This Research & Knowledge Exchange Doctoral Project brief summarises our priority areas of research interest under the heading of: Living Heritage and the Ethics of Participation.

We welcome all research degree applications aligned with and in response to this brief.

Project brief details

“Intangible cultural heritage” (ICH) describes the living traditions of a culture, and is the subject of UNESCO’s 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding and Preservation of ICH, as a complement to the 1972 World Heritage Convention that focuses on tangible heritage such as castles or archaeological sites. Although UNESCO describes ICH as something that is passed on from generation to generation by ‘culture bearers’ within a specified group, it is by its very nature fluid, creative, and requires the active participation of people in order to exist. Heritage is inherently exclusive, belonging to a particular culture or group (e.g. Graham, Ashworth & Tunbridge 2006; Smith 2011; Hall 1996); yet the socio-cultural make-up of places is ever-changing and plural. This raises interesting questions about who these people are, or can be; of ownership, participation, and the limits of the ‘communities’ who practise it, as explored in the context of Cornish, Frisian, and Livonian in Falmouth’s recent Re:voice project in partnership with other European universities.  

In this brief, we encourage applicants to propose projects that deepen and/or widen the questions explored within Re:voice, that consider the nature and ethics of participation in ICH and other aspects of minority cultural societies. You might ask questions such as:  

  • How do temporary or permanent incomers to a region perceive, engage with, and value its heritage? Does this differ from those already resident? 
  • How can ICH contribute to a sense of place that benefits all, in a way that is appropriate and respectful of minority cultural boundaries? How are these boundaries drawn and perceived – physically and/or discursively?  
  • How can tourism management organisations, heritage organisations, and other institutions support and encourage ethical participation in minority heritage?  

Project can be written or practice-based, depending on the applicant’s background and expertise; we’re particularly interested in approaches that:  

  • Apply the Re:voice research lens to new contexts within/outside of Europe 
  • Use a combination of empirical and creative data and methods 
  • Make use of data collected by the Re:voice project, either in whole or combined with new data collection or creative practice 

Strategic alignment

Projects deriving from this brief are expected to sit within the Research & Knowledge Exchange strategy.

Centre Centre for Heritage, Culture & Society

All successful research degree project proposals must emphasise a clear alignment between the project idea and our Research & Knowledge Exchange strategy. 

Project brief lead

Laura Hodsdon
Laura Hodsdon

Project supervisor: Dr Laura Hodsdon

She leads Falmouth's Centre for Heritage, Culture & Society and is currently leading a European Commission Joint Programming Initiative on Cultural Heritage/AHRC-funded research consortium to explore marginalised intangible cultural heritage in the project Re-voicing Cultural Landscapes: Narratives, Perspectives, and Performances of Marginalised Intangible Cultural Heritage.

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How to apply

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We welcome all research degree applications aligned with this Doctoral Project brief. ​To apply in response to this brief or learn about the application process click the button below.

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Project brief & project proposal enquiries

To discuss this project brief, ideas or project proposal responding to this brief, please contact: Dr Laura Hodsdon.


Application enquiries

For all other application related enquires please contact the Research & Development team.


T01326 255831

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