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Announcing the Third Annual International Heritage Conference

organized by the UMass Amherst Center for Heritage and Society

The Past for Sale?

The Economic Entanglements of Cultural Heritage


May 15 – 17, 2013

on the UMass Amherst Campus, Amherst, MA USA

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? How is heritage marketed and sold in an era of rampant globalization and neoliberalism?

On the other 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 increased 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 is happening on the ground? What types of heritage are being marketed, returned, or sold, and for what purposes? Who stands to gain from these processes?

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 impacts of cultural heritage and its implications for contemporary society. Yet rather than seeing heritage-based tourism, urban redevelopment, and antiquities looting as distinct economic instances involving monetary profits or losses, we hope to encourage a trans-disciplinary discussion of the overlapping economic entanglements of cultural heritage and the broader social implications. 

visit the website for further details:

To register, come to the on-site registration during the times listed below.

On-Site Registration Times and Locations
Wednesday, May 15th:
     7:00am - 10:00am Campus Center Foyer (First Floor
     10:00am - 5:00pm Campus Center 8th Floor Registration Office
Thursday, May 16th:
     7:30am - 10:00am Campus Center Foyer (First Floor)
     10:00am - 5:00pm Campus Center 8th Floor Registration Office
Friday, May 17th:
     8:00am - 10:00am Campus Center Foyer (First Floor)
     10:00am - 5:00pm Campus Center 8th Floor Registration Office

If you have any questions please contact the Conference Registration Office at 413-577-8102.