EUniWell Open Lecture Series: Cultural Heritage, Well-being and the Future


Linnaeus University Online EUniWell-Event

As part of the EUniWell Open Lecture Series, Prof. Cornelius Holtorf spoke on "Cultural Heritage, Well-being and the Future" on Thursday, 24 March 2022.

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Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Cornelius Holtorf
Moderator: Prof. Dr. Bodil Petersson
Related EUniWell Arena: 2) Individual and Social Well-being


About this lecture:

Cultural heritage is often assumed to be of timeless value. But over recent decades, cultural heritage has been fundamentally reconceptualised in global policies. Whereas for about two centuries, cultural heritage was usually appreciated as a tangible token of collective histories, connected to ideas linked to Romantic Nationalism, now we see a different paradigm gradually taking over: cultural heritage is increasingly valued in relation to the intangible impacts and uses it has for specific communities. In this context, the concept of well-being has become central. Taking this development even further, cultural heritage in global contexts is today most commonly addressed within the framework of sustainable development. Yet political bodies such as the UN and national governments (even those embracing well-being) are still locked into older perceptions and often fail to fully embrace the ‘new’ cultural heritage. The UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures at Linnaeus University is contributing to changing this by focusing on how cultural heritage can best benefit future generations.

Research background:

Cornelius Holtorf studied prehistoric archaeology, social anthropology and physical anthropology in Germany, England and Wales. In 1998 he gained his PhD and was subsequently employed in research and teaching at the University of Gothenburg (1998-1999), the University of Cambridge (1999-2002), the Swedish National Heritage Board in Stockholm (2002-2004) and the University of Lund (2005-2008).

Since 2008 he has been working in Kalmar where he is Professor of Archaeology at Linnaeus University and Director of the Graduate School in Contract Archaeology (GRASCA). Since 2017 he has been holding the UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures at Linnaeus University.


This lecture was part of the EUniWell Open Lecture Series. Find the full programme here.