Heritage of humanity
Centenary research theme
Heritage can be conceived as conserving, preserving and interpreting our history – whether in the form of art, architecture, music, text or memory.
At the same time, heritage can be conceived of as making sure that the rich physical and cultural diversity of the present is handed on to future generations, whether in terms of endangered languages, hidden archives, or rich and diverse cultures around food.
While ‘heritage’ itself can be critiqued as a ‘western’ concept, SOAS' approach to art and heritage together defined by seeing the world through a different lens, in which artistic and cultural linkages are, and always have been multidirectional.
Novel theories challenge conventional understanding of Chinese art history
Dr Lukas Nickel’s archaeological fieldwork, art historical research and philological study have led to his proposition of novel theories that question the conventional wisdom surrounding the influences on, methods of production and historical-contextual details of key genres and elements of the Chinese art historical canon, including the famous Terracotta Warriors. Both in China and internationally, his theories have motivated debate, experimentation, and informed and shifted interpretation amongst those working in a range of cultural institutions as well as the general public. Read more...
From scholarly historical research to prize-winning popular fiction
The scholarship of Professor Tim Screech on Japanese history, art and culture inspired and informed a David Mitchell's award winning novel, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, set in Japan in the late 1700s. Mitchell said: “He is the kind of academic interpreter of history and ideas upon whom more popular interpreters (lower down the food chain) rely… making accessible to interested non-specialists (like me), via primary research, areas of Japanese and East Asian culture which would otherwise lie buried.' Read more...