Call: International Conference on Materiality, Memory and Cultural Heritage

Materiality, Memory and Cultural Heritage

A conference organized by the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, İstanbul Technical University and the Department of Anthropology, Yeditepe University in İstanbul, Turkey on May 25-29, 2011.

Keynote Speakers:
Ian Hodder (Stanford University)
Richard Handler (University of Virginia)
Ayfer Bartu Candan (Boğaziçi University)
Charles Stewart (University College London)

We are organizing a conference on the interrelated themes of memory, materiality and cultural heritage that will appeal to scholars from the fields of archaeology, anthropology and history. We invite papers that particularly address the uses and management of ancient sites, monuments and objects at the local and global scales from different social spaces and sectors of societies such as houses, ritual-architectural spaces, netscape, museums, touristic scapes, media industry, ethnoscapes and nation-states. Many different processes play a role in the particular contemporary uses of ancient objects and monuments such as the making of public/official or alternative histories and education, nationalism, cultural preservation efforts, place-making, object and profit oriented capitalist material practices, violence, archaeological practices, and the politics of the production and/or erasure of memory about the past, present and future. Despite the efforts of countries to geographically and culturally ‘preserve’ ancient monuments and objects, there has been a process of deterritorialization in the sense that they constantly move across space and time in the form of actual reproduction in different socio-spatial contexts, web-based information and computer simulation. In these new contexts they are reappropriated and attributed new meanings and senses and/or intentions to evoke the ancient potent meanings, becoming objects of new materialities and also containers and/or producers of new immaterialities. They become part and parcel of new historicities.

In addition to particular case studies we are specifically interested in papers that address theoretical and methodological questions. How can we theorize about contemporary uses of ancient monuments and objects? What is the unit of analysis and how is it methodologically constructed? From an analytical perspective, how can we gauge the historical traffic of these objects across space? What are our analytical boundaries?

The conference organizers plan to publish the conference proceedings.

Papers are expected to contribute to the following thematic areas related to the main topic of contemporary uses of ancient sites, monuments and objects:

  • Commodification and Objectification
  • Materiality
  • Symbolic Meaning
  • Collective Memory
  • Senses and Memory
  • Senses and Home
  • Collection and Destruction of Objects
  • History Production
  • Media
  • Religion
  • Nationalism
  • Neo-colonialism
  • Place-making
  • Technology
  • Cultural Heritage Preservation

Abstract Submission

Abstracts for individual papers and sessions should be submitted by FRIDAY DECEMBER 17th 2010. Abstracts of no more than 350 words in English should be sent via email to the addresses listed below. Please include your name, affiliation, e-mail, telephone number(s), and postal address. The authors of the accepted abstracts will be notified by JANUARY 20th 2011.

Manuscript Submission:

Once the abstracts are accepted the full papers must be submitted by May 25th, 2011 in order to be considered for publication in an edited volume.

Please email presentation abstracts to:

Please email questions/comments to:

Sevil Baltalı Tırpan:
Aybil Göker:

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