Cultural Heritage Eco-systems in the MENA Region: Actors, Networks and Future Agendas

Annette Loeseke's picture
Call for Papers
October 11, 2019
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
Arabic History / Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Islamic History / Studies, Middle East History / Studies, Historic Preservation

Call for Papers for a Panel for the Association of Critical Heritage Studies Conference 2020 at University College London (UK)


We invite proposals for the following panel for the Association of Critical Heritage Studies 5th Biennial Conference 2020: Futures


Date: 26 – 30 August 2020

Venue: University College London, London, UK


Submission Deadline for Paper Abstracts: 11 October 2019


Panel Session: Cultural Heritage Eco-systems in the MENA Region: Actors, Networks and Future Agendas

The Middle East, North Africa and Arab Gulf (MENA) regions have seen significant transformations and reconfigurations within their cultural heritage landscapes in recent years. Academic heritage studies to-date have primarily focused on contemporary large-scale state-led trends and developments. This panel seeks to consider the wider cultural eco-system in the MENA region, which has remained marginalised within academic debates. We are particularly interested in case studies that examine the role of actors such as non-profit, non-governmental institutions, scholarly organisations, individual experts, small business initiatives and consultants. The principal aim of the panel is to understand the internal yet globally connected dynamics in the cultural heritage landscape in the MENA region by examining the interrelations, networks, collaborations and competing or conflicting agendas of various local, regional and globally connected stakeholders. We therefore seek paper proposals that critically examine how various actors are engaged in shaping and re-shaping heritage agendas, networks and institutionalised practices and processes beyond those that are officially sanctioned by the state. How do non-state and grass-roots initiatives generate and shape alternative heritage futures in the MENA region? How are future heritage concerns – such as the preservation of endangered heritage, the cultural heritage of migrant workers, human rights, gender, sustainability, the climate crisis etc. – supported and challenged within the region, and how are these heritage futures embedded within different heritage processes and methodologies? How are state-sanctioned institutions engaged with, either in co-operation or conflict, different stakeholders and actors? And how do various actors  connect the cultural heritage sector in the MENA region with pressing debates, concerns and experiences in related diasporas abroad? We welcome cross-disciplinary proposals from individuals at different stages in their careers, including early career researchers, academics and practitioners and from a range of methodological and conceptual perspectives.


Abstract Submission:

Please send an abstract of 250 words max. for a 15 min. paper presentation (followed by 5 min. Q&A) and your affiliation and contact details (email address) directly to the panel organisers by 11 October 2019: and


Panel Organisers: Dr Sarina Wakefield (Lecturer in Museum Studies, University of Leicester) and Dr Annette Loeseke (Lecturer in Museum Studies, New York University Berlin).


Please note that the conference fee is 350£ (regular fee) / 290£ (student fee).


We aim to publish the papers in a special journal issue or an edited book after the conference. For any enquiries please contact and