University of Massachusetts Amherst



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Highlights from the Heritage in Conflict and Consensus Workshop

November 9-13, 2009
UMass Amherst – Bard College

In the course of five days of presentations, informal discussions, working sessions, and agenda-building, the workshop participants covered four major themes of Heritage in Conflict (see full program) and established a permanent working group to formulate innovative pilot projects and international policy initiatives in the various themes.

Click here to view photos from the conference

Reports of the Working Sessions

Approximately 100 registered participants attended the first two days of the workshop at UMass Amherst, where cases studies from the US, Europe, Canada, Turkey, Israel, Palestine, South Africa, and Cyprus where discussed.

After a field visit to Historic Deerfield, where attempts at more inclusive interpretive techniques were presented, the workshop shifted venue to Bard College, where round table discussions tackled the issues of contested religious and diasporic heritage.

A final session summed up the initial conclusions of each of the major themes and began the work of shaping a research agenda for the coming years. A working group was established to identify specific intellectual issues and professional challenges for heritage in an increasingly globalized and tribalized world.

Selected papers from the workshop will be published in a special issue of UNESCO Museum International in the spring of 2010—and we look forward to additional events and activities in the coming year.

Anyone who was unable to attend the workshop, but interested in learning more about the proposed research agenda or joining the working group should contact us at or

-- Elizabeth Chilton and Neil Silberman


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