Association of Critical Heritage Studies: Inaugural Conference

Inaugural Conference, Gothenburg, Sweden, June 5-8, 2012

The inaugural conference of the Association of Critical Heritage Studies will be held at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, in June 2012. The Association of Critical Heritage Studies, to be launched at this conference, will establish (in association with the International Journal of Heritage Studies) an extensive network of heritage scholars across the globe in order to debate and discuss cutting-edge research in the field of heritage studies. We see Critical Heritage Studies as a synthesis emerging from diverse disciplinary fields, in particular public history, memory studies, museology, cultural heritage, tourism studies, architecture and planning, conservation, as well as cultural geography, sociology, cultural studies and policy, anthropology, archaeology and ethnomusicology, and encourage people working in those areas to submit papers or propose sessions/workshops that address the inter-disciplinary nature of heritage studies.

The theme of the conference is ‘The Re/theorisation of Heritage Studies’. This conference will develop current theoretical debates to make sense of the nature and meaning of heritage. As such, we invite submissions from people working within the ‘broad church’ of the current flowering of contemporary heritage studies. Papers should encourage cross-cutting thinking and should not be afraid to try to theorise what critical heritage studies is and where it should go. They should be underpinned by an active move away from site- and artefact-based definitions of heritage in a traditional sense and should pursue instead a range of methodologies and questions aiming at interdisciplinarity stemming from social science scholarly traditions, the natural sciences, and also creative sciences such as art and the performing arts.

Preliminary key note speakers include:

• Sharon Macdonald, University of Manchester (tbc)

• Laurajane Smith, Australian National University

Conference subthemes will include:

• Critical heritage theory;

• Issues of representation;

• Heritage and non-representational theory;

• The politics of affect

• A consideration of emotion and the senses;

• Memory and identity work of communities, nations and other interests in relation to heritage;

• The utilisation of heritage discourses in debates over multiculturalism, nationalism and globalisation;

• Heritage, power and recognition;

• Heritage and human rights;

• The exploration of methodologies for mapping and exploring the social and cultural consequences of heritage;

• Intangible heritage and its implications for re-theorising heritage;

• Non-Western challenges to dominant Western heritage concepts and characterisation of non-Western appreciations of heritage;

• Work on digital heritage that goes beyond technical treatments of archiving and embraces a range of social media and other forms of interactivity;

• The performative nature of heritage – theorising craft, art and creativity as discourses in heritage;

• Theorising and redefining heritage practices – the merging of discourses;

• Re-thinking conservation science – the blending of creative discourse into social and natural sciences; and

• The performative nature of heritage – artistic practices, artistic research and theorizing perspectives in dialogue.

Abstract/Paper Submissions

Submissions are encouraged for sessions, workshops, panel discussions and performances, as well as individual papers (20 minute duration):

• The deadline for abstracts on sessions, workshops and panel discussions is 30 November 2011.

• The deadline for individual papers or performances is 31 December 2011.

• Selected papers and/or sessions will be published in IJHS.

Abstracts should be addressed to Bosse Lagerqvist (Conference Organisation Committee) and either emailed, faxed or posted to:

Fax: +46 31 786 4703
Mail: University of Gothenburg, Conservation
P.O. Box 130
SE-405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden


Registration: 315 USD/220 Euro
(Registration fees for students and participants from non-OECD countries will be 150 Euro, including lunch, coffee breaks and conference documentation)
Conference dinner: 30 Euro (Preliminary)
Post-conference excursions: To be announced


Info Gothenburg. (To be confirmed)

Conference Organisation Committee

Bosse Lagerqvist, Department of Conservation,
Christer Ahlberger, Department of Historical studies,
Johan Öberg, Faculty of Fine and Performing Arts,
Mikela Lundahl, Department of Global studies,

Scientific Committee

Annie Clarke (Australia), Rodney Harrison (UK), David Harvey (UK), Emma Waterton, (Australia), Steve Watson (UK), Ola Wetterberg (Sweden), Rohit Jigyasu (Tokyo).