CFP: ACHS 2016 – Are contemporary processes of migration changing the Authorised Heritage Discourse?

Open Call for Papers

Association of Critical Heritage Studies Third Biennial Conference

Montreal, Canada, 6-10th June 2016

Session Title: Are contemporary processes of migration changing the Authorised Heritage Discourse?

Session Organizers: Sophia Labadi (University of Kent, UK), Laia Colomer (Linnaeus University, Sweden) and Cornelius Holtorf (Linnaeus University, Sweden)

Session Abstract:

There are many different kinds of migrants in the contemporary world. They include the familiar figures of refugees or undocumented migrants, associated with and suffering from exclusionary practices, poverty, silencing or repressions; skilled migrants with economic resources but lacking the tools for cultural and social integration; migrants or second generation migrants returning to their homelands and becoming ‘strangers’ also there; people moving to several countries as global nomads, etc. An increasing number of people are thus living “transit lives”, between different cultures.

In the past decades museums and heritage places all over the world have begun to adapt to this challenging situation. From Enlightened and exclusive institutions, promoting one version of the past and national identity, museums have had to transform themselves to remain relevant in our fast changing and diverse world. Equally, some countries are increasingly identifying and protecting heritage places, routes or landscapes that are significant to people affected by mobility such as migrants/diaspora, ex-colony citizens, modern and contemporary slaves, etc. These changes include giving greater access to collections and exhibition spaces, promoting multivocality in the interpretation of collections, encouraging migrants’ involvement in exhibitions through co-curation, or developing participatory methodologies among local and/or excluded communities for the definition of the significance of heritage places.


This session invites papers that discuss, analyse and evaluate approaches, methodologies, and the impact of programmes of museums and heritage places involving people in cultural transitions (including migrants, refugees, cross-cultural people). Basically, we are interested in investigating what happens to heritage when people’s identities are in transition due to mobility. Issues which the session will explore include the following:

  • Specific museum programmes developed for migrant communities, such as language learning programmes, well-being sessions, employment schemes for migrants, etc.
  • Migrants’ critical views of museum’s programmes and collections.
  • Definition of new heritage places and museums from a migrant perspective and approach (i.e. multivocality and participatory policies).
  • Redefining the significances and the uses of mainstream heritage places in the context of globalised, dynamic and fluid cultures (e.g., the heritage of emotions applied to migration).

Submissions for papers:

Please send an abstract to Sophia Labadi ( Laia Colomer ( The abstract should not be more than 600 words presenting the topic and main argument in relation to this specific session. Please also send a brief resume (biographical notice and main publications) of no more than 300 words.


Deadline: 20th October 2015.

Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: