ACHS 2020: FUTURES, the fifth biennial conference of the Association of Critical Heritage Studies took place as a fully virtual conference across August and September featuring On-Demand presentations and live Q&A/discussion sessions.  The conference was chaired by Professor Rodney Harrison of the UCL Institute of Archaeology in association with the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Heritage Priority Area.

On-Demand content was available from 12 August until 8 September. Live sessions took place from 26 to 30 August. Live session recordings were available until 8 September.

Key facts:

  • Presentations grouped across 14 sub-themes
  • 822 presentation titles included in the final programme
  • 747 titles accompanied by an uploaded video presentation or additional file
  • 138 oral sessions
  • 19 panel discussions
  • 6 plenary sessions
  • 4 poster sessions
  • 1130 participants
  • Page loads from 74 countries
  • 54 Global North; 20 Global South
  • Top five for number of plays by region
  • UK (5978); Australia (1498); Germany (987); Sweden (706); Italy (646).
  • Live keynote presentations attracted between 160 and 353 attendees.

Access the Book of Abstracts, including Virtual Programme/Session information here

The conference’s theme – Futures – aimed to engage seriously and critically with the often stated aims of heritage to address the concerns of future generations, whilst also asking participants to think expansively and creatively about the future of critical heritage studies as an emergent field of focus across a range of academic disciplines.

Papers and sessions explored 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.

Please visit our Submissions page for detailed information about the conference themes and subthemes.


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