Whose Culture: Matters of Heritage, Cultural Appropriation and Cultural Appreciation

Ira Solomatina
Whose Culture: Matters of Heritage, Cultural Appropriation and Cultural Appreciation

Seminar, English, 2 SWS, 2 ECTS
Tuesdays, 10-14 h, bi-weekly, 7 dates: 16.4., 30.4., 14.5., 28.5., 11.6., 25.6., 9.7.2019
Hardenbergstr. 33, room 110

“Cultural appropriation” is on everybody’s lips. Not a day passes without a designer or artist, an institution or a publication being accused of it. Yet, the paradox is, “cultural appropriation” remains an elusive and difficult-to-define term that itself can be exploited. Investigating the (unevenly balanced) history of cultural exchange, the seminar looks into why matters of cultural appropriation have gained such relevance nowadays.
The seminar raises challenging questions that need to be addressed: is cultural appropriation always a bad thing? Is it a necessary part of cultural exchange? Can the righteous resentment at cultural appropriation be dangerous? Analysing case studies and major scholarship on cultural appropriation will help us form a better understanding of the matter and find ways of dealing with the most contested issue in today’s culture.

Requirements for the ungraded Studium Generale credit: regular and active participation, short essay or presentation.

Ausrichtung der Veranstaltung: interkulturell, kritisch
Kompetenz/Aktivität der Teilnehmenden: reflektieren/denken, aneignen


Ira Solomatina is an author and researcher, whose interests span fashion history and globalisation of culture. Having graduated from an MA Programme in Southeast Asian Studies at Humboldt University, she now pursues a PhD degree in Cultural Studies at the University of Amsterdam and lectures on cultural theory at Humboldt University.