• Post-Conflict, Cultural Heritage and Regional Development

Call for Abstracts
Post-Conflict, Cultural Heritage and Regional Development: An International Conference
Date: 9-11 October 2013, Wageningen, The Netherlands
Abstract Deadline: 8 June (possibly will be extended; email info@peaceconference.org)
Conference Webpage:www.peaceconference.org
The Liberation Day Committee 1945 Wageningen (as member of the European Network of Places of Peace), Wageningen University and Inholland University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands, are organizing an international conference, on the overarching theme of post-conflict, cultural heritage and regional development.
Conflicts sometimes lead to violent encounters that result in casualties and damage to infrastructure, housing and the environment. Often, traumatic experiences brought about by these become the subject of commemorations that contribute to places linked to them gaining material, social and/or symbolic significance, within the locality, country or even regionally. This is particularly true when residents and policymakers actively implement initiatives to embrace them as part of collective memory, pedagogy and/or as local heritage attractions for domestic and international visitors. Every year thousands, sometimes millions, of people visit places like Auschwitz, Ground Zero, Hiroshima, Choeung Ek and Gettysburg. Wageningen, marked as the City of Liberation, and the setting for this international conference, also attracts more than 100,000 visitors annually as part of national commemoration and liberation festivals in the Netherlands. These are testament to the popularity of these sites although they too can at times be plagued with criticisms and controversy, pertaining to issues like commercialization, sustainability, multiple interpretations of history and so on.
This conference seeks to further our understanding of the perceptions, processes and problems that are related to some of these places of former conflicts that have, over time, been transformed into key sites for memory, education and consumption, or even commodification. The multidisciplinary conference considers the social, political, economic and developmental dimensions as well as potential of such places alongside highlighting issues associated with the establishment of such heritage sites. It also explores how these sites may be developed as ‘peace institutions’ that aim to encourage the prevention of future conflicts. We welcome case studies drawn from the Netherlands as well as from other international contexts. Selected authors may be invited to contribute chapters/articles for a book or special journal issue.
Relevant topics may include (but not be limited to):
– Landscape, post-conflict identity and ‘difficult’ heritage;
– Post-conflict cities/heritage of conflict in postcolonial cities;
– Historical geographies and genealogies of places of war and peace;
– Social, economic and political impacts of places of war and peace;
– Interpreting conflict sights and the handling of multiple narratives;
– Educational potential of trauma sites, and related problems;
– Commodification of conflicts into heritage tourism;
– Conflict and the politics of truth and reconciliation;
– City branding issues in cities where conflict is within living memory;
– Sites of dark tourism: potentials, perspectives, and problems;
– Sites of former conflict as ‘shared’ spaces/peace institutions; etc.
Proposals for paper presentations/sessions on or related to any issues related to the abovementioned topics are welcome. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have queries.
Abstracts of papers, in the range of 300 to 400 words, should be sent to info@peaceconference.org. The abstract should clearly indicate the paper’s main arguments, its connection to the theme(s) of the conference, as well as briefly on the adopted methodology. Proposals for panel sessions should also include a brief description of the collective theme(s) of the papers that are to be included in the session.
A short biography of the speaker should also be included, containing relevant information about the author’s academic background.
Conference Fees:
Early bird € 225 (until September 1st)
Normal € 250 (after September 1st)
Please visit the website for registration details:www.peaceconference.org
Deadlines for Submissions:
Deadline for session proposals: 19 April 2013
Deadline for abstracts: 8 June 2013
Deadline for acceptance: 3 August 2013

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