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Heritage, Regional Development and Social Cohesion


International Conference

Heritage, Regional Development and
Social Cohesion

Organized by
The PASCAL Observatory
Tuesday 22 to Thursday 24 June 2010 Östersund, Sweden

Conference theme

The overall theme for this conference is Heritage, Regional Development and Social Cohesion. Cultural and natural heritage is a resource for development in many different ways for regional and local stakeholders. Tourism, leisure and out of classroom experiences come to mind naturally, but the possibilities and challenges go far beyond that. The agendas of social inclusion, lifelong learning for all and place management have a lot to gain from constructive use of heritage.

Sub-themes in parallel sessions

a) Lifelong learning through heritage and other cultural engagement
Constant change in society is affecting also heritage and cultural organisations. Are museums and other heritage institutions prepared to meet these new challenges? Can these institutions survive and develop on their own or, are partnerships of different kinds the answer for the future? The diversity of the international learning market includes heritage and other cultural engagement. But what happens when the focus of learning and education shifts from input to output, from curriculum to competences? And how does this effect the role of universities and higher education in relation to the lifelong learning market development?

b) Heritage and social inclusion in development of cultural capital
Access to culture in all its various forms and nature is of utmost importance for developing cultural capital. Possession of cultural capital can be seen as a tool for both integration and social inclusion. Cultural capital can help people and regions grow. Why is it that cultural and natural capital are so important, and in what ways are they important for individuals and regions? What role can heritage organisations take in learning communities on the one hand and in individual as well as regional development? On the other hand we have the universities: what tools do they have to participate in this process? The third mission of the universities, ‘Service to the Community’, is it applicable in this case? And where do regional governments and other stakeholders stand?

c) Heritage tourism and sustainable development – a contradiction?
New demands on heritage and cultural organisations include a more direct focus on economic aspects. What can be seen as a contradiction might be a demonstrated need for these specific organisations themselves and a demand from regional authorities and institutional boards to support them. An increasing part of modern tourism is based on the attraction of heritage as part of, or in addition to, leisure. Cultural and natural heritage sites are often exploited and much of the political rhetoric is focussed on both preservation and the commercial possibilities of heritage. Is it possible to both preserve and exhibit heritage? Or, is it possible to preserve and evaluate heritage without giving access to it? How do universities and higher education institutions reflect this challenge and can regional politics assist in this area? Are there any differences between the methods of the humanities and the social sciences in analyzing this development?

d) New expectations from stakeholders on heritage organisations in the 21st century.
Heritage organisations of today are forced to handle harsher demands (the economic at the fore) from stakeholders. But is there really a financial return in cultural and natural heritage? Heritage institutions also face demands from institutional boards while attempting to remain to be true to them, and to society. For whom is heritage preserved, and for what purpose? Whose heritage should be preserved? Is access to cultural and heritage as well as the items chosen for preservation a luxury in our societies? There is always someone responding for the archives, the collections and the acquisition of objects to be preserved. Is there also a moral responsibility? Heritage organisations lead this kind of discussions, but where are the stakeholders and the universities to be found? Aside from research and education, universities have a third mission– service to the community. What role can they play in lifelong learning through heritage and other cultural engagement? What questions can they pose?

Call for papers

Deadine 15 February 2010

We welcome submission of abstracts for individual papers and demonstration projects illustrating good practice which are focused on one or more of the conference themes. We particularly welcome papers which have an international comparative dimension.

Abstracts should indicate

- the nature of the paper, for example, whether it is a report of completed research, work in progress, an analytical or discussion paper or a demonstration project

- the issues the paper raises

- the relationship of the paper to other literature, research etc.

- the approach to the topic, and where relevant an outline of methodology, sample etc.

- conclusions and recommendations

Abstracts should not exceed 500 words. The working language for the conference is English. Abstracts must be submitted no later than 15 February 2010. Submission should be by e-mail as a Microsoft Word attachment.

Please send abstracts to: [email protected]

Proposals must clearly state

- the subtheme for which the abstract is submitted

- full name(s), job title(s), place(s) of employment, postal, telephone, fax and e-mail address(es) of proposers

Abstracts will be peer reviewed and contributors will be notified regarding acceptance of their papers by 1 March 2010.

Each paper accepted for presentation  will be allocated 20 minutes in duration. Presentations should be no longer than 15 minutes, leaving at least 5 minutes for discussion and questions. Full papers to be included in the conference proceedings must be submitted before 15 May 2010. Papers should not exceed 5000 words.

The results of the conference will be published as a manuscript. All papers selected for publication after the conference will be subjected to a full refereeing process. Deadline for submission of final papers for this publication is 31 August 2010. Details of submission format will be provided to authors upon acceptance of their paper for publication.


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