University of Massachusetts Amherst


Palenque, Creative Commons image on Flickr, Jungle_Boy

About Us

About the picture

The Mayan Classical city of Palenque, Mexico, was at its height between 500-700AD. The site was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1987.


Our Goals

The University of Massachusetts Amherst is an ideal home for serious, long-term multidisciplinary efforts to craft new approaches to heritage conservation and communication, both within the United States and abroad. The Center for Heritage and Society (CHS) offers a unique platform for multidisciplinary research and can provide undergraduate and gradate students with training and experience in heritage planning and management. Such a Center builds on the University's unique and converging strengths in archaeology, cultural resource management, history, environmental science, landscape architecture and regional planning, European studies, Native American Indian Studies, Afro-American Studies, Classics, legal studies, and public policy.

The main functions of the Center, closely linked to the Department of Anthropology and the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, but working with faculty in other colleges (most notably HFA and NRE), academic departments, programs, and institutes are:


Formulating and implementing innovative community-based heritage projects; engaging the public in heritage as a source of both identity and economic development; and providing opportunities for practical field work experience and academic research by both graduate students and undergraduates.

Teaching and Training:

Our goal is to both build on and highlight existing strengths on campus, and develop new undergraduate and graduate courses and seminars on public communication, community heritage planning, heritage education, management, and international heritage policy. We hope to provide opportunities for funding for students while on campus and to help them position them for a wide variety of careers in heritage, both in the U.S. and abroad.


This Center will play a major role in the University's outreach efforts in terms of both local communities of the Commonwealth and in terms of international cooperations (e.g., European universities and organizations).

Center for Heritage and Society, 215 Machmer Hall, University of Massachusetts Amherst, MA 01003 phone: 413.545.2221  fax: 413.545.9494