4th Heritage Forum of Central Europe: Heritage & Society

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The Heritage Forum of Central Europe is a cyclical, biennial event organised by the International Cultural Centre in Kraków. It is an interdisciplinary platform for meetings and the discussion of the relations between the past and the present informed by the broad understanding of heritage as "meaningful pasts that should be remembered" (Sharon Macdonald). The aim of the fourth edition to be held on 1-3 June 2017 is to discuss and analyse a reciprocity between heritage and society, as well as their mutual engagement. What is society's attitude to heritage - its meaningful but often difficult past? How does heritage shape communities? Who owns heritage and why? What are the social functions of heritage? What do we want to remember and what do we often forget? These are just some of the questions that the 4th Heritage Forum of Central Europe wishes to address.

The links between society and heritage have long been identified as central to the debate on human inheritance, both tangible and intangible. Brian Graham, Gregory Ashworth, and John Tunbridge claim, for example, that today the concept of heritage depends on "almost any sort of intergenerational exchange or relationship, welcome or not, between societies as well as individuals". It is people who, they further argue, are "the creators of heritage".

Consequently, in heritage studies of the last decade or so a growing tendency has been discernible to think of heritage predominantly in terms of identity. This process appears to be particularly relevant to Central Europe and its experience, both unique and universal: of shifting borders, migrations and forced resettlements, of war and the Holocaust. These events prompted the development of a new, original stance on heritage, as well as the recognition of new categories of heritage, such as stateless heritage, dissonant heritage and the heritage of atrocity.

In order to investigate the cultural, political, and economic impacts of heritage on contemporary society, the International Cultural Centre hereby invites professionals from a variety of fields (e.g. art and architecture, history and literature, economy and sociology, politics and management) to submit their proposals for papers on the following themes, although submissions are not limited to them:

1 - heritage and communities, and particularly:

  • heritage from the societal perspective
  • heritage and participation
  • heritage and social change
  • heritage and the problem of exclusion
  • strategies on heritage
  • heritage - nation - identity
  • imagined heritage, communities and the past
  • ownership of heritage
  • local, regional, national, international, and transnational heritage

2 - constructed memory: heritage and ideology, and in particular:

  • production/generation/creation of heritage
  • heritage and multidirectional memory: nodes and conflicts of memory
  • heritage sites as laboratories of identity
  • heritage institutions: narratives and politics of memory
  • heritage landscape
  • reconstruction and ideology

3 - social challenges in heritage protection, with particular reference to the architecture of the 20th century, but also

  • heritage education
  • heritage and local development
  • heritage and enterprise
  • heritage and social media
  • heritage and consumer culture
  • heritage and tourism
  • heritage and sustainability

4 - dissonant heritage, and in particular

  • the heritage of atrocity (genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing)
  • tangible and intangible heritage of totalitarian systems and their persisting connotations
  • heritage sites
  • necro-tourism
  • difficult heritage and education

Proposals for 20-minute presentations should include a brief biographical note with your title and institutional affiliation and a maximum 150‑word abstract in English.

They should be submitted by e-mail to heritageforum4@mck.krakow.pl by 8 January 2017.

Notifications of acceptance will be sent by 15 March 2017.

The conference will be held in English. It will result in a peer-reviewed publication. All articles, up to 4000-6000 words long, following the assigned style guide and submitted by the deadline (to be announced), will be considered for publication.

The conference fee is €80, which will cover conference materials and catering. Transport and accommodation costs are covered by conference participants themselves.

The Heritage Forum of Central Europe is a biennial international conference where specialists from Central Europe, as well as researchers and experts on the region from all over the world, discuss the issues of cultural heritage. The Kraków conference is the voice of Central Europe on the philosophy, management, protection, economics, politics and social issues of cultural heritage. The Forum is organised under the auspices of the V4 Cultural Heritage Experts' Working Group, comprising the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, the Gyula Forster National Centre for Cultural Heritage Management in Budapest, the Monuments Board of the Slovak Republic and the International Cultural Centre in Kraków.

So far the following editions of the Heritage Forum of Central Europe have been organised:

  • "Heritage and Central Europe" 7-9 July 2011
  • "The Limits of Heritage" 11-14 June 2013
  • "Heritage and the City" 16-18 September 2015


All text above via http://mck.krakow.pl/conferences/4th-heritage-forum, accessed 26/10/16.

For further information and updates please see http://mck.krakow.pl/conferences/4th-heritage-forum