The course will focus on the "heritage turn", i.e. the peculiar cultural policies that are marking the international scene of cultural promotion since the recent enhancement of the Unesco Heritage programs, from the anthropological and comparative perspective.
After a historical introduction, the Unesco ICH safeguarding and promotion program will be submitted to a textual analysis, starting from the juridical level (international conventions) until the guidelines that have been progressively orienting the program realization. Students will be invited to familiarize with the information and the representations given by Unesco on its various websites, regarding the cultural heritage; the Unesco ICH website, in particular, will be explored. Starting from its list, the course will introduce to the reading of some illuminating samples of "cultural heritage policy", making use of Unesco archive for videos, nomination files, evaluation bodies reports, experiencing in this way a proper ethnography of institutional work. Finally, students will be led to draw from the World Intangible Cultural Heritage program and lists, some controversial or exemplary case studies, reresentative of the dialectis between heritagization and nationalism, cultural rights and human rights, hairitage and property, pivoting . Exemples will be drawn from Japan, Palestine, Bolivia, Malawi and Mexico, as well as from Italy and the European area. Of the selected exemplary cases, the historical-political frameworks and the geo-political positioning dynamics underlying the respective capitalization processes will be explored.