Courses and Academics

Course Structure: 

Week 1: Heritage & Society I: From conflict to post-conflict recovery, destruction to reconstruction

Introduction to the program covers the broad question of what is Cultural Heritage, and how its management has evolved in recent decades. Attention is given to conflict and post-conflict situations in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, and how the response to heritage destruction has evolved since World War II. The connections between heritage and post-conflict recovery is examined, along with evolving trends in international discourses surrounding culture and development, identity politics, and cultural tourism. An overview will be provided of the global institutional landscape that has emerged for heritage in conflict and post-conflict situations.


Week 2: Heritage & Society II: Reconciliation, development and identity.

Week 2 addresses recent thinking on the role cultural heritage should play for populations living in and around heritage resources. Questions of post-conflict recovery are again raised here, in relation to community scale development and the how culture features in conflict transformation scenarios. By addressing the challenges facing Jordan and neighboring countries such as Syria and Iraq, the week examines the cultural identities of refugees, as well as the possibilities and limitations of cultural heritage in post-war development. Concepts such as resilience and cultural rights will be introduced to address the role cultural heritage can play in long-term recovery of post-war societies. With reference to specific sites within the region, participants will conduct case study analyses and recommendations for existing communities and heritage sites.


Week 3: Planning for Heritage and Tourism

With international tourism growth at an all-time high, countless cultural heritage sites and the populations that live in their vicinity face profound change. Establishing successful strategies for planning and managing heritage and tourism remains an exciting, but increasingly complex issue. This week is dedicated to examining the various issues related to heritage and tourism, including tourism’s impact on cultural conservation, development induced displacement and the rise of grassroots development planning initiatives. This module will examine specific case studies from sites in Jordan. Through site visits, interviews, readings and discussion, students will consider the long and short-term impacts of tourism on sites within the larger socio-economic and cultural context.


Week 4: Heritage & Communities: Building resilience

Cultural heritage is intrinsically linked to the communities within which it exists – locally, nationally, and globally. It is through those communities that such sites are ascribed meaning and significance. A single heritage site can have different and varying meanings and significance to different groups. The week presents recently developed ideas for people centered heritage management. The opportunities and challenges posed by tourism for community driven development initiatives. Intangible heritage will also be covered.


Week 5: Final Project and group projects/presentations

This module will provide students the opportunity to utilize the concepts, discussions, readings, and experiences gained throughout the program to design a project proposal for a previously identified need associated with the development of the proposed Tall Hisban Visitor Center and Nabulsi Institute of Cultural Heritage. Students will be broken up into project teams to develop the project concept, conduct research, consult with local/national stakeholders, and work with Faculty to create and present their project proposal at a final symposium.


Site Visits:

Jerash, Amman, Baptism Site, Dead Sea, Petra, Umm el-Jimal


Academic Expectations

IHP’s goal is to create an academic atmosphere that encourages the cross-cultural exchange of ideas and values and allows students to learn and collaborate in a collegial environment. All students are expected to actively participate in the courses, field research, and residential life. The program requires students to work with their peers from local towns and from around the world, gaining exposure to new and different cultural values. Local residents will learn the tools necessary to effectively preserve their own country’s heritage, while non-residents will gain personal insight to local cultural meaning through an enriching interactive classroom environment. All students will learn international best practices. Pushing personal boundaries is necessarily part of the curriculum, but the IHP ethos is deeply rooted in respect and cultural sensitivity. The experience will be immersive and challenging, fueling memories for a lifetime.

The HMFP courses are rigorous and challenging. Students will be expected to actively participate in courses, fieldwork, group-work, research, and seminars. Students will need to demonstrate capacity and knowledge of theories and concepts covered in course work as well as the ability to transfer that knowledge to the practical application of those theories at heritage sites and within communities. All students must be able to read, write, and speak English fluently.

Students will be required to complete one essay per course. Additionally, all students will be required to work on a group project and a presentation at a closing symposium. Students will be graded on the quality of their work as well as overall participation.


Building Collaborative Communities

Each class of graduates will form the nucleus of a powerful alumni network of international collaborators. Over time, class after class, each team of faculty, each local cohort of staff, will be part of a productive, innovative movement toward positive change. While our students learn how to manage and preserve a heritage site, they will also be learning new ways to think about heritage and share in the intercultural exchange of ideas and values between classmates and the local communities. This will inform a deeper understanding of cultural heritage management as well as train students in the processes necessary for successfully managing a heritage site. Because the academic program is inherently inclusive, and class size limited, individual voices will be distinctive, but solving problems in teams and communicating across language and cultural barriers will be highly valued. Ultimately, IHP is introducing and molding the next generation of leaders who will protect and preserve the past to support a sustainable future.


Course Credits

This program does not carry academic credit; however, we will work with you if you petition your university/college for credit. We can supply supporting documentation and evaluation of your participation.