Conf/CfP - Critical Heritage Studies, 1-6 September 2017, Zhejiang University, China

Publish Date: Mar 22, 2017

Deadline: Mar 31, 2017

Event Dates: from Sep 01, 2017 12:00 to Sep 06, 2017 12:00

About the conference

The global rise of heritage studies and the heritage industry in recent decades has been a story of crossing frontiers and transcending boundaries. The 2018 Association of Critical Heritage Studies conference, held in Hangzhou, China, thus takes 'borders' as a broadly defined, yet key, concept for better understanding how heritage is valued, preserved, politicised, mobilised, financed, planned and destroyed. Thinking through borders raises questions about theories of heritage, its methodologies of research, and where its boundaries lie with tourism, urban development, post-disaster recovery, collective identities, climate change, memory or violent conflict. Held in the city of Hangzhou, China, Heritage Across Borders will be the largest ever international conference in Asia dedicated to the topic of heritage. It has been conceived to connect international participants with local issues, and in so doing open up debates about the rural-urban, east-west, tangible-intangible and other familiar divides.

Borders tell us much about the complex role heritage plays in societies around the world today. Historically speaking, physical and political borders have led to ideas about enclosed cultures, and a language of cultural property and ownership which marches forward today in tension alongside ideals of universalism and the cosmopolitan. More people are moving across borders than ever before, with vastly different motivations and capacities. What role can heritage studies play in understanding the experiences of migrants or the plight of refugees? And what heritage futures do we need to anticipate as the pressures of international tourism seem to relentlessly grow year by year?

Heritage Across Borders will consider how the values of heritage and approaches to conservation change as objects, experts, and institutions move across frontiers. It will ask how new international cultural policies alter creation, performance, and transmission for artists, craftspersons, musicians, and tradition-bearers.

What are the frontiers of cultural memory in times of rapid transformation? How can museums engage with increasingly diverse audiences by blurring the distinctions between the affective and representational? And do digital reproductions cross important ethical boundaries?

One of the key contributions of critical heritage studies has been to draw attention to the role of heritage in constructing and operationalising boundaries and borders of many kinds-national, social, cultural, ethnic, economic and political. In what ways do international flows of capital rework indigenous and urban cultures, and reshape nature in ways that redefine existing boundaries?

We especially welcome papers that challenge disciplinary boundaries and professional divides, and explore cross-border dialogues. What lessons can be learned from Asia where the distinctions between the tangible and intangible are less well marked? And how can researchers bridge cultural and linguistic barriers to better understand these nuances?

Organised by Zhejiang University this major international conference will be held in Hangzhou, China on 1-6 September 2018. We welcome session proposals which address the conference theme of boundaries and borders, and cluster around the following suggested sub-themes:

  • Subthemes:
  • ·Heritage across disciplines
  • ·Nations, Regions, Territories
  • ·Theorising heritage as border
  • ·Tangible and intangible
  • ·Connecting the rural and urban
  • ·China and the region (One Belt One road)
  • ·Cross cultural methodologies
  • ·Nature-cultures
  • ·Cross border conflicts and cooperation
  • ·Bridging practice and academia
  • ·Past/present/future
  • ·Gender and heritage
  • ·Heritage Trafficking
  • ·Negotiating linguistic borders
  • ·Heritage and human/non-human relations
  • ·Museums challenging boundaries
  • ·Crossing the indigenous/non-indigenous divide
  • ·The heritage of diaspora and refugees
  • ·The planned and unplanned spaces of heritage
  • ·Boundaries of digital reproduction
  • ·Memory and forgetting
  • ·Geographies of Craft
  • ·Asia and the world
  • ·Extraterritorial heritage

Please send your session proposals to the following email address:

Proposal Submission Types and Requirements


Regular Sessions will be allocated one or more standard blocks of 1.5 hours, which will usually consist of four papers of 20 minutes duration (normally 15 minutes for each paper with 5 minutes following each paper for discussion and the remaining ten minutes in each block used for introductory and concluding remarks). Proposals for regular sessions should include the following details:

  • ·session type (i.e. regular session);
  • ·a session title;
  • ·the names, affiliations and contact details of one or more session organisers/co-organisers; 
  • ·up to 300 word session abstract; 
  • ·a list of confirmed speakers, contact details and paper titles;
  • ·an indication of whether the session will be closed or open to advertisement for further participation via the conference website when we call for individual paper submissions.


Panel Discussions will be allocated a standard block of 1.5 hours and will normally consist of a discussion amongst a group of 4-5 panellists around a specific set of questions or themes. Proposals for panel discussions should include the following details: 

  • ·session type (i.e. panel discussion);
  • ·a panel title;
  • ·the names, affiliations and contact details of one or more panel session organisers/co-organisers;
  • ·up to 300 word panel session abstract; 
  • ·a list of 4-5 confirmed speakers and their affiliations and contact details.

For more information click "Further official information" below.

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