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  • Intangible Cultural Heritage and Museums Field School 2011
    Organized by the Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Anthropology Centre (SAC), Thailand
    August 8 – 21,  2011
    Lamphun, Thailand

    The Field School Programme

    The Intangible Cultural Heritage and Museums Field School focuses on the role of the museum in safeguarding, documenting and revitalizing intangible cultural heritage in the ASEAN region. Led by experts in the fields of museology and anthropology, this course offers museum and heritage professionals the conceptual and practical tools for engaging with local communities to safeguard their intangible cultural heritage, such as oral history and narratives, craftsmanship, festivals, ritual, performance and other forms of traditional knowledge. The course combines frameworks from “new museology” and ecomuseums with  anthropological approaches for understanding and working with source communities.

    “An ecomuseum is a dynamic way in which communities preserve, interpret and manage their heritage for sustainable development. An ecomuseum is based on a community agreement.” (Long Network 2004)

    “An ecomuseum is a community driven heritage project that aids sustainable development (Davis 1999).”

    Why Anthropology?

    While the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage is a relatively new instrument, in fact the research and documentation of intangible cultural heritage is not new. Cultural anthropologists have been involved in the study of the world’s diverse cultural beliefs, practices, social structures and forms of local knowledge since the 19th century. The key method of cultural anthropology is called fieldwork—an approach which seeks to learn about culture through observing and participating in the daily lives of social groups and communities. One of the aims of this Field School is to provide participants with anthropological tools and approaches for the research and documentation of intangible culture.

    The Field School combines theory and practice with a focus on:

    • The 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage
    • Anthropological approaches and tools for researching, documenting and safeguarding intangible cultural heritage
    • Linking the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage to core museum activities
    • New museology, community-based museums and participatory heritage management
    • Documentation of intangible heritage using digital technology (photography and video) and IP and cultural rights issues

    Program Structure

    The Field School is an intensive, 2-week course offering a combination of lectures and a hands-on field practicum. Under the guidance of leading experts, participants will work in cross-cultural, interdisciplinary teams to apply their newly gained concepts and approaches to safeguarding intangible heritage via the museum. This year’s field practicum will focus on the documentation of intangible heritage using digital technologies (documentary photography, sound and video recording). Participants will be expected to work in close collaboration with four participating  communities in Lamphun Province to produce a short film featuring one element of intangible cultural heritage as part of their practicum.

    Confirmed Key Resource Persons:

    Professor Peter Davis, Professor of Museology, School of Arts and Cultures, Newcastle University

    Dr. Kate Hennessy, School of Interactive Arts and Technology, Simon Fraser University, British Columbia

    Dr. Marilena Alivizatou, Senior Research Associate, UCL Centre for Museums, Heritage & Material Culture Studies

    Dr. Michelle Stefano, International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies, Newcastle University

    Dr. Rasmi  Shoocongdej, Faculty of Archaeology, Silpakorn University

    Profile of Participants

    The program is aimed at museum practitioners and heritage professionals in the ASEAN region (Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Viet nam, Myanmar, Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia). Applicants are expected to have a good command of English.


    The Field School is open to up to 20 participants.
    Please note that while priority will be given to applicants from
    the ASEAN in the selection process, interested applicants from
    other countries are welcome to apply.

    Registration forms are available at http://www.sac.or.th/fieldschool/ Completed forms should be sent via email to a.denes@sac.or.th, by fax +66 2880 9332, or by post to: Attn: Alexandra Denes, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Anthropology Centre, 20 Barommaratchachonnani Road, Taling-Chan, Bangkok, 10170, Thailand, by no later than 15 May 2011.

    Travel, Accommodation and Living Expenses

    Participants will be responsible for their round trip travel costs to and from Lamphun, Thailand. In order to cover living expenses during the Field School, participants should budget a minimum allowance of 14,000 Baht (400 USD) to cover the cost of food and accommodation. Participants will stay at a hotel in downtown Lamphun province. Single rooms are available for 650 Baht per night (19 USD).

    Registration Fee

    In addition to travel, accommodation and living expenses, the fee for attending the Field School is 8,250 Baht (250 USD), which covers study materials, instruction, site visits, and local transport costs.


    A limited number of scholarships are available for accepted course participants to support travel and/or participation costs. As there are always more qualified applicants than funds, candidates are strongly encouraged to seek financial support from sources such as employers, funding agencies and governmental institutions.

    For further information

    Dr. Alexandra Denes
    Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Anthropology Centre
    20 Boromaratchachonnani Road, Taling Chan, Bangkok 10170
    Tel: +66 2880 9249 Ext 3203 Fax: +66 2880 9332
    Email: a.denes@sac.or.th


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