At its most fundamental level, preservation is about memory. Historic buildings, objects, monuments, and landscapes are all materializations of the past, and the basic challenge facing preservationists and scholars is to protect and interpret the past - in the present. Memory, however, is not a basic thing. Like all human constructs, memory is gloriously and sometimes painfully, complex, packed with a myriad of questions like “What or who is being remembered? How is the past physically materialized in ‘things’? For whom were these things created? What meanings were these things given when they were first created? How have those embodied meanings changed over time?” Preservation encompasses an incredibly diverse set of practices; however, whether one is designing a new building to fit in a historic district, researching Civil War monuments, interpreting some past act of memory in a historic house museum, or advocating to preserve a working-class neighborhood streetscape, one must engage with these questions.
The purpose of this conference is to explore the complex relationship between the past and the present as it plays out in the preservation and interpretation of buildings, objects, monuments, and landscapes. Potential topics include position papers, conceptualizing preservation and memory, historical analysis, and case studies. Papers in any field of academic or applied preservation (e.g. architecture, architectural history, archaeology, museum studies, preservation planning/policy) and public history are welcome. Deadline for individual and session proposals is April 15, 2019.
*****Presenters of accepted papers will have conference registration fees waived.
This year, the Richard A. Grills Keynote Address in Historic Preservation will be given by Dr. Melinda Milligan, Professor of Sociology at Sonoma State University. Dr. Milligan is a leading researcher in the social psychology of historic preservation, particularly the study of place attachment and nostalgia.
Dr. Jon B. Marcoux
Associate Professor, Program Coordinator, Faculty Fellow