Call for papers - The 2nd Heritage Forum of Central Europe

June 12–14, 2013
The Limits of Heritage

The 2nd Heritage Forum of Central Europe is a continuation of the first meeting organised under this name in 2011. The meeting confirmed the need for dialogue and exchange of experiences regarding cultural heritage in the Visegrad Group countries and outside it.
The problems discussed will regard contemporary heritage issues, analysed both in the Central European and the global context. Central Europe/V4 will serve as a starting point for wider considerations. This should make the programme of the Forum interesting not only for people from the region and experts on its heritage but
also to a wider international community preoccupied with heritage as a whole. Particular sessions should be geographically variegated – some papers should regard the V4 and some should be concerned with heritage on a global scale (comparative studies, international cases which may provide a lesson for Central Europe).
The Forum will be held under the Polish Presidency of the Visegrad Group.

The conference will be shaped around the following subject matters:

The limits of heritage

Heritage is an imprecise term, covering various areas and categories. Also imprecise is the line between heritage and what is yet to become heritage. It seems that this line is constantly moving towards the present and things created relatively recently are already regarded as “historic”. The best example of that is post-industrial architecture, since 1980s enjoying a revival as a space settled by culture.
During the session we will be interested in various dimensions of the limits of heritage – geographic, temporal and disciplinary.

We are waiting for papers attempting to answer the following questions:

→ When does the present become heritage?

→ Where does the line between historical and contemporary heritage run and how is it shifting?

→ How can contemporary heritage be used?

→ Should we expect that in a while everything will be perceived as heritage – where are the limits?

We are interested both in general approaches to the subject and papers focused on the V4 region or situating the region in a broader context.

Management of large-scale cultural heritage properties

The session will explore the implications of the increase of the spatial dimensions of heritage: its growth from individual monuments to larger ensembles even beyond what has traditionally been defined as historic centres, to historic urban landscapes and cultural or historic landscapes. The wider spatial scope entails a necessarily wider
concept of heritage management, a concept which, on the one hand, holds the promise of a more successful, longer-term, integrated and sustainable preservation of heritage, and, on the other hand, raises a large number of questions and problems outside the conventional focus of heritage management.

Papers are invited addressing the following issues on both the conceptual level and through specific examples:

→ How do these changes reflect and affect our attitude to the past, to our appropriation of the area in which we live, and to our local, national, regional, European identity? How do the intangible aspects of tangible heritage convey the sense of place?

→ What legal, administrative, statutory and/or contractual tools and measures exist for the protection and management of such large-scale cultural heritage properties?

→ How landscape-level conservation decisions are made in either urban or rural context?

→ What tools are used to assess the impact of planned and implemented interventions on the integrity of the site? (e.g. visual integrity assessments)

→ How can traditional land-use forms survive in the changing social and economic conditions? What adapted uses of urban spaces enable the preservation of historic values?

→ How does the management of such large-scale cultural heritage sites contribute to local or regional development? What kind of knowledge-sharing facilitation is required to enhance local heritage-lead development? How to intervene at such sites in a way that ensures embeddedness into the local socio-economic processes, as well as long-term sustainability after the initial investment? What are the means to measure the socio-economic benefits and impacts of such interventions?

→ What tools are used to facilitate the planning, negotiation and implementation of interventions and of projects across a whole landscape? What cooperation mechanisms and participatory frameworks are used to enable stakeholder participation?

→ What financial mechanisms can be used to direct resources to restoration, rehabilitation and everyday maintenance? 

Heritage and politics 

The session will concern broadly conceived relations between heritage and politics: cultural policies encroaching on the sphere of heritage and exploiting heritage for short-term political purposes. We will discuss the role of heritage in promoting various visions of history, we will talk about a selective approach to heritage. We want to
ask the following questions:

→ In what way do contemporary societies use heritage for building their identity?

→ How do they choose national traditions, legends and myths they promote?

→ What factors decide about the destruction or reconstruction of monuments, about rebuilding non-existing sites or condemning them to oblivion?

→ What factors (besides age and state of preservation) decide about placing sites on various
protection lists?
→ What about the cultural heritage of ethnic minorities?

→ How is the attitude towards polycentric heritage changing in multicultural societies?

The session will be a confrontation of various ways of using heritage as a political instrument – in various countries with different historical pasts.

How to sell heritage?

In the 21st century no one needs convincing that heritage is a capital which may be used in promotional strategies of cities and regions. A national good becomes a product, which must be properly “packaged” and “sold”. But the awareness of a marketing-based orientation, shifting the centre of gravity from a heritage site towards the recipient – satisfying his or her needs and expectations – does not always translate into specific actions.
In this session we will be interested in issues connected with endowing heritage with a marketing dimension.

We are waiting for papers addressing the following issues:

→ How is a “heritage product” made? What are the challenges, limitations and dangers involved?

→ The seduction of heritage lists

→ Focus on visitors and recipients (economic and organisational possibilities, as well as the will –or lack of it – to place an emphasis on the needs and expectations of the public)

We are interested in case studies presenting positive and negative examples of such a focus, wider presentations of the situation in a given country (especially in Central Europe), comparative analyses within the V4 and outside, as well as papers considering theoretical issues.

Attractive cities – the role of heritage

Despite predictions about the inevitable decline of cities (due to globalisation and technological progress physical space would supposedly lose its importance), which have been voiced for many years, this form of geographic, social and economic organisation remains the foundation of the functioning of contemporary civilisation.

But what are the factors behind the fact that some cities develop and some do not? Why some cities attract new inhabitants while others are depopulated? What makes many companies – for example, from the creative and innovative sector, regarded as one of the most promising branches of the economy – locate their headquarters
in specific cities?

During the panel we would like to discuss the role of heritage in creating contemporary cities and ways of using heritage for improving the quality of life in a given place.

We are waiting for papers focusing on the following issues:

→ Using heritage for creating a positive image of a city in the eyes of the inhabitants and investors

→ Innovative uses of heritage in building a high quality of life for the inhabitants

→ Heritage as a catalyst of economic development (not just growth!)

During the panel we would like to highlight the fact that the “utilitarian” aspect of heritage is not just revenues from tourism – in contemporary cities heritage has a much wider role to play. Alongside with the broadly conceived cultural sector it is a factor attracting new residents and investors.

We welcome presentations of positive examples and case studies from Central Europe, as well as comparative analysis with cases from outside the region.

Dissonant heritage

The Central European accumulation in Central Europe of military architecture, so far disdained as part of heritage, presents an important issue both for theory and management of heritage. It reflects a rapid development of fortified architecture in the period from 18th to 20th century – just to invoke the legacy of the Habsburg Empire with fortresses in Krakow and Przemyśl, but also in Olomouc, Josefov (Josephstadt), Arad, Alba Julia, etc. An extension of this research area is the post-totalitarian legacy of Nazism and Communism spread across the area
from Germany to Russia – it remains controversial and because it is widely disdained, it is aspiring pretending to the role of a regional uncharted territory. We mean here, among other things, the architectural monuments of the previous epoch amply drawing on Postmodernism, and post-industrial architecture. The analogy between the Krakow district of Nowa Huta and the Romanian Hunedoara is just one example.

Intangible cultural heritage

Nowadays Central European heritage should be looked at not only in terms of the list of the 1972 World Heritage Convention, but also in the light of the 2003 Convention for the safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. Intangible cultural heritage is growing in importance and is also likely to impact on how we understand tangible
cultural heritage.

We expect papers attempting to approach the following questions:

→ What is the relationship between tangible and intangible heritage in Central Europe?

→ What are the national practices for inventorying intangible cultural heritage “present in its territory” with the participation of communities as required by the ICH Convention of 2003?

→ How can ICH foster community-participation, creativity, sustainable development?

→ How does Central Europe perceive the potential of its intangible heritage?

→ Is there a chance for strengthening cross-border inscriptions in this field? What mechanisms and tools are used or required for (micro)-regional and cross-border cooperation with regard to shared ICH?

→ How to strengthen and develop visibility of intangible cultural heritage in Central Europe?

Researchers, professionals and postgraduate students are invited to submit abstracts of maximum 300 words by 10 February 2013 to the Forum Secretariat at

Please include a one-page CV with contact details (mail, email and telephone)
and information regarding institutional affiliation. Time of presentations will be limited to 20 minutes.
Approved participants will be notified by early March 2013. The decision of the selection committee is final.

The conference will be held in English.

It will result in a peer-reviewed (academic) publication. All articles submitted by the deadline (to be announced, prepared according to the Styleguide) will be considered for publication.

Conference fee: 50 EUR. It will cover conference materials, a copy of the publication and catering (coffee breaks, lunches, dinner).

Should you have any queries please contact coordinator of the Forum:
Dr. Katarzyna Jagodzińska at

The Forum is organised by the International Cultural Centre in Krakow
and will be held under the Polish Presidency of the Visegrad Group.
The Forum is organized under the auspices of the V4 Cultural Heritage Experts’ Working Group, comprising:
Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic
Cultural Heritage Department, Prague

Gyula Forster National Centre for Cultural Heritage Management, Budapest
International Cultural Centre, Krakow
Monuments Board of the Slovak Republic, Bratislava

Venue of the Forum:
International Cultural Centre,
Rynek Główny 25
Krakow, Poland