Call for Submissions - Keeping Heritage Real: Authenticity in Conservation Practice

Susan  Ross's picture
Call for Papers
February 7, 2020
Ontario, Canada
Subject Fields: 
Architecture and Architectural History, Canadian History / Studies, Historic Preservation, Indigenous Studies, Art, Art History & Visual Studies


15th Annual Graduate Student Heritage Conservation Symposium 

Carleton University, School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies in cooperation with the Graduate Diploma in Architectural Conservation and the NSERC CREATE Heritage Engineering Program

April 25, 2020, Ottawa, Ontario

 “The essential contribution made by the consideration of authenticity in conservation practice is to clarify and illuminate the collective memory of humanity.” 

– Nara Document on Authenticity, 1994 

While the notion of authenticity in heritage has broadened in recent decades to include a diverse range of cultural perspectives, the term continues to lack a common definition. The 2020 Carleton University Heritage Conservation Symposium welcomes papers that analyze local, national, and international concepts of authenticity in cultural heritage theory and practice. The goal of the symposium is to share original research, case studies, design projects, and activist works that examine the notion of authenticity in tangible and intangible cultural heritage. Throughout the symposium, participants will gain insight into concepts of heritage beyond the 1994 Nara Document on Authenticity. Building upon the questions of “heritage intersections, people, and placemaking” examined at last year’s symposium, this year’s edition wishes to interrogate how heritage and conservation theories and practices define, assess, sustain, transform, and interpret diverse perceptions of authenticity.

Please submit an abstract in English of no more than 300 words, accompanied by a title and a short bio of 50 words, by February 7, 2020* to Links to any relevant supplementary media are welcomed. *Extended date.

Participants are encouraged to explore, but are by no means limited to, the following guiding questions:

  • How might authenticity be defined in a world of evolving cultural values?
  • How can heritage processes become more inclusive of marginalized communities?
  • How and when can values assessment be democratized?
  • What are possible productive relationships between authenticity and sustainability?
  • Can conflicting claims and interpretations of authenticity be reconciled?
  • How do notions of authenticity change at times of crisis or conflict?
  • How has the authenticity enabled conservation practice to engage with processes of collective memory? 
Contact Info: 

Professor Susan Ross, Carleton University School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies/School of Architecture and Urbanism, on behalf of: 

15th Annual Graduate Student Heritage Conservation Symposium organizing committee