We are coming to the end of our second module of the postgraduate certificate course. The module is called Heritage Management and centralises around the issues facing future heritage leaders. Our course tutors are Dr Heather Barrett, Principal Lecturer of Geography, Archaeology and Heritage Studies, and Dr John Paddock, the curator of The Mercian Regiment Museum (Worcestershire). This combination of theoretical discussions and practical experience has helped to enhance our understanding of what it means to work in the heritage sector.
Through this module we are asked to evaluate the contemporary debates surrounding heritage including its authenticity and purpose. As future heritage leaders we need to be aware of the processes that are influencing change and understand how these shape the role and actions of heritage management professionals. By understanding these changes and the skills needed to manage these, we can better define the requirements needed to be a successful leader in the sector. From both this and the previous module, I have learned that in order to look to the future you need an understanding of the current environment that you are in. Sector awareness will enhance your knowledge of potential threats or areas of growth. We are learning about the theoretical discourse surrounding the issue of heritage but also the legislation and policies put in place to protect sites and collections across the United Kingdom.
The main theme of this module is that of authenticity. How authentic can heritage be if it is taken out of its original context? Or how authentic can an object be if it has been restored? To what extent is an historical re-enactment authentic? These are all questions which have arisen throughout the course of this module. As students of Leadership and Management (Heritage) we are expected to be aware of the issue of authenticity and how it can affect our visitor experience. This topic is not only important for our module but also for our career progression in the sector.
Thanks for reading,