Heritage Workshop The Role of Heritage in Migration and Displacement

The Role of Heritage during Migration and Displacement
A Symposium and Workshop at the University of Massachusetts Amherst
30 April-2 May, 2017

Please register here for The Role of Heritage during Migration and Displacement, a Symposium and Workshop at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (30 April-2 May 2017). 

View the final schedule. 

View this campus map for directions from the Hotel to the campus building where the workshop is taking place.

Banquet Dinner and Film Screening
The Amherst Workshops Dinner will be held at the University of Massachusetts Amherst on April 30, 2017 on the 11th floor of the Campus Center. Start: 5:30 pm. 
This even is both a Banquet Dinner and Film Screening. Register here

Film: The Destruction of Memory 
Documentary - The war against culture, and the battle to save it

Based on the book of the same name by Robert Bevan, The Destruction of Memory tells the whole story - looking not just at the ongoing actions of Daesh (ISIS) and at other contemporary situations, but revealing the decisions of the past that allowed the issue to remain hidden in the shadows for so many years. 

Interviewees in the film include the Director-General of UNESCO, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, as well as diverse and distinguished international experts, whose voices combine to address this urgent issue.
For more information including a trailer, visit the film page

Tickets are $58.00/person. Register here

Hosted by the WorldWide Universities Network (WUN) Understanding Cultures Global Challenge Group, and the Center for Heritage and Society, University of Massachusetts Amherst. Organized by Elizabeth Brabec, Director, Center for Heritage and Society, and Elizabeth Chilton, Coordinator, WUN Understanding Cultures Global Challenge Group. 

Welcome letter and Amherst Dining tips
Welcome Letter 
Downtown Amherst - directions and dining tips 

A strong sense of heritage has been demonstrated to be the key to a healthy sense of identity and overall wellness of individuals and societies in the present.

However, while millions of people are either currently displaced or will be displaced on a global scale in the coming years, there has been little focused research on how the re-establishment and promotion of heritage and heritage/cultural participation through physical and digital means mitigates against the trauma and threats to cultural memory, ontological security, a core belief system, and overall wellbeing that result from such displacements.

The goal of this workshop will be to formulate an agenda for the WUN in its approach to the role of heritage in the Understanding Cultures Global Challenge, as the WUN Global Challenges more broadly. The key relevance of heritage to the UC Global Challenge is the implications of people’s connections to their pasts for social and economic stability and the overall wellness of individuals, communities, and nations. But the implications of heritage for public health, climate change, and higher education are also clear. The interdisciplinary and burgeoning field of heritage studies is uniquely poised to address some of the global challenges in social and economic stability and well-being.

Please visit the conference page at the UMass website for a summary of information including hotels and transport

View Program (day-to-day schedule)

Three major research areas are ripe for interdisciplinary and international attention:

  1. Basic research on the importance and value of cultural heritage for social, ecological, economic, and physical/mental well-being, 
  2. The application of such research to national and international policy, and 
  3. Exploration of the potential of emerging digital technologies for new forms of cultural expression and meaning making.

In general, the UN, UNESCO, and international development bank projects have focused on the protection of tangible heritage, particularly immoveable tangible heritage (buildings and sites), in their considerations of threats to cultural heritage in the face of violent conflict, migration, and climate change.

For example, a new program announced by French President Holland in September in association with the UN Conference on Refugees committed $100 million to the restoration of important heritage buildings and sites that have been destroyed by war or terrorism. However, there is a clear need to enlarge the scope of heritage beyond preservation or even restoration of cultural icons.

This workshop will be held at the UMass Amherst campus and will be hosted by the Center for Heritage & Society immediately following and in tandem with a large, two-day international conference. During the conference, we will screen the documentary film, “The Destruction of Memory,” which looks at the urgent issue of cultural destruction. 

A call for abstracts for that conference will be publicised by 1 January 2017. A full set of papers will be published as a conference proceedings book, and four top, selected papers will be published in the peer-reviewed journal, Heritage & Society.

Workshop sub-themes:  

  1. Exploring the historical dimensions of the heritage experience and the impacts of this history to the present;
  2. Resilience, place and place-making: What is the role of heritage in identity and ontological security? 
  3. The portability of heritage: Intangible heritage and its migration from homeland to resettlement location; 
  4. Heritage participation: how cultural engagement with heritage can benefit migrant communities;
  5. Contested urban spaces: Can an understanding of cultural heritage support inclusion rather than exclusion in urban public space?
  6. What is the direct and long term impact on displacement and migration on physical and mental well-being of individuals and groups?
  7. Choosing migration: How choice affects the trauma related to leaving home.
  8. How can the above be mobilised to impact educational policy, climate change policy, and immigration policy? 

This event is part of the WUN Conference & AGM 2017.