New Approaches to Heritage Ethics: Interdisciplinary conversations on heritage, crime, conflicts and rights

The Centre for Heritage is organising the conference ‘New Approaches to Heritage Ethics: Interdisciplinary conversations on heritage, crime, conflicts and rights’, to be held at the University of Kent (Grimond LT3), on 23 and 24 June 2014.

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Heritage and ethics are too often considered through the lens of a single, specific theme. For instance, analyses commonly focus on separate topics like crime and heritage (e.g. unlawful excavations, vandalism and the removal or theft of cultural property), conflict and heritage (e.g. war, civil unrest, iconoclasm as well as disputes of competing visions of the past), and rights and heritage (e.g. access to cultural and socio-economic rights through heritage initiatives, in particular for disfranchised groups).

Integrating and expanding upon this prior scholarship, the aim of this conference is to consider these three topics of crime, conflict and rights in relation to heritage in an interrelated and holistic manner. Such a comprehensive framework will result in novel approaches to understanding and conceptualizing each of these issues, as well as lay the groundwork for new practical approaches to protecting various rights while mitigating heritage crime and conflicts. This conference also aims to enable academics, heritage, museum and law enforcement professionals, students and community leaders to engage in an innovative and productive conversation with one another. In working across the traditional boundaries that separate the great diversity of academic and professional disciplines whose work all touches upon this burgeoning field – including archaeology, anthropology, sociology, criminology, history, economics, human rights, law, and heritage conservation and management – this conference will open up new and important lines of cooperation and inquiry.
We are particularly interested in submissions that consider the following themes:

 Looting of classical and archaeological sites and conflict;

 Relationships between looting of classical and archaeological sites and social and economic rights and opportunities;

 Engagements of communities in the prevention of vandalism and the willful destruction of heritage;

 Approaches for taking account of conflicting understandings and visions of the past;

 Practical issues in the promotion of cultural, social and economic rights through heritage;

 Theoretical and applied approaches for preventing and mitigating heritage crime and conflicts, or for promoting social and economic rights through culturally- and historically-minded means;

 Critical approaches to the legal regulation of heritage with particular emphasis on rights.

Abstracts in English (250 words maximum should be sent to by 3 February 2014. Selected papers might be published after the conference.