Hospitality as Intangible Cultural Heritage? Concept and Practice in La Chapelle, Paris

Lead Research Organisation: Queen Mary, University of London
Department Name: Geography


A multidisciplinary group of researchers and writers based in Architecture, Sociology and Philosophy with a residency in La Chapelle. Beginning in October 2019, the studentship will be based in the School of Geography at QMUL, where it will be co-supervised by Prof. Alison Blunt and Dr Anna-Louise Milne (ULIP).Through sustained fieldwork in the northern Paris district of La Chapelle, this PhD will consider the actions and practices of hospitality and will establish whether and how hospitality can be considered to constitute an 'intangible cultural heritage' under the UNESCO framework for safe-guarding. The practice of hospitality is commonly held to transcend cultural differences, being recognizable on encounter for those who come from afar. Yet hospitality, like all social forms, is subject to cultural variance. This doctoral project will study the variations in modes of hospitality as it is enacted in an area of super linguistic and cultural diversity, at the hub of contemporary migration to and within Europe. Drawing on practices that traverse generations as well as faith and language groups, it will develop a comparative analysis of cultural representations and practices of welcome, drawing on situations of shared sustenance, narration and shelter. The research will investigate the claim that hospitality is a common and potentially universalisable practice, which, across its linguistic variation, can inform an understanding of intangible cultural heritage. The student will work closely with the PEROU, contributing to their UNESCO-oriented project and learning from their methodology as an embedded and experimental research unit.


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