Challenging Eternity

Heritage, urbanistic interventions and the city of Rome

Date: 6-16 June 2014

Deadline for applications: 7 February 2014

International MA-course in Rome
CLUE – VU University Amsterdam
Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome (KNIR)

In collaboration with: Facoltà di Architettura Roma Tre & Herity International

Course elements: Ten-days excursion to Rome (6th – 16th June 2014). Students from Dutch universities also do a preparatory three day course in Amsterdam (23th – 25th of April 2014),
Credits: 9 ects for students from Dutch universities and 6 ects for students studying abroad (who don’t take the three day course in Amsterdam).
Language of tuition: English.
Coordinator: Prof. Dr. G.L.M. Burgers.
Teaching staff: Prof. Dr. G.L.M. Burgers. & Prof. Dr. J.E. Bosma.
Teaching method(s): Seminar, excursion, lectures, student presentations, assignments and essays.
Place: Amsterdam, Rome.
Course material: Reader.
Site visits: In Rome, apart from excursions to the major archaeological monuments, visits will be arranged to sites that have aroused debate from a heritage perspective or at which particular management and presentation programs can be examined at first hand.
Examinations: On-site student presentations, paper, reflective essay (all in Rome).

Course objective
Rome is the city par excellence to study the complex interrelations between urban development, politics and the preservation and transformation of cultural heritage. The aim of this course is a better understanding of the historical roles that cultural heritage has fulfilled within the broader framework of national and European identity construction. Next to that, the students develop their own view of how ancient and recent heritage can be preserved and transformed within a setting of urban dynamism and rapid transformations.

Course content
The course is a joint initiative of the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome (KNIR) and CLUE, the master Heritage Studies at VU University Amsterdam. It is open for credit to students from the Netherlands and abroad, up to a number of 20 postgraduate (or master) students.
Rome is one of the oldest cities in Europe and its cultural heritage embodies classical and modern ideals, which have left their imprint on the city. But its appearance and structure are also shaped by the daily realities typical of an ever expanding Mediterranean metropolis. Rome is a city of contrasts where old and new, past and present, come together and sometimes clash.

The course consist of the following themes:
1. Sites and monuments: Making the students familiar with the major archaeological sites and monuments of Rome
2. History and Concepts: Evaluation of the concept of archaeological heritage and its history.
3. Archaeology, politics and nationalism: History of the use of the archaeological heritage of Rome for national and other political purposes.
4. Urban development: History of the urban development of Rome and its problematic relation to archaeology
5. Archaeology and the Public: Ethics and methods of communication with the audience.
6. Challenges for future management: Marrying urban development with heritage management; new heritage concepts (landscape), urban landscape archaeology, outreach, heritage management and citizenship.
7. Design Interventions: programming old and new functions and spatial claims of stakeholders and preparing interventions for/with designers.

Form of tuition
An introductory seminar and a three-days crash course on heritage issues and Rome´s history and topography will be presented at Amsterdam for students from Dutch universities(23rd, 24th and 25th of April 2014). Students studying at non-Dutch universities only participate in the ten-days excursion to Rome (6th – 16th of June 2014).

Type of assessment
On-site oral presentations, active contribution to plenary discussions, assignments and a reflective essay. The complexity of the topic of discussion varies according to the student´s curriculum. Participants receive credit after submitting their final paper.

The course is open for MA students from all universities with an interest in the relation between Archaeology, (Art-) History, Heritage Studies and Urban Planning and Urban or Landscape Design. Students are asked to write an application letter, containing their motivation, education, c.v. and list of marks and to fill in an application form. This form can be downloaded from the website of the Faculty of Arts of the VU University Amsterdam ( The teaching staff compares them and selects a maximum of 20 students. Deadline for the letters: ultimately 7th of February 2014. The letters must be sent by e-mail to Selection will be finished on the 14th February 2014 at the latest.