Challenging Eternity. Heritage, Urbanistic Interventions and the City of Rome


Course Objective

Rome is the city par excellence to study the complex interrelations
between urban development, heritage politics, the preservation and
transformation of cultural heritage. The aim of this course is a better
understanding of the historical roles that cultural heritage has
fulfilled within the broader framework of national and European identity
construction. Next to that, the students develop their own view of how
ancient and recent heritage can be preserved and transformed within a
setting of urban dynamism and rapid transformations.

Course Content

Rome is one of the oldest cities in Europe and its cultural heritage
embodies classical and modern ideals, which have left their imprint on
the city. But its appearance and structure are also shaped by the daily
realities typical of an ever expanding Mediterranean metropolis. Rome is
a city of contrasts where old and new, past and present, come together
and sometimes clash.

The course elaborates on the following themes:
1. Sites and monuments: Making the students familiar with the major
sites, monuments and urbanistic interventions in Rome
2. History and Concepts: Evaluation of the concept of heritage and its
3. Heritage, politics and nationalism: History of the use of the
heritage of Rome for national and other political purposes.
4. Urban development: History of the urban development of Rome and its
problematic relation to archaeology
5. Heritage, History and the Public: Ethics and methods of communication
with the audience.
6. Challenges for future management: Marrying urban development with
heritage management; new heritage concepts (landscape), urban landscape
archaeology, outreach, heritage management and citizenship.
7. Design Interventions: programming old and new functions and spatial
claims of stakeholders and preparing interventions for/with designers.

Teaching Methods

An introductory seminar and a three-days crash course on heritage issues
and Rome’s history and topography will be presented at Amsterdam for
students from Dutch universities (January 2019).
Students studying at non-Dutch universities only participate in the ten-
days excursion to Rome (March 2019).

Method of Assessment

On-site oral presentations, active contribution to plenary discussions,
assignments and a reflective essay. The complexity of the topic of
discussion varies according to the student’s curriculum. Participants
receive credit after submitting their final paper.



Target Audience

Ma and ReMa students from the Netherlands and abroad, with an interest
in the relation between Archaeology, (Art and Architectural) History,
Heritage Studies, Urban Planning and
Urban or Landscape Design. Students are selected!

Additional Information

The course is a joint initiative of CLUE+, the Royal Netherlands
Institute in Rome (KNIR), the master Heritage Studies at VU University
Amsterdam and Herity International. It is open for credit to 20 students
from the Netherlands and abroad (in particular Master and Research
Master students), with an interest in the relation between Archaeology,
(Art and Architectural) History, Heritage Studies and Urban Planning and
Urban or Landscape Design. The course is 9 ects for students from Dutch
universities and 7 ects for students studying abroad. It comprises:
1. An introductory three-days crash course in Amsterdam (March 2019)
on heritage issues
2. A ten-days excursion to Rome (May 27 - June 5, 2019).

Application and Enrolment
Entry to the course is through a call for application, which will open
in November 2018. Students are asked to write an application letter,
containing their motivation, education, CV and list of marks, and to
fill out an application form. Students have to register through
the website of the KNIR by using the following url (
nl/meld-je-aan.html). The deadline for registration is in December
2018 and will be announced in the fall of 2018. Selection (of a maximum
of 20 students) will close in December 2018 at the latest.

Non-VU University students (Dutch and foreign), who are selected, have
to subscribe as a subsidiary student at VU University Amsterdam, also if
you are already a subsidiary student at another Dutch university. For
information and rules about the enrolment as subsidiary student please

Facilities in Rome
Selected students will be housed in the Royal
Netherlands Institute in the Villa Borghese Park. From there, it is only
a short walk to the historical center of
Rome. The accommodation consists of shared bedrooms (bedding and towels
are present) and includes a bathroom, washing machine and wireless
internet. Furthermore, all participants have access to the library
of the Royal Netherlands Institute. No meals are provided, but the
accommodation includes ample cooking facilities. Students are
responsible for their own airfare and travel to Rome, meals and other

1. €350,- for all those who are not a (subsidiary) student at the VU
University Amsterdam, University of Groningen, University of Leiden,
University of Amsterdam, Radboud University Nijmegen or Utrecht
University, needing accommodation in Rome.
2. The fee for students studying at Dutch universities still has to be
established (max. €150,- ).

The above includes tuition fees, accommodation, most excursions
(including most entry fees for museums and archeological sites) and a
syllabus with course material.
Travel expenses and meals are excluded.

General Information

Course Code L_AAMAALG003
Credits 9 EC
Period P3+4
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Humanities
Course Coordinator prof. dr. G.L.M. Burgers
Examiner prof. dr. G.L.M. Burgers
Teaching Staff prof. dr. G.L.M. Burgers

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Seminar, Excursion
Target audiences

This course is also available as: