Emilia Sarno. “The Recognition of Intellectual Spaces as a Cultural Heritage: A Territorial Perspective.” Revista de Turismo Y Patrimonio Cultural, vol. Vol.11 N.2, 2013, pp. 459–470.
In her article, “ The recognition of intellectual spaces as a cultural heritage: a territorial perspective” Emilia Sarno argues the concept
of cultural heritage and the different parts where is developed. Sarno begins with the introduction of the concept of cultural heritage and the different definitions that have been used. In addition, she marks how the term is relatively new, it began to be used in the 20th century. Nowadays, the most effective definition is the one used by the UNESCO, “Intangible Cultural Heritage means the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills – as well as the instruments, objects, artefacts and cultural spaces associated therewith – that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognize as part of their cultural heritage” (460). In other words, intangible cultural heritage is the means used to develop cultural heritage.
Subsequently, Sarno proceeds to analyze the geography of intellectual spaces and note how geography serves in the diffusion of knowledge. According to Sarno, “Geography can therefore clarify the question of, and contribute to the discovery of the ways in which intellectual work is carried out” (461). Sarno points that geography plays a crucial role in the way knowledge is spread. After that she briefly mentions the history of scholars finding places to hold intellectual gatherings. Is worth noting, that the main location discussed was “literary cafes”. Those places in particular are key for the expansion of intangible cultural heritage.
The following paragraphs Sarno explains her research methodology, the results of her studies in Europe mainly the south of Italy, the importance of “literary cafes” and finally her conclusion. In her conclusion, Sarno maintains that “[literary cafes] deserve to be considered as an integral part of the cultural heritage of a city or of the territorial area in which they were to be found, principally for their activities” (466). The essence of Sarno’s argument is that “literary cafes” must be recognized as places that cultivated and fomented knowledge. They served as intellectual spaces throughout history for the consolidation of cultural heritage.
The location I choose for studying is Potter’s House cafe.This work fits perfectly for the development of my argument. Because it talks about the importance of “literary cafes” in the consolidation of cultural heritage. This kind of places serve as intellectual epicenters of the places they are located. In particular Potter’s House has distinct intellectual and cultural gatherings including worship on Sundays. For decades this place has permitted the expansion of intangible cultural heritage in one of the most lively neighborhoods in Washington DC, Adams Morgan.