Exploring Cultural Heritage Interpretation in Ulster and Appalachia

Cultural heritage and the significant role it plays in human life have received increased attention in recent years. This is reflected in the work of the United Nations, from its 1972 Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, to its 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks in 2016, in which he argued that elements of cultural heritage, “form a common thread that unites all civilizations and cultures, a celebration of our emotional lives and the beauty of our natural environment. Our cultural heritage defines our humanity. Cultural diversity, like biodiversity, plays a quantifiable and crucial part in the health of the human species.” This presentation will focus on observations on cultural heritage gathered from research and teaching in Appalachia, Scotland, Ireland, and Northern Ireland. In particular, the presentation will explore the interpretation of cultural heritage at heritage sites in both Appalachia and Ulster.