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Critical Heritages (CoHERE)

Exploring the ways in which identities in Europe are constructed.

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

About the research project

The research identified existing heritage practices and discourses in Europe. It also identified 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 were 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.

Critical heritages

Research approaches

Key approaches to the research were 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.

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) - Media, Culture, Heritage, School of Arts and Cultures
  • Dr Susannah Eckersley (Deputy Project Co-ordinator) - Media, Culture, Heritage, School of Arts and Cultures
  • Prof Rhiannon Mason - Media, Culture, Heritage, School of Arts and Cultures
  • Prof Sam Turner - Archaeology, School of History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Prof Tony Zito - Politics, School of Geography, Politics and Sociology
  • Dr Simon Mckerrell - Music, School of Arts and Culture
  • Dr Areti Galani - Media, Culture, Heritage, School of Arts and Cultures
  • Dr Gönül Bozoğlu - Media, Culture, Heritage, School of Arts and Cultures
  • Dr Gabi Arrigoni - School of Arts and Cultures


  • Aarhus University (Denmark)
  • University of Amsterdam (Netherlands)
  • National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (Greece)
  • Bilgi University Istanbul (Turkey)
  • University of Bologna (Italy)
  • Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design (Denmark)
  • Heriot-Watt University (UK)
  • Latvian Academy of Culture (Latvia)
  • European Network of Cultural Centres (Belgium)
  • POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews (Poland)
  • Stichting Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen (Netherlands)

Further information: Visit the official website for more information, including a full list of publications.