General information

Course type AMUPIE
Module title Unesco World Cultural Heritage – Characteristics, Methodology, Management
Language English
Module lecturer Lidia Żuk
Lecturer's email
Lecturer position adiunkt
Faculty Faculty of Archeology
Semester 2021/2022 (summer)
Duration 30
USOS code 05-WA-06


Module aim (aims)

The course aims to introduce students to the issues related to UNESCO World Heritage from the international perspective. It is divided into some interrelated topics that cover characteristics, methodology and management of UNESCO World Heritage. It starts with a synthetic presentation of a contemporary approach to heritage (tangible and intangible) and its protection which shows a wider context that defines the most important aspects and directions of the development of the World Heritage movement. Next, it addresses such aspects as: the origins, assumptions and institutions related to World Heritage; achievements and current problems facing this movement; analysis of the subject of UNESCO conventions, that is, the characteristics of outstanding universal value and the typology of cultural goods; methodology of analysis of UNESCO properties; requirements for the protection and management of World Heritage properties in the light of legal documents and requirements for management plans for UNESCO properties. Students will be also acquainted with selected aspects of management of World Heritage sites in Poland.

Pre-requisites in terms of knowledge, skills and social competences (where relevant)



Week 1. Introduction.

Week 2. Contemporary ideas of heritage, context of heritage protection and management.

Week 3. Characteristics of achievements and problems of UNESCO World Heritage.

Week 4. The origins, foundations and institutions of UNESCO World Heritage.

Week 5. The subject of the World Heritage Convention.

Week 6. Methodology of the analysis of World Heritage resources - attributes and indicators.

Week 7. Obligations of states-parties and requirements for the management of UNESCO's resources in the light of conventions and working guidelines.

Week 8. System and plan for managing World Heritage properties - assumptions and structure.

Week 9. The UNESCO World Heritage List.

Week 10. Selected aspects of UNESCO heritage sites in Poland – pt. 1.

Week 11. Selected aspects of UNESCO heritage sites in Poland – pt. 2.

Week 12. Selected aspects of UNESCO heritage sites in Poland – pt. 3.

Week 13. Presentations and discussion – pt. 1.

Week 14. Presentations and discussion – pt. 2.

Week 15. Discussion

Reading list

Albert M.-T. 2015. The global strategy of World Heritage: challenges and weaknesses of the 5Cs. In The limits of heritage. The 2nd Heritage Forum of Central Europe, K. Jagodzińska, J. Purchla (eds.), Kraków, 161-177.
Bertorelli C. 2018. The challenges of UNESCO intangible cultural heritage. Journal of Tourist Studies 17, 91-117.
Bortolotto C. 2015. UNESCO and heritage self-determination: negotiating meaning in the intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the ICH. In Between imagined communities of practice. Participation, territory and the making of heritage, N. Adell, R. F. Bendix, C. Bortolotto, M. Tausche (eds.), Gottingen, 83-108. Available at:
Cave C., Negussie E. 2017. World Heritage conservation: the World Heritage Convention, linking culture and nature for sustainable development, New York.
De Ascaniis S., Gravari-Barbas M. and Cantoni L. 2018. Tourism management at UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Lugano. Available at:
Di Giovine M.A. 2015. UNESCO’s World HeritagepProgram: The challenges and ethics of community participation. In Between imagined communities of practice. Participation, territory and the making of heritage, N. Adell, R. F. Bendix, C. Bortolotto, M. Tausche (eds.), Gottingen, 83-108. Available at:
Gfeller A. E., Negotiating the meaning of global heritage: ‘cultural landscapes’ in the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, 1972–92. Journal of Global History 8, 483-503.
Gfeller A. E., Eisenberg J. 2015. UNESCO and the shaping of global heritage. In UNESCO and the shaping of global heritage, P. Deudahl (ed.), 277-299.
Hadjimitsis D., Themistocleous K., Cuca B., Agapiou A., Lysandrou V., Lasaponara, R., Masini N., Schreier G. (eds.) 2020. Remote Sensing for Archaeology and Cultural Landscapes. Best Practices and Perspectives Across Europe and the Middle East; Springer: Heidelberg/Berlin.
Meskell L. 2015. Transacting UNESCO World Heritage: gifts and exchanges on a global stage. Social Anthropology 23, 3-21.
Meskell L. 2018. A future in ruins. UNESCO, World Heritage, and the dream of peace. Oxford.
Meskell L., Liuzza C., Bertacchini E. Saccone D. 2014. Multilateralism and UNESCO World Heritage: decision-making, States Parties and political processes. International Journal of Heritage Studies 21(5), 423-440.
Piotrowska K. 2017. Protection of World Heritage in Poland. Ochrona Zabytków. Dodatek Specjalny 55-66. Available at:
Smith L. 2006. Uses of heritage. London, New York.
Szmygin B. 2015. (ed.), Management of UNESCO World Heritage properties in Poland: Selected issues. Warszawa. Available at:
UNESCO 2010 Managing Disaster Risks for World Heritage
Willems W.J.H. 2014. The future of World Heritage and the emergence of transnational heritage regimes. Heritage & Society 7, 105–120.
World Heritage 2017. Special issue: World Heritage in Poland. Available at: