CHAMP is the Collaborative for Cultural Heritage Management and Policy. It is a research center at the University of Illinois that is housed in the Department of Anthropology. CHAMP is dedicated to the critical study of cultural heritage and museum practices on a worldwide scale. CHAMP has exceptional faculty strength with more than two dozen faculty affiliates. At any time ten or more graduate students work with CHAMP faculty by pursuing the interdisciplinary graduate minor in Heritage Studies and/or the interdisciplinary graduate minor in Museum Studies minor en route to their disciplinary doctorates. Through coursework and practicums CHAMP faculty are training a new generation of heritage scholars, heritage managers and museum professionals capable of dealing with complex realities and of articulating progressive policies to local and national governments and other agencies. CHAMP advocates engagement between theorists and heritage managers so as to achieve best practices.
CHAMP’s interests are international and comparative in scope, especially in terms of the intersections among often conflicting local, regional, national and international agendas in which cultural heritage issues intervene. CHAMP is especially interested in cultural governance and policy; heritage management at sites of all kinds; and the landscapes on which displays and contestations of identity, ownership, and ideology are inscribed and mediation takes place. CHAMP is similarly concerned with museums as heritage sites and major tourist destinations serving as dynamic engines for economic development in their regions: object collections contained within a building, open-air historic sites, homes, world's fairs, theme parks, reenactments, and other kinds of performances. All of these are venues for the articulation of social and political consciousness and cultural identity and sites for cultural production and the construction of memory.
CHAMP's Director is Helaine Silverman (Department of Anthropology). CHAMP's Associate Director is Paul H. Kapp (School of Architecture). CHAMP partners with Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage at the University of Birmingham, UK and with the Critical Heritage Studies Network at Stockholm University, Sweden.
To learn more about CHAMP, visit their website: http://champ.anthro.illinois.edu/