Third biannual Conference, Montreal, 7-10th June 2016

By DOCOMOMO Belgium / June, 29, 2015 / 0 comments

Association of Critical Heritage Studies (ACHS):
What does heritage change? (en français)

An initiative of the Canada Research Chair on Urban Heritage at UQAM
In partnership with Concordia University

First announcement
Call for sessions



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 would this happen? Can heritage affect reality? What does it change?

The third ACHS Conference considers the manifestations, and discourses, viagra 60mg epistemologies, cialis 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. Subthemes range from gender-related issues to identity-making, mythologies of cultural diversity and the rethinking of heritage policies beyond the authorized heritage discourse.

The inaugural manifesto of the ACHS called for the building and the promotion of critical innovations and interventions in heritage while questioning the cultural and economic power relations that traditional understandings of heritage seem to underpin. This third Conference builds on the momentum of the previous conferences, held in Gothenburg, Sweden and in Canberra, Australia; it seeks to strengthen and broaden critical heritage studies as an inclusive area of theorisation, investigation and practice built from diverse geographical regions and disciplinary fields, such as public history, memory studies, museology, tourism studies, architecture and planning, urban studies, archaeology, geography, sociology, cultural studies, political science, anthropology, ethnology and artistic research.

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 canon theories to interrogate discipline-based norms about heritage, and the assumptions that orient practice or decision-making. 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?” It is hoped that this general question will encourage submissions relating to the following over-arching themes; other proposals are nonetheless welcome.
• Heritage performativities;
• Cultural particularization vs globalization and other transnational processes relating to heritage;
• “Imagined Communities” of heritage;
• The critical turn in public history and memory studies;
• Urban environments and planning;
• Heritage in conflicts;
• Gender in heritage-making;
• Linguistic and cultural particularizations of heritage-making and heritage studies;
• Uses of heritage in tourism, from identity-making to political economies;
• Critical sustainability perspectives on heritage and the Anthropocene;
• Diaspora, diversity and cultural citizenships;
• The rise and fall of the expert knowledge;
• Rethinking heritage policies beyond elite cultural narratives;
• The future of heritage.

This first announcement calls for submissions of either roundtables and sessions.
The conference will mainly host two session types:
– Regular paper sessions are sessions containing three or more 20-minutes papers which draw on recent research, empirical or theoretical, and relate to precise scientific approaches or methodologies to address a theme through a specific angle.
– Poster sessions are sessions in which research, research-action or research-creation are presented through 4×8 posters, gathered according to common thematic or problematic. While the posters will be on display for two days during the conference, poster sessions will be scheduled according to 5-minutes presentations per poster.

The conference will also welcome:
– Roundtables that bring together researchers, practitioners or decision-makers around a precise question, which is addressed by each participant for a maximum of 5 to 10 minutes, then through reciprocating questions, answers and dialogs. Roundtable proposals must include a preliminary outline of content, including participants and questions to be addressed.
– As the conference whishes to expand boundaries of critical heritage studies, through research-creation or other means, it will welcome proposals of gatherings or performances dedicated to the development of knowledge and innovation through artistic expression and experimentation. Such research-creation sessions present critically informed work, situated with research activity, in a variety of media.

Submissions should be sent with an abstract of ±450 words outlining the objectives of the session/roundtable in relation to the goals of ACHS, as described above, and/or the themes considered. Submissions should be accompanied by a brief resume (biographical notice and main publications or achievements) of the organizer(s) and an overview of some of the main or proposed participants.

Submissions can be made in English or French.

Although a general call for papers and posters will follow this call for sessions and roundtables, it is expected that all session proposals will include a preliminary outline of content; roundtable and research-creation proposals, in particular, will also include a preliminary presentation of participants.

Session organizers will be asked at a later date to submit (or to have submitted by proposed participants) detailed paper proposals and the biographical notice of each participant through the conference website ( The official opening of this general call for papers is scheduled for May 1st 2015.

Papers and posters submitted independently will be forwarded to session organizers following of their assessment by the scientific committee.

The deadline for the call for session is 1st July 2015
The deadline for the call for papers will be 1st November 2015.

Located in the largest city of the province of Quebec, second in Canada and eighth in North America, the University of Quebec in Montreal, also called “UQAM”, is one of the five major universities of Montreal. Host to approximately 40,000 students, UQAM is renowned for its research in social issues and its innovations in the creative arts. Equal in size to UQAM and sometimes called its « sister university », Concordia University is also committed to innovation and excellence in research, creative activity and community partnerships. It dares to be different and draws on its diversity to strengthen society and enrich its urban environment.
At UQAM, located in its School of Management, the Canada Research Chair on Urban Heritage which is organizing the 2016 ACHS Conference follows this path of enquiry into the social and public issues of urban phenomena, both in historical and contemporary perspectives, to promote the study and to understand heritage beyond elite narratives or crises of change, and to learn to co-manage heritage as a collective tool toward community development.

Confirmed Keynote Speakers
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
Michael Herzfeld, Ernest E. Monrad Professor of the Social Sciences, Harvard University

See for updates on keynote speakers, program, timetable, fees, accommodation, and committees.