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Critical Heritages (CoHERE)

Critical Heritages (CoHERE)

Exploring the ways in which identities in Europe are constructed.

CoHERE is a £2.5million H2020 RIA ‘Inclusive, Innovative, and Reflective Societies’ Grant. The project explores the ways in which identities in Europe are constructed through heritage representations and performances that connect to ideas of place, history, tradition, and belonging.

Critical heritages

About the research project

The research identifies existing heritage practices and discourses in Europe. It also identifies means to sustain and transmit European heritages that are likely to contribute to the evolution of inclusive, communitarian identities, and counteract disaffection with, and division within, the EU. A number of modes of representation and performance are explored in the project, from cultural policy, museum display, heritage interpretation, school curricula, and political discourse to music and dance performances, food and cuisine, rituals, and protest.

Research approaches

Key approaches to the research are as follows:

  1. The relational study of productions and experiences of heritage at institutional, social and personal levels, including research into people’s activities and attitudes.
  2. Research by practice and the provision of public-facing dissemination activities.
  3. The critically informed development of instruments (e.g. models for policy, curricula, museum and heritage practice) intended to promote reflection on and valorisation of European heritages and to engender socially inclusive attitudes. The project is multidisciplinary, including museum, heritage and memory studies, cultural history, education, musicology, ethnology, political science, archaeology, ethnolinguistics and digital interaction design.

Further information:

A number of publications can be downloaded at:

The project has led to the establishment of the Routledge book series Critical Heritages of Europe, co-edited by the project co-ordinators:

Funder: European Commission

Duration: April 2016-April 2019

PI and further team: (Newcastle staff only) Prof Chris Whitehead (Project Co-ordinator), Dr Susannah Eckersley (Deputy Project Co-ordinator), Prof Rhiannon Mason, Prof Sam Turner, Prof Tony Zito, Dr Simon Mckerrell, Dr Areti Galani, Dr Gönül Bozoğlu, Dr Gabi Arrigoni.


Newcastle University (co-ordinator)


Aarhus University


University of Amsterdam


National and Kapodistrian University of Athens


Bilgi University Istanbul


University of Bologna


Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design


Heriot-Watt University


Latvian Academy of Culture


European Network of Cultural Centres


POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews


Stichting Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen