Dr. Linde Egberts

The CLUE+ Early Career Fund enables Dr. Linde Egberts to prepare an application for the Starting Grant of the European Research Council (ERC). The amount will be spent on alleviating her teaching load in summer and autumn of 2019. The proposal is named FUTURELIC and aims to develop a reconsideration of Heritage Studies in the face of climate change. This is because over the past decades, heritage researchers have shifted from studying conservation of the past, to questioning how heritage values are presently shaped in society, taking their political, cultural, economic and spatial complexities into consideration. However, although heritage practices are aimed at preserving elements from the past for future generations, heritage scholars are hardly aware of what kind of future they are working towards; assuming that in many ways the future is a stable continuation of the present. At the same time, environmental scientists argue that the future might be much more disruptive than societies anticipate, for example in coastal areas, where rising sea levels and the measures to manage those will drastically transform historic landscapes. These dynamic futures will challenge current understandings of heritage and will pressure academics to rethink its roots and validity. This requires a more pro-active approach from heritage researchers, which should include theoretical scrutiny of academic discourses, development of research methodologies and reflection on spatial heritage practices that extends beyond single case studies.

With the project FUTURe hEritage and cLImate Change (FUTURELIC), Linde Egberts aims to provide intellectual templates for understanding how heritage is understood today and what could change if the environmental dynamics of the future are considered. This project departs form the notion that the heritage concept needs reconsideration when we confront it with spatial climate adaptation planning, in which futures are approached as much more specific and disruptive. Her aim is to assess how we can come to new understandings of the heritage concepts that cherish the critical perspectives on heritage construction, but at the same time integrate understandings of futures that are dynamic and specified. This would allow us to work with heritage preservation when climate change forces us to reconsider the ways in which we live our lives and cherish our pasts. Egberts will do so through 5 sub-projects:
1) Discourse analysis of heritage and spatial climate adaptation planning;
2) and 3) Regional case studies of the role of heritage in spatial climate adaptation planning projects;
4) Comparative analysis heritage strategies in the context of climate adaptation; 5) Synthesis.