Syllabus for Cultural Heritage in Peace and Conflicts

Kulturarv i väpnade konflikter


  • 7.5 credits
  • Course code: 5KV706
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Conservation A1N
  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
  • Established: 2017-06-07
  • Established by:
  • Revised: 2019-07-02
  • Revised by: The Department Board
  • Applies from: week 10, 2019
  • Entry requirements: A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university.
  • Responsible department: Department of Art History

Learning outcomes

The student should, after completing the course, be able to
regarding knowledge and understanding

  • give examples of interventions applied on sites, buildings and objects affected by conflict with the intention of preserving values and contributing to sustainable development,
  • reflect on how conflicts may contribute to altering heritage, memory and identities,
  • account for the international legal institutions protecting heritage in armed conflicts,
regarding competence and skills
  • look critically at conflict and post-conflict development scenarios,
regarding judgement and approach
  • discuss appropriate solutions for planning, designing and implementing technical interventions on damaged heritage sites with the purpose of restoring, reconstructing or conserving them,
  • reflect on issues concerning the destruction, preservation and use of heritage.


The course provides an introduction to the social implications of cultural heritage in and after conflicts. Conflict is here understood as a strong disagreement between parties in a society, and as struggle originating in incompatible needs. You will study the meanings and uses of cultural heritage before, during and after violent conflict. In conflicts monuments, museums and other heritage do not just become targets. They have often been used for ideological and state-building purposes long before an intra-state or interstate conflict reaches a violent stage. When international actors intervene in post-conflict development there are often aims of using heritage to facilitate a more tolerant, inclusive and peaceful society, but such instrumental aims may be obstructed by existing group identities, notions of heritage, poorly planned interventions and other factors. The course deals with the complexity of heritage in conflicts as well as with the possibilities of using it to promote a peaceful and sustainable development. Students will not only be introduced to the problems associated with heritage in conflict areas, but also to practical and technical interventions on sites with the constructive aim of preserving them or giving them new functions.


The course will consist of seminars, lectures, and group exercises. There may be an excursion outside of Gotland. Active participation in seminars, exercises and the excursion is compulsory. Absence from any of these will need to be compensated.


Assessment will be based on written hand-ins and oral contributions. Written hand-ins will represent 50% of the assessment and oral contributions 50%. Grades will be given in accordance with the Swedish grading system. The following grades will be used: Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG).
If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the University´s disability coordinator.

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: week 10, 2019

Mandatory literature

Additional literature of no more than 300 pages may be distributed during the course.