of heritage strategies. This is due to the acceleration and aggregation of paradigm shifts in social and cultural space, which are not without consequences for the cultural and political practice of monument protection. Therefore, the question of how older cultural heritage has been handled in the age of modernity gains more and more importance in the work of the Chair. It encompasses not only the fascinating issue of shifting borders, which we come across right on our doorstep, and their resulting implications for the cultural landscape, but also the interdisciplinary research on urban areas in Central and Eastern Europe before and after the Second World War. Another area of ​​interest are diverse unconventional or completely new requirements for the preservation of historical monuments, which cannot be covered in the curricula of relevant study programs.

It is precisely this range of knowledge and research interests that is closely linked to the part-time master’s program “Strategies for European Cultural Heritage” offered by the Chair on a yearly basis. Visit the program’s website (in German) to learn more and feel free to join our public facebook group “Heritage Strategies Viadrina” to connect with a network of our graduate experts as well as a broader audience interested in heritage strategies.


Header image: Collegium Polonicum in Słubice © Heide Fest