Department of Anthropology

Culturalising the Self, Culturalising the Other: The Role of Heritage in the Western Mediterranean

Thu, March 30, 2006 | The Texas Union Board of Directors Room, 4.118

4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

Contrary to modernist assumptions and globalization theory the question of cultural identity and differentiation has become a major political coin in the contemporary world order; it has become a paradigm to interpret the world we live in. Today, everything is expressed in terms of culture. Especially in Europe, this process has led to a successful propagation of the "local," the "differentiable," and supposedly "rooted." Heritage plays a central role -- as innumerable museum openings, the festivalization of local customs, and in the celebration (and invention) of regional artifacts.

However, the mobilization of this cultural heritage and the multifarious revivals of regional traditions have local and trans-local causes. According to Frederick Barth's approach to ethnicity and the border, the redefinition of one's own local heritage also produces an image of the heritage of others. This lecture will focus specifically on the British crown colony at the southern tip of Spain, Gibraltar, a small community in between Europe and Africa. Strategies that locals are using to create a Mediterranean culture for their own as well as various "others" -- such as the EU, Britain, Spain or Morocco -- will be discussed.

For More information contact the Department of Germanic Studies at 471-4173 or email

Sponsored by: The Department of Germanic Studies, the Department of Anthropology, and the Center for European Studies

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