HIST372-24S2 (A) Semester Two 2024 (The Arts Centre Christchurch)

Contested Heritage: Politics, Power and Practice

30 points

Start Date: Monday, 15 July 2024
End Date: Sunday, 10 November 2024
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 28 July 2024
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 29 September 2024


This course provides students with a hands-on introduction to the study of heritage. We explore ways we might understand and interpret contemporary heritage practices in a range of contexts, including post-earthquake Christchurch.

This course aims to provide students with a hands-on introduction to the anthropological study of heritage and a vocationally-oriented skill set. We explore ways we might understand contemporary heritage practices in a range of contexts, with a particular focus on post-earthquake Christchurch.
The first part of the course draws on international and New Zealand case studies to find ways in which we might analyse heritage practices in different times and places. Our main focus, however, is on Christchurch and we begin with Ngāi Tūāhuriri perspectives. We examine some of the main approaches to heritage and carry out an exercise that allows us to apply these frameworks to a particular problem. In the second, we extend the course themes through detailed work in the field, highlighting how heritage ‘embodies relationships of power and subjugation, inclusion and exclusion, remembering and forgetting’.

We investigate key issues such as official and unofficial heritage practices, heritage values, ‘difficult’ heritage, interpretation, digital archives, heritage tourism, cultural landscapes and memory. We also confront a series of questions that face those of us studying heritage. What is heritage? Is it necessarily a ‘good’ thing? Who is represented and obscured? Whose story is it? How are heritage and memory connected? What is the relationship between globalisation, nationalism and localised heritage movements? What has been the impact of indigenous politics, multiculturalism and virtual worlds on heritage? Can heritage practices reconcile competing aspirations and histories in diverse societies? How should we respond to the challenge posed by divergent understandings of ownership, value and significance? Who owns the past?

Learning Outcomes

  • This course will enable each participant to:

  • Critically evaluate the value of heritage as a concept and as a tool for social action.
  • Consider a range of different approaches to the study of heritage and museums, including those of Mana Whenua.
  • Complete a heritage assessment report that applies skills and frameworks developed in the course to the study of heritage in a specific local context.
  • Assess the implications and significance of the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi for heritage research and practice in Aotearoa.
  • Critically reflect on the nature of knowledge and norms, including indigenous models, in a personal learning journal.
  • Contribute effectively in group and co-operative work.


Any 30 points at 200 level from HIST, or
any 60 points at 200 level from the Schedule V of the BA.


SOCI388, ANTH388

Equivalent Courses

Timetable 2024

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Workshop A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Tuesday 10:00 - 13:00 Arts Centre 203 Camerata
15 Jul - 25 Aug
9 Sep - 20 Oct

Contact Person

Lyndon Fraser


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Christchurch Rebuild Reflective Essay 25%
Heritage Assessment Report 50%
Structured Controversy Exercise 25%

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,687.00

International fee $7,900.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Humanities .

All HIST372 Occurrences

  • HIST372-24S2 (A) Semester Two 2024 (The Arts Centre Christchurch)