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Cambridge Heritage Research Centre


Cambridge Heritage Symposium


The annual Cambridge Heritage Symposium (CHS) was set up in 1996 as a forum for discussing and sharing ideas, questions, and case studies arising from working with or studying heritage. In short we wanted to provide an opportunity for talking and thinking together around topical issues within the wide framework of heritage studies. 

We soon learned that there were additional benefits. Chief among these are the new networks that emerged around each gathering; the opportunity of gaining glimpses into how heritage is debated within diverse fields has been immensely valuable to us as a research community. Another outcome has been the continuous challenge to our own perceptions of heritage studies are (or what they could be), and reflections on the position of this area within both academia and professional practice. 

The conferences have been instrumental to recognizing the varied forms of heritage, the wide-ranging interest in the field, and the many ways heritage is being studied and practiced – confirming the centrality of this field and the many areas it contributes to.

From the outset the Symposia have aimed to create an annual forum to bring together students, university and independent researchers, heritage practitioners and managers, to thinking critically and creatively about issues within the field. The themes of the Symposia have varied from exploring ‘Heritage that Hurts’ and ‘Heritage Methodologies’, and topics like the ‘Olympic Heritage’, ‘1914 Re-inherited’, ‘Packaging the Past’, ‘African Heritage Challenges’ and ‘Heritage and Revolution’. Over the years the organisers sought to retain the strong emphasis on discussion, and have aimed at days that focus on learning together.  


Previous Annual Heritage Symposia

  • CHS21(2020) - Heritagisation and Material Culture | CANCELLED
  • CHS9 (2008) – Packaging the Past | report