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Call for contributions | International conference on the critical study of Cultural Heritage

Event information

Date & location

Johannesburg, South Africa


Una Europa team at Universiteit Leiden


To participate, please send your abstract of approx. 300 words to Erik de Maaker ( by 30 April

Una Europa's Self-Steering Committee in Cultural Heritage invites researchers to submit contributions for three events focused on the critical study of heritage.

The first event – a workshop in which graduate students present their research – will take place at the conference of the Anthropology of Southern Africa from 6-8 November 2024. The following week, a panel discussion and a roundtable will be held at the World Anthropological Union conference (11-15 November 2024). All events will take place in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The aim of these events is to highlight and discuss new, hitherto ignored approaches to heritage. We particularly encourage presentations from scholars who, in their research, engage with what heritage making or unmaking accomplishes or how it can fail. For the roundtable, scholars who are working in professional contexts (museums, IGOs, NGOs etc) are especially encouraged to contribute.

About the conference theme

Heritage, both tangible and intangible, derives from the past but is remembered, kept and perhaps curated because it has relevance to the present. In any given societal context there is an equation between what is acknowledged as heritage and the pressing global challenges of the time. These may include issues as diverse as climate change, war (or the threat of it), or insecurities created by the growing dominance of capitalist markets.

The graduate workshop, panel and roundtable aim to explore the diverse ways in which heritage comes into being, or loses its relevance, and how that can provide insights into the kind of challenges which people in given societal contexts face.

We are especially interested in how heritage gains or loses its status – how does that take shape in regional, national and global contexts, and how are stakeholders involved in the processes of heritage making and unmaking?

How to submit a proposal

This opportunity is open to academics and researchers from Una Europa partner universities and universities in Africa who are interested in contributing to any of these events. Prospective participants can send an abstract of about 300 words by 30 April 2024 to

Limited, partial support for costs related to conference registration and accommodation is available. This funding is primarily intended to support researchers from the global south to attend the graduate workshop. Contact the Una Europa team at Universiteit Leiden ( for any queries relating to the partial funding available for the conference.

The language of all events is English.

About the Una Europa Self-Steering Committee Cultural Heritage

The Una Europa Self-Steering Committee in Cultural Heritage brings together scholars from across the alliances 11 partner universities, which are particularly strong in the fields of Social Sciences and Humanities. Among other activities, the Committee aims to expand networks maintained in the global south, seeking new opportunities for global academic cooperation.

This initiative was created as part of Una Europa’s Focus Area in Cultural Heritage and is initiated under the Una.Futura project.