Conservation History, Its Canons and Institutions

This course analyzes the canons and institutions that have traditionally guided the parameters of conservation and preservation practice. As such, the course situates conservation and preservation practice within the larger field of planning, its historical origins, and the broader economic and political context. In addition to a broad overview of conservation history, the course critically examines both the governmental and private sector tools and resources available to conservation practitioners at the local, regional, state, national, and global levels. Students will analyze institutions such as the Getty Institute, the World Monument Fund, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and Docomomo, and documents such as the UNESCO heritage charter, both to gain understanding of the standards associated with conservation practices and to become aware of the limits imposed by such canons and institutions. Class sessions will center around presentations from institutional experts.

Students are required to complete the weekly readings along with a written assignment in preparation for each class. Readings will cover aspects of conservation history as well as the founding documents of prominent conservation institutions. Additionally, students will research a site for conservation based on the institutional standards and practices presented throughout the course. Grading for the course will be assessed from class participation, the weekly written assignments, and the final project.