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Call for Papers: The Past for Sale?

The University of Massachusetts Amherst Center for Heritage and Society
is pleased to announce an


To be held May 15-17, 2013, at the UMass Amherst Campus


New Perspectives on the Economic Entanglements of Cultural Heritage

The economic valuation of cultural heritage —whether protected and developed or illegally looted and exported—is among the most pressing practical research questions in the fields of both Cultural Heritage Studies and Community Development. What price in dollars or social value does heritage have in the 21st century?
On the one hand, nations, regions, cities, and even small towns are investing significant public funds in the development and public presentation of archaeological sites, historic monuments, and historic districts in the hope of economic revitalization through tourism or raised property values. On the other, unprecedented diplomatic and legal measures are being taken to repatriate looted cultural property and put an end to the enormously profitable antiquities trade. What are the REAL figures? How can we tease apart the commonly accepted narratives from the economic and social data?
The goal of this conference is to bring together a wide range of academics, economists, heritage professionals, development experts, government officials, and community leaders to examine the economic impact of cultural heritage. Yet rather than seeing tourism, urban redevelopment, and antiquities looting as distinct economic problems-as case-by-case profits and/or losses-we hope to encourage a multi-disciplinary discussion of the economic entanglements of cultural heritage.
Some of the themes to be explored include: tourism, urban revitalization, looting and its costs, and the business of ancient art. Selected papers will be published in Heritage & Society, a peer-reviewed journal, whose editorship has been assumed by the UMass Amherst Center for Heritage and Society.
We will be accepting abstracts until January 15th, 2013. Please click here to submit an abstract.