The global rise of heritage studies and the heritage industry in recent decades has been a story of crossing frontiers and transcending boundaries. The 2018 Association of Critical Heritage Studies conference, held in Hangzhou, China, thus takes 'borders' as a broadly defined, yet key, concept for better understanding how heritage is valued, preserved, politicised, mobilised, financed, planned and destroyed. Thinking through borders raises questions about theories of heritage, its methodologies of research, and where its boundaries lie with tourism, urban development, post-disaster recovery, collective identities, climate change, memory or violent conflict.

Held by Zhejiang University in the city of Hangzhou, China from 1st Sep to 6th Sep, 2018, ACHS 2018 was the largest ever international conference in Asia dedicated to the topic of heritage. It attracted around 500 participants from 43 countries and included 560 presentations around 84 sessions.

The conference has contributed to the local community by providing opportunities for senior high school students who have taken the course of “cultural heritage” to the public speech session. It also offers an opportunity for Chinese young scholars to understand the philosophy of critical heritage studies.


One of the key contributions of critical heritage studies has been to draw attention to the role of heritage in constructing and operationalising boundaries and borders of many kinds-national, social, cultural, ethnic, economic and political.  In what ways do international flows of capital rework indigenous and urban cultures, and reshape nature in ways that redefine existing boundaries?

We especially welcome sessions and papers that challenge disciplinary boundaries and professional divides, and explore cross-border dialogues. What lessons can be learned from Asia where the distinctions between the tangible and intangible are less well marked? And how can researchers bridge cultural and linguistic barriers to better understand these nuances?


  • Internationalism and Heritage Across Borders

  • Heritage: Between theory and practice

  • Tangible and Intangible

  • Communication Across Boundaries

  • Religion

  • Governance, Law, Management

  • Heritage and Social Justice

  • Memory, Time, Forgetting

  • Disciplines, Methodologies, Dialogues

  • Museums Challenging Boundaries

  • Nations, Regions and Territories

  • Cities and Landscapes

  • Heritage as Movement

  • Culture-Natures and Human/Non-human Relations

 For more information please visit the Conference Website