Heritage And Education: A Panel Discussion

This discussion will explore the interconnections between heritage (in all its forms) and education (at various levels). Ahmedabad University through its Centre for Heritage Management has positioned itself uniquely to explore this theme. The session will begin with an introductory presentation (10 minutes) by Dr. Neel Kamal Chapagain, Director of the Centre for Heritage Management, Ahmedabad University, and a brief statement (3-5 minutes) by each of the panellists. Following this, Dr. French will moderate the session based on the following key questions for the panellists. The session will then move to an open interactive forum for all other participants to engage in conversation.

 

Abstract of introductory presentation (by Neel Kamal Chapagain):

In the second half of the 20th century heritage discourses have gained significant momentum across the globe, resulting in a number of global conventions including the World Heritage Convention, Intangible Cultural Heritage Convention and so on. Accordingly, the institutional, policy, legal and educational sectors have evolved for the heritage sector. The discourse on heritage has evolved significantly and now it is also seen as a pillar to sustainable development. After dwelling briefly on these global and local contexts for heritage discourse, the presentation will highlight the following two-fold needs with regards to ‘heritage’ and ‘education’:

  1. The need for pursuing heritage as an integral part of a holistic educational framework – particularly at the early education of children and young people.

 

  1. The need for professionals and higher education to contribute towards managing diverse heritage resources. The presentation will conclude with positioning Ahmedabad University’s initiatives in this regard.

Following the introductory presentation, the panelists will reflect on the above two issues, based on their own work, their approach to interconnection of ‘heritage’ and ‘education’, notable good practices today, and way forward for the future.



Chair/Moderator: Dr. Patrick French
Panelists:
Professor Ashoke Chatterjee
Dr.Jigna Desai
Dr. Gauri Bharat
Dr. Neel Kamal Chapagain



Dr. Patrick French
Dr.Patrick French was appointed as Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Ahmedabad University in 2017. He is also the Professor for the Public Understanding of the Humanities at Ahmedabad University, advocating for their importance in a well-rounded, modern education. Dr French is an award-winning historian and biographer. He has a Ph.D. in South Asian Studies and an M.A. in English Literature, both from Edinburgh University. His books include Younghusband: The Last Great Imperial Adventurer, Liberty or Death: India’s Journey to Independence and Division, Tibet, Tibet: A Personal History of a Lost Land; The World Is What It Is: The Authorized Biography of V.S. Naipaul, and India: A Portrait. He is presently doing research for the official biography of the Nobel Laureate Doris Lessing. Dr French’s books have won prizes including the Royal Society of Literature’s WH Heinemann Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award, the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, the Hawthornden Prize and the US National Book Critics Circle Award. He is a Visiting Fellow at Cambridge University’s Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, and in 2018 will be the Derek Brewer Visiting Fellow at Emmanuel College, Cambridge.

Professor Ashoke Chatterjee
Professor Ashoke Chatterjee heads the advisory committee to the Centre for Heritage Management, Ahmedabad University. He is also a Trustee of the Prabhat Education Foundation (Ahmedabad), Adviser, former President of the Crafts Council of India (Chennai), and former Director of the National Institute of Design which he served for 25 years. He has also worked in the engineering industry, international civil service, India’s public sector and participated in several development sectors including education, environment, water and sanitation, livelihoods, health, culture and human rights. Professor Chatterjee was educated at Woodstock School, Delhi University and Miami University (Ohio, USA). His latest book Rising, about development experience in Gujarat over 30 years, was published in 2011.

Dr.Jigna Desai
Jigna Desai in an associate professor and the Area Chair for Conservation at the Faculty of Architecture, CEPT University. She has worked extensively on conservation projects in different parts of India, carried out advocacy for community-based conservation in partnership with national and international institutions. She was invited to be a part of the Gyeonju Declaration for World Heritage Cities in the Asia Pacific region in September 2015. Jigna has been teaching since 2002 at various institutions in India before joining CEPT University in full-time capacity in 2009. Within her repertoire of teaching, particularly noteworthy are courses on design and conservation with local communities within the domains of Sustainable Architecture and Architectural/ Urban Conservation. She continues to involve herself in explorations related to processes of conservation and sustainable design by being a part of the small, award winning practice - JMA Design Co. She has obtained her Ph.D. from CEPT University, M.Sc. in Sustainable Design from Cardiff University, and B.A. in Architecture from CEPT School of Architecture.

Dr. Gauri Bharat
Gauri Bharat is an associate professor and Chair of Architectural History and Theory at CEPT University, Ahmedabad. She teaches undergraduate and postgraduate architectural history and humanities courses. In her courses, students learn by using the city as a laboratory. They explore hidden stories of architectural practices, construction sites, informal markets, roadside temples and roadside eating places among other things. Gauri’s research focuses on how people engage with built environments and conversely how architecture and history shape individual and collective identities. In terms of projects, this takes diverse forms and engages with both academic and non-academic audiences. She is presently working on a history of concrete construction practices, a book on adivasi architectural history and a digital archive of mud mural traditions. She has won awards for research and teaching including the Best Social Sciences Dissertation awarded by the International Convention of Asian Scholars in 2017, the Jeffrey Cook Prize for the Best Paper by a Ph.D. candidate in 2014, and the Berkeley Prize Teaching Fellowship for teaching people-centric design in 2014-15.

Dr. Neel Kamal Chapagain
Neel Kamal Chapagain joined the Ahmedabad University in 2013 to develop its Masters program in Heritage Management, and has been the Director of the Centre for Heritage Management at Ahmedabad University since November 2017. Previously, he taught at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (USA) and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He has worked in Nepal and Bhutan as well. He is the co-editor of a book titled Asian Heritage Management: Contexts, Concerns and Prospects(Routledge, 2013). An executive member of ICOMOS Nepal, he also co-ordinates a publication series from Nepal titled Reflections on the Built Environment and Associated Practices. He serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Heritage Management and is a visiting fellow at the UNESCO Category 2 Centre on World Natural Heritage Management and Training at the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun. He obtained his Ph.D. from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (USA), an Architecture Doctorate and Graduate Certificate in Historic Preservation from the University of Hawaii at Manoa (USA), and his B. Architecture from the Institute of Engineering, Tribhuvan University, Nepal. He has also done a professional conservation course at ICCROM in Italy.