Campus Hosts International Conference on ‘Heritage and Healthy Societies’

The Center for Heritage and Society (CHS) is holding its fourth annual international conference, Heritage and Healthy Societies, Cultural Heritage, Environment and Resilience, on campus this week.

Co-organized by Elizabeth Chilton, professor of anthropology and director of the Center for Heritage and Society, Sophia Labadi of the University of Kent, and Matthew Hill (CHS and anthropology, the conference garnered 86 abstracts from participants representing 20 countries, including Australia, Indonesia, Denmark, Sweden, India and China. The goal of the conference is to bring together a wide range of academics, government officials, community leaders and others interested in examining the importance of cultural heritage for community health and well-being.

Presenters and participants will examine the way in which cultural heritage can contribute to social and environmental sustainability and well-being in the 21st century. Some of the themes to be explored in the conference include the conservation of cultural and historic urban landscapes, museums, heritage tourism, indigenous heritage and well-being, and the recovery heritage after war and political conflicts.

Plenary speakers include Michael Herzfeld, professor of anthropology at Harvard University, whose main research interests are on the interrelations between historic conservation and gentrification, nationalism and crypto-colonialism; Rodney Harrison, reader in archaeology at University College London, whose research focuses on the history and theory of cultural heritage in a global context; and Jane Grenville, deputy vice chancellor at the University of York, whose research examines the relationship between the built environment and ontological security.

The Center for Heritage and Society is a multidisciplinary initiative to craft new approaches to heritage conversation and communication, while also offering research opportunities for scholars working in heritage-related fields.