Heritage and Identity

Kőszeg (Hungary), 23.-26.3.2018

Our Interpret Europe Conference 2018 will take place from 23 to 26 March in Kőszeg (Hungary). It will be organised by the Hungarian Association of Cultural Heritage Managers (KÖME). The conference is part of the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage

Theme of this year's conference is 'Heritage and Identity'. The question of identity is key when it comes to one's feelings towards Europe in all its diversity and one's relationship with single nation states, regions and local communities. One European region where identities most intermingle is the Austro-Hungarian border area. We will, therefore, run the conference as a border-crossing event, starting our pre-conference tour in Vienna from where we will travel into Hungary and ending our post-conference tour in Budapest.


Tibor Navracsics, EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport at the Juncker Commission since 2014. Mr Navracsics will open the conference in the Knight's Hall of Jurisics Castle in Kőszeg.  

Kenan Malik is a writer, lecturer and broadcaster, and a columnist for the Observer and the New York Times.  His main areas of interest are the history of ideas, history and philosophy of religion, political and moral philosophy, and the history and sociology of race and immigration.  

Dr. Constanze Itzel built up the House of European History in Brussels from its very beginnings in 2009, as advisor and as curator. She has been leading the museum team since June 2017.  

Prof. Dr. Ferenc Miszlivetz is founder and director general of the Institute of Advanced Studies Kőszeg (IASK). Since 2012 he serves as the president of the Social Sciences unit of the Hungarian UNESCO Committee.  

Participants from all over Europe and beyond will offer more than 50 workshops and presentations. To select what is most interesting for you, you will always be able to choose from at least five parallel sessions.

Study visits around Kőszeg will lead to interesting sites within the border-crossing Fertő / Neusiedlersee Cultural Landscape (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). Destinations will be as different as Eszterháza, the 'Hungarian Versailles', which belonged to one of the most famous landowner families of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, or the Pan-European Picnic Park where the Iron Curtain was first lifted in 1989. And last but not least we will have several opportunities to taste local varieties of wine and the famous Hungarian cuisine.

Identity at the Frontier - paraphrasing the title of the Hungarian author Géza Ottlik's 1959 novel School at the Frontier we will take a close look from the present into the book's location Kőszeg as a border town as well as to its tangible and intangible heritage. Kőszeg was a free royal town in medieval times and its castle became famous for its insolent resistance in slowing down a huge Ottoman campaign against Vienna. This castle, with its large Knight's Hall, will be our central venue. Besides this, we will seek to bring alive the surrounding historic centre where there is almost no traffic and all sites are within comfortable walking distance. We will also take a look at memorial places of the Iron Curtain which divided Europe into two areas. The study tours will give a unique opportunity to deal with notions of identiy in this special border situation. 

The European Green Belt along the former borderline between East and West is famous for its stunning natural heritage, especially the Fertő-Hanság and Neusiedler See-Seewinkel National Parks, which are important resting places for migratory birds. Together with our partners working with natural heritage we will explore how nature influences identity.

More information: http://www.interpreteuropeconf...