Call for Papers - What does Heritage change? - Association for Critical Heritage Studies 2016 Conference - Montréal, Canada

Jean-Sebastien Sauve's picture
Call for Papers
November 1, 2015
Quebec, Canada
Subject Fields: 
Fine Arts, Humanities, Oral History, Urban History / Studies, Cultural History / Studies

Heritage is a powerful witness to mindsets and Zeitgeist; it is commonly understood that it gives way to a better understanding of societies and even brings together communities. But how does this happen? Can heritage affect reality? What does it change?

From June 6th to 10th 2016, the Canada Research Chair in Urban Heritage of UQAM’s School of Management, in collaboration with Concordia University and the Center for Oral History and Digital Storytelling, will host the Association of Critical Heritage Studies’ Biennial Conference under the theme “What does heritage change?”. More than 75 sessions, round tables, and research-creation installations, submitted by organizers from forty different countries, have been peer-reviewed and accepted by the scientific committee.

The Association of Critical Heritage Studies is the largest group of scientists, professionals and speakers on heritage studies worldwide. The association dedicates itself to the examination of the issues and the social, territorial, economical or cultural impacts of tangible and intangible
heritage. It aims at contributing to the renewal of knowledge and to the improvement of patrimonial practices in communitarian, academic, territorial and political circles, by cross-examining perspectives and questionings and by opening up national and disciplinary perspectives.
The third ACHS Conference considers the manifestations, discourses, epistemologies, policies, and stakes of heritage—as a phenomenon, a symptom, an effect or a catalyst; as a tool of empowerment or leverage; as a physical or intangible restraint or kick-off; in communities,
societies, or any material or mental environment.

Submissions to the 2016 ACHS Conference should bring innovative reflections and interdisciplinary methodologies or approaches to the critical enquiries about how and why heritage is, has been or could be made, used, studied, defined and managed, and with what
effects, if any, on a society, a territory, an economy. Contributions might, for example, explore the reconstruction of narratives, the reconfiguration of social relations, knowledge production and cultural expressions, the transformation of the environment or the (de)valuation of the land. We particularly welcome papers that go beyond canonical theories to interrogate discipline-based norms about heritage, and the assumptions that orient practice or decisionmaking.

In this respect, this conference aims to continue important debates about heritage as a domain of politics and citizenship, a living environment, a source of identity and an assemblage of human-non-human relations.

In order to bring new insights to the study of heritage, the 2016 ACHS Conference is framed by the general question of “What Does Heritage Change?”

This third announcement calls for submissions of papers and posters.

The abstracts of the sessions are available on All interested speakers are invited to submit a paper or a poster proposal by completing the electronic form at Proposals should target either one of the listed sessions or one of the following themes:

• Uses of heritage and conflicts I: political uses (heritage changes politics)
• Uses of heritage and conflicts II: economic value (heritage changes economy)
• Heritage-makers I: the activist vs the expert, their changing roles (heritage changes people)
• Heritage makers II: co-construction and community-based heritage (heritage changes place)
• Notion of heritage I: geographical and linguistic processes of transformation (heritage changes itself)
• Notion of heritage II: new objects, new manifestations (changes in heritage)
• Between the global and the local I: heritage policies (heritage changes local policies)
• Between the global and the local II: postcolonial heritage, heritage and mobility (heritage changes local societies)
• Justice, law and right to heritage (heritage changes rights)
• Heritage values: the tangible effects (heritage changes the environment)
• Epistemologies, ontologies, teaching (how do we study and teach heritage as an agent of change)

Targeted research groups, such as Future for religious heritage and Intangible heritage, and the call for current research will be posted in a subsequent announcement, but proposals regarding these may be sent as of now.

In order to enrich scientific discussions, to promote the discovery of Montreal’s urban and cultural environment and its particular challenges in the field of heritage, and to support new partnership in research and training, the four days of the conference include numerous activities of inquiry and dialog in various areas linked to critical heritage studies, such as architecture, urban planning, gastronomy, music, cinema, etc. Well-known guest speakers will also be heard, including James Count Early (Director, Cultural Heritage Policy, Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage), Xavier Greffe (University Professor in Economic Sciences, Paris 1 University Panthéon Sorbonne), and Michael Herzfeld (Ernest E. Monrad Professor of the Social Sciences, Harvard University). Pre-conference and post-conference tours will also be announced soon.

Opportunities for publication in scientific journals and proceedings will be announced at a later date, including information about editors and submission guidelines.
All speakers will also be offered the opportunity to make their papers available through the conference website.

Visit regularly for more details.

Guidelines for submissions
Regular Papers are standard 20-minutes papers which draw on recent empirical or theoretical research, and make use of precise scientific approaches or methodologies to address a theme through a specific angle.
Posters will be presented through 4x8 (max.) boards that will be on display for two days during the conference. Poster sessions will then be scheduled according to 5-minute presentations per poster.
Submissions are to be made online at

Submissions for papers or posters should be submitted through the web-based form with a brief resume (biographical notice and main publications or achievements) of no more than 300 words and an abstract of no more than 600 words presenting the topic or main argument,
its relation to one of the themes of the conference or to a specific session and its interest in the field of critical heritage studies. Paper abstracts should also demonstrate scientific quality through references to a theoretical framework, a methodology or by outlining the contribution
to knowledge. It is expected that poster submissions also outline their contributions and state how the poster format will allow a better understanding of the subject treated.
Submissions can be made either in English or French.

Papers and posters submitted independently will be forwarded to session organizers following their assessment by the scientific committee. All proposals will be peer-reviewed.

Contact Info: 

Canada Research Chair in Urban Heritage / Chaire de recherche du Canada en patrimoine urbain
School of Management  / École des Sciences de la gestion
University of Quebec in Montreal / Université du Québec à Montréal
Pavillon Du Faubourg, DC–1200
C.P. 8888, Succursale Centre-ville
Montréal, Québec
H3C 3P8

Contact Email: