Heritage Engagements: Critical Applications (2015-2019)

In 2011, Peter van Mensch was succeeded by Hester Dibbits and Riemer Knoop. Under their leadership, the research group investigated dynamic heritage practices and socially engaged ways of dealing with heritage. While paying the same attention to the broad heritage field and the social side of heritage, the focus was less on the development of an integral or integrated heritage theory.

Two main strands emerged from this research. Dibbits worked with a team on emotion networks which she established with Marlous Willemsen. Collaborating with different partners, she developed the concept into a method that helps professionals, schoolchildren, university students and others to build a meta-perspective on heritage interactions and become 'heritage wise'.

In the project Street Values Knoop and colleagues investigated the relationship between heritage and the design of public spaces.

Like their predecessor, both professors paid close attention in their research to the changing role of heritage professionals. With the advent of the participation society in the 21st century, there was increased demand for professionals who were mainly process supervisors or mediators. The working methods and perspectives developed by Dibbits and Knoop are tools that help heritage professionals to work as generalists in this field.

In August 2015, Dibbits and Knoop started their second term as co-lecturers. In this period, they further elaborated on the themes analysed during their first research period through the research programme “Heritage Engagements, Critical Applications research programme”.