Forgot your password? | Register Here
 

NYC - Public Lecture Series feat. William Chapman


A Heritage of Ruins: The Ancient Sites of Southeast Asia and Their Conservation

This event will be streamed live. Please visit our Live Stream page at 7pm on the evening of the event to view the lecture for free.

The ancient ruins of Southeast Asia have long sparked curiosity and romance in the world’s imagination. They appear in accounts of 19th-century French explorers, as props for Indiana Jones’ adventures, and more recently as the scene of Lady Lara Croft’s fantastical battle with the forces of evil. They have been featured in National Geographic magazine and serve as backdrops for popular television travel and reality shows. Drawing from his recent book A Heritage of Ruins: The Ancient Sites of Southeast Asia and Their Conservation (2013), William Chapman will explore the varied roles these monumental remains have played in the histories of Southeast Asia’s modern nations.

Based on more than fifteen years of travel, research, and visits to hundreds of ancient sites, the book shows the close connection between “ruins conservation” and both colonialism and nation building. It also demonstrates the profound impact of European-derived ideas of historic and aesthetic significance on ancient ruins and how these continue to color the management and presentation of sites in Southeast Asia today. Angkor, Pagan (Bagan), Borobudur, and Ayutthaya lie at the center of this cultural and architectural tour, along with less visited sites, including Laos’ stunning Vat Phu, the small temple platforms of Malaysia’s Lembah Bujang Valley, the candi of the Dieng Plateau in Java, and the ruins of Mingun in Burma and Wiang Kum Kam near Chiang Mai in northern Thailand.

Chapman will examine the complexities of heritage efforts in the context of present-day expectations by focusing on the roles of both outside and indigenous experts in conservation and management and on attempts by local populations to reclaim their patrimony and play a larger role in protection and interpretation. Tracing the history of interventions aimed at halting time’s decay, he will provide a chronicle of conservation efforts over a century and a half, highlighting the significant part foreign expertise has played in the region and the ways that national programs have, in recent years, begun to break from earlier models. The talk will end with suggestions for how Southeast Asian managers and officials might best protect their incomparable heritage of art and architecture and how this legacy might be preserved for future generations.

William Chapman is Director of the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation and Professor in the Department of American Studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Educated at Columbia (M.S. in Historic Preservation, 1978) and at Oxford University in England (D.Phil.in Anthropology, 1982), he specializes in architectural recording, the history of historic preservation and materials conservation. A four-time Fulbright scholar and American Candidate at the International Center for Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property in Rome (ICCROM), he has traveled extensively throughout Southeast Asia and has served as a lecturer at Silpakorn, Kasetsart and Chulalongkorn Universities.

Date: 3/9/2014

Time: 6:00pm Reception, 7:00pm Lecture

Location: Club Headquarters, 46 E 70th Street, New York, NY, 10021

Member Ticket Price: Free

Guest Ticket Price: $20

Student Ticket Price:

Free for EC Student Members, $5 w/ a valid Student ID

Reservation Notes:

Reservations are secured on a first-come, first-served basis.

To reserve seats, call us at 212.628.8383 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Back to top
The Explorers Club ®, World Center for Exploration ®, The Flag and the Seal are registered trademarks of The Explorers Club. Use by others is strictly prohibited. Photographs appearing on this website are used by permission and may not be copied or re-used in any manner.

Background image photography courtesy of members Christoph Baumer, Neil Laughton, Matt Harris and Don Walsh's image of the Bathyscape Trieste