ACHS 2020: Futures

Association of Critical Heritage Studies 5th Biennial Conference

University College London, UK

26th August-30th August 2020

Organised by the UCL Institute of Archaeology at University College London in association with the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Heritage Priority Area.

The Fifth Biennial Conference of the Association of Critical Heritage Studies will be held at University College London in the Summer of 2020. The conference’s theme—Futures—invites participants to explore a range of issues, including (but not limited to):

·       the future of critical heritage studies;

·       newly emerging concepts, themes and methods for the study of heritage;

·       the future of heritage management, governance and diplomacy;

·       evolving and nascent forms of heritage, and how they might be recognised;

·       heritage as future-making;

·       the “time” of heritage and its relationship with the past, present and future;

·       future impacts of climatological, ecological, economic, political and social change on heritage;

·       future relations of natural and cultural heritage in the light of the recognition of the Anthropocene; and

·       the future of heritage itself.

A more detailed conference rationale and call for sessions, papers and artistic interventions for the conference will be announced in May 2019.

London is one of the world’s major centres for heritage and museums. The conference will take place at UCL’s 20 Bedford Way in Bloomsbury, at the very centre of London. Less than five minutes’ walk from the British Museum and a number of other significant heritage sites and internationally renowned collections, the venue provides easy connections from London’s global hub airports at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted, and is an easy 10-minute walk from St Pancras International Station with rail connections to mainland Europe. The venue itself is a controversial grade 2* listed building which provides a pertinent setting for the conference theme. Opened in 1977 and designed by Sir Denys Lasdun, it is considered to be one of the finest examples of Brutalist architecture in the UK.

A range of accommodation options (from hostels to 5-star hotels) are available in and adjacent to the Bloomsbury area. Further information about travel and accommodation will be available on the conference website in due course.

The UCL Institute of Archaeology is one of the world’s leading international centres of expertise for research and teaching in the fields of Museum Studies, Conservation, Cultural Heritage Studies, and Public Archaeology. The IoA has a long history of promoting Critical Heritage Studies as a field of academic research and teaching and a long association with the ACHS.

We look forward to welcoming you to London in the Summer of 2020.

Rodney Harrison (Professor of Heritage Studies and AHRC Heritage Priority Area Leadership Fellow, University College London), ACHS 2020 Conference Chair.

Please send any queries to