CfP: Cultural heritage in conflicts - Heritage studies meet peace and conflict research

Cultural heritage in conflicts - Heritage studies meet peace and conflict research

Workshop 15-16 September 2016

Uppsala University Campus Gotland, Visby

Armed conflicts cause human suffering and damage to economy and society, but they also affect cultural heritage in the communities. We often read about or see heritage sites being damaged in war, but disputes over the right to or access to cultural heritage can also be a cause of conflict. The scholar of post-war recovery Sultan Barakat has proposed that we should understand "cultural heritage and war as highly mutable and interlinked processes of social transformation". Thus, conflicts often lead to, or are shaped by, interpretations of the past since memories are used for constructing (or dismounting) identities and links between the past, the present and the future.

Why is cultural heritage targeted in some conflicts? Are disputes over the past of a place more frequent in certain types of conflict, and if so, why? How are heritage, identity, ethnicity and history turned into assets, which can either raise the level of conflict, or serve to build peace and reconciliation? How is post-conflict society affected by interpretations of the past and visions of the future?

In order to shed new light on these issues this workshop aims to provide a two-day forum for researchers within a range of disciplines such as conservation, heritage studies, peace and conflict research and political science. By bringing scholars of cultural heritage together with scholars on conflicts, peace building and conflict resolution we hope to encourage innovative and multidisciplinary research on this theme. Keynote speakers are Dr. Dacia Viejo Rose, University of Cambridge, and Professor Isak Svensson, Uppsala University, who will also be present to comment the papers.

This will be a workshop in which each presenter will be given comments by a discussant as well as the other participants. Thus, participants should be prepared to discuss all papers presented. Papers should be submitted two weeks before the workshop and will be circulated before the workshop.

We invite interested contributors to send abstracts of no more than 300 words to Mattias Legnér, email Please send us your abstract latest 17 May. Notification of acceptance should be given in early June.

Trips between Uppsala and Visby will be covered for contributors coming from Uppsala Campus. Their accommodation in Visby will also be covered. A prerequisite is that tickets and hotels are pre- booked through the Department of Art History (wait for instructions). Contributors from other universities may also receive support for travelling to and from Visby.

The Department of Art History and the Department of Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University organise the workshop.

Contact information: Professor Mattias Legnér, Department of Art History, email, phone +46498108331.

Yujie Zhu