Seminar in Ethnomusicology - 2nd semester


This seminar aims at theorizing music heritage as culture practice, taking into account the impact of UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage paradigm as applied through the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity (2001, 2003, 2005) and the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003). It will also examine its impact on heritage regimes and state politics. Drawing on a critical reading of the multidisciplinary literature on cultural heritage, the seminar will problematize the concept of cultural “heritage” and its qualifiers, analyze heritage discourse and practice as a global phenomenon, and discuss its place in late modern societies. It will also address issues of cultural rights and of safeguarding.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Salwa Castelo Branco


Weekly - 2

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





Bendix, Regina. 2009. “Heritage between Economy and Politics: An Assessment from the Perspective of Cultural Anthropology.” In Smith, Laurajane and Natsuko Akagawa (eds.) Intangible Heritage, 253-69. New York: Routledge.
Blake, Janet. 2000. “On Defining the Cultural Heritage,” International and Comparative Law Quarterly, 49: 61–85.
Hall, Steward. 2005. “Whose Heritage? Un-settling ‘the Heritage’, Re-imagining the post- Nation,” in Littler, Jo and Roshi Naidoo, The Politics of Heritage, The Legacies of Race. London and New York: Routledge. E-Book.
Harrison, Rodney. 2013. Heritage Critical Approaches. Abington: Routledge. [R] Kirshenblatt-Gimblett. Barbara. 1995. “Theorizing heritage,” Ethnomusicology 39 (3): 367– 380.

Kirshenblatt-Gimblett. Barbara. 2004. “Intangible Heritage as Metacultural Production”, Museum International 56 (1-2), 52-65.

Teaching method

In addition to presentation by the instructor and the doctoral students, and discussions by all participants in the seminar, this discipline consists of tutorials which will allow each student the opportunity to discuss his or her research needs, interests, and the orientation they wish to confer on their work.

Evaluation method

Evaluation is carried out through:

. Continuous assessment of class participation (20%)
. Critical reviews presented orally in class (30%)
. Written essay delivered at the end of the semester (50%)

Subject matter

Using case studies with special reference to Portugal and other Lusophone countries, the seminar will address the use of heritage as a political tool and an economic resource. The semiar will also examine: legislation; cultural policy and government investment on safeguarding and promoting heritage; the tensions between the universal claims of heritage practice and national, regional, ethnic and indigenous perspectives; the uses of heritage by the tourist industry; the development of heritage industries; the impact of heritagization on the sustainability of music traditions, performance practice and aesthetics.


Programs where the course is taught: