2023 marks the twentieth anniversary of the UNESCO Convention on Cultural Heritage. It established culture as a concept to be safeguarded. That event came three decades after the World Heritage Convention. Through that, UNESCO had set up its World Heritage List of protected sites and buildings. The intervening years have seen multiple shifts in how we define heritage – as both material objects and social traditions. Today more than ever before, the distinction is blurred. The streets on which we live, the edifices we design and the monuments we protect are all connected to the lifestyles, traditions and social groupings we celebrate and safeguard. What we mean by heritage today then, is an open and diverse question.
Reflecting this scenario, this conference seeks papers on heritage from various standpoints: art and architecture historians concerned with preservation; architects and urban planners engaged with placemaking; cultural theorists and social historians documenting objects, places, people and events. It welcomes case studies that are specific and place-based. It embraces theoretical frameworks that function globally. It is interested in variegated methods of research and analysis.