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5th Heritage Forum of Central Europe: “Heritage and Environment”


Over the last two decades or so the links between heritage and environment, broadly understood as “that which surrounds”, have started to occupy a central position in the debate on human inheritance, both tangible and intangible. In the wake of the spatial turn that has prioritised the categories of place and space in social sciences and the humanities, as well as in view of some unprecedented global environmental challenges faced by humanity, heritage studies have become particularly concerned with an investigation of the reciprocity between heritage and environment, as well as their mutual engagement. Given the relational and processual character of heritage – typically defined as an act of engaging with the past (Laurajane Smith) or an intergenerational exchange or relationship (Brian Graham, Gregory Ashworth, and John Tunbridge) – it has not escaped the attention of many a researcher that “our experiences and engagement with memory and identity are located within our broader surroundings – with our ‘environment’” (Hugh Cheape, Mary‐Cate Garden, and Fiona McLean). What is more, as David Lowenthal aptly observed with regard to a reciprocity of natural and cultural heritage, “these inheritances everywhere commingle; no aspect of nature is unimpacted by human agency, no artefact devoid of environmental impress”.

Registration of participants for the conference has been completed.

In light of the above, the aim of the fifth edition of the Heritage Forum of Central Europe, to be held on 19–20 September 2019 at the International Cultural Centre in Kraków, is to discuss and analyse the links and mutual dependencies between heritage, those “meaningful pasts that should be remembered” (Sharon Macdonald), and environment, both material and socio-cultural. While investigating the relationship between the two, special consideration is to be given to an attempt to transgress and challenge various dichotomies that have traditionally shaped our way of thinking about heritage and environment and their antithetical rapport (nature/culture, permanence/transience, tangible/intangible, etc.). By means of addressing such issues as, for example, the impact of environment on memory and identity, natural and/or cultural heritage, historic environment(s), biodiversity and conservation, the Forum’s objective is to demonstrate that the relations between heritage and environment – particularly between culture and nature – should be marked by “cooperative amity” rather than “envy and rivalry” (David Lowenthal).

The International Cultural Centre hereby invites professionals from a variety of fields (e.g. art and architecture, history and literature, biology and horticulture, sociology and geography, conservation and management) to submit their proposals for papers on the following themes, although submissions are not limited to them:

1. heritage and natural environment, and particularly:

natural heritage

natural heritage sites

natural landscape

landscape restoration

landscape and garden design

2. heritage and anthropogenic environment, and in particular:

heritage and the Antrophocene

the built environment

historic environment

cityscapes and urban environment

postindustrial landscape

virtual environment

3. heritage and socio-cultural environment, with particular reference to the following:

heritage sites

cultural landscape

heritage vis-à-vis political/social environment



4. heritage and the spatial turn, and in particular:

sites of memory

environmental history

tourism geography

memory, identity and space


the void


The 5th Forum’s special guest will be Lithuania. Consequently, papers addressing the above-listed issues with regard to Lithuania will be particularly welcome.

The conference will be held in English. It will result in a peer-reviewed publication. All articles, up to 4,000-6,000 words long, following the assigned style guide and submitted by the deadline (to be announced), will be considered for publication.

The conference fee is €100, which will cover conference materials and catering. Transport and accommodation costs are covered by conference participants themselves.

The Heritage Forum of Central Europe is a cyclical, biennial event organised by the International Cultural Centre in Kraków. It is an interdisciplinary platform for meetings and the discussion of the relations between the past and the present informed by the broad understanding of heritage. The Kraków conference is the voice of Central Europe on the philosophy, management, protection, economics, politics and social issues of cultural heritage. The Forum is organised under the auspices of the V4 Cultural Heritage Experts’ Working Group, comprising the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, the Prime Minister’s Office Hungary, the Monuments Board of the Slovak Republic and the International Cultural Centre in Kraków.

So far the following editions of the Heritage Forum of Central Europe have been organised:

“Heritage and Central Europe” 7–9 July 2011

“The Limits of Heritage” 11–14 June 2013

“Heritage and the City” 16–18 September 2015

“Heritage and Society” 1–2 June 2017

Every edition hopes to address the most pressing issues in the current debate on heritage protection, preservation, promotion, and use.

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Partnerzy / Partners:

Partner strategiczny / Strategic partner:

Przy wsparciu finansowym / With the finacial support of:

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