[ISEA2009] Keynote: Louise Purbrick – Contested space: cultural property and the art of appropriation


Sites of history, those places that form part of ‘heritage’ are subject to practices of interpretation. A range of representations guide visitor, from architecture and sculpture to photography and web design. The visit is often produced as journey through a scene, an absorbing if not entertaining day out, which can obscure important cultural battles over access and ownership. Tracing debates about a series of sites, this talk considers the question of historical rights and cultural property in a place.

  • Dr Louise Purbrick is Principal Lecturer in the History of Art and Design in the School of Humanities, Faculty of Arts, University of Brighton. Much of her research is devoted to understanding the material culture of contemporary conflict. She edited, with John Schofield and Axel Klausmeier, Re-Mapping the Field: New Approaches in Conflict Archaeology, Westkreuz Verlag (2006), and with Jim Aulich and Graham Dawson, Contested Spaces: Sites, Histories and Representations, Palgrave (2007). She has written a series of reports and articles on sites and museums of conflict in Ireland.