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Heritage and cultural diversity

Patrimoines et diversité culturelle

Tenth International Conference of Young Heritage Researchers

Dixième rencontre internationale des jeunes chercheurs en patrimoine

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Published on Tuesday, March 11, 2014


City of one hundred spires, island or metropolis: Montreal has no one single descriptive title or nickname. The difficulty of attaching a label to the city is symptomatic of the identity of Montreal, which remains a city of diversity par excellence; the fact that it harbours the only “historic and natural district,” classified according to the former Cultural Property Act, and the National Historic Site of Canada called The Main, deemed a “corridor of immigration,” is just another sign. For the Tenth International Conference of Young Heritage Researchers, we are inviting doctoral and postdoctoral students, among others, to be inspired by the spirit of the host city and to reflect upon heritage and diversity. The conference will be held from October 3 to 5, 2014, at the Université du Québec à Montréal, under the scientific supervision of the Canada Research Chair in Urban Heritage (Luc Noppen, Université du Québec à Montréal), PARVI, the Interuniversity Research Group Concerning Landscape Representation, the City and Urban Identities (Lucie K. Morisset, Université du Québec à Montréal), and their partners.        



National heritage, a phenomenon forged during the era of the birth of the great nations of Europe, and world heritage, born of a will to create a sense of universal belonging, are more and more counterbalanced by phenomena of identity diversification, promoting heterogeneity, difference and social and cultural diversity. Since the 1970s, increasing spatial mobility, the fluidization of borders between nation states, and communication technologies have led to a significant reconfiguration of identity and its incorporation in space and time (McLuhan 1967, Appaduraï 1996). Although the very strong link between identity and heritage cannot be denied (Morisset, Noppen 2006), the essentialist vision of heritage facts is increasingly confronted by a pluralistic variation within which heritage uniqueness gives way to heritage diversity.

Little has been said about heritage in the context of diversity. When spoken about in such contexts, the discourse is divided. On the one hand, “small-scale heritage,” “heritage of migration,” and “heritage of cultural minorities” are described as vulnerable or as being invisible on the scene of the host society (Rocher 2006). This indifference may be explained by the highly sensitive association of the heritage of cultural minorities with a threat to the identity and territory of majority cultural groups, who have their own heritage foundations (Trova, Noussia 2005, Roda 2011).

The cohabitation between heritage and diversity is made even more difficult by political, social and symbolic issues of heritage in contexts of conflict, the situations in ex-Yugoslavia and Armenia (Fourcade 2011) being only a couple of the numerous examples that come to mind. Furthermore, some of the more recent research highlights the meanings and uses of heritage other than with regards to the creation of spatial boundaries or ethnic and/or cultural divisions.

Cultural and religious heritage can also serve to stabilize a sense of belonging rendered fragile by migration (Moisa 2011) and to contribute to the cultural and identity development of the host society. What is certain is that heritage in a context of diversity triggers strong emotions, for it remains a cornerstone of identity, prompting the desire to belong and to create a place for oneself in society, in spite of accelerated spatial mobility and creeping cultural proximity.

It is hoped that the Tenth International Conference of Young Heritage Researchers will provide an opportunity to exchange, question and reflect upon the various manifestations of heritage, on their meaning, and on the harmonizing or diverging of heritage in a context of cultural diversity. What happens to the meeting or coexistence of various forms of heritage based on divergent identity references, given that heritage creation often involves the affirmation of a single identity? What is the relationship between “great” heritage (national, of the host society, etc.) and “small-scale” heritage (of immigrant communities, minorities)? How do we approach and study heritage in a context of cultural, ethnic and religious diversity, and what does it tell us about inter- and intra-community relationships?


Main themes

Above and beyond heritage identification and polyphony (Bakhtine 1978), we therefore propose to look at the territorial, social, economic, political and symbolic challenges of heritage diversity in relation to four major themes:

1. Heritage of migration and mobilization of heritage

2. Heritage and issues involving cultural diversity

3. Heritage in a context of conflict

4. Religious heritage: differences and polyphonies

Submission and evaluation guidelines

The organizers of the International Conference of Young Heritage Researchers welcome a diversity of approaches as found in studies of heritage, tourism, anthropology, architecture, history, museology, etc., as well as reflections on various levels: theoretical, methodological and empirical (applied).

The scientific direction of the event will be provided by Daniela Moisa and Jessica Roda, (Canada Research Chair in Urban Heritage of the Université du Québec à Montréal). Evaluations will take into account the relevance of proposals in relation to the conference theme and their originality and scientific rigour.

The deadline for submitting proposals is April 30, 2014.

Candidates are asked to send the title of their proposal, a summary of no more than 500 words (for a 20-minute presentation), and a short biography to the following email address: crcpatrimoineurbain@gmail.com. The proposals will be evaluated by a scientific committee based on their relevance to the conference theme and their originality. Travel expenses may be partially subsidized, subject to budgetary restrictions. After a scientific evaluation, the best articles from the Tenth International Conference of Young Heritage Researchers will be published in the form of a collective book.


  • 279, rue Sainte-Catherine Est
    Montreal, Canada (H2X 1L5)


  • Wednesday, April 30, 2014


  • diversité, cultures, patrimoines, mobilités, territoires, espaces, conflits, Heritage, Culture, Space, Mobility


  • Daniela Moisa
    courriel : moisa [dot] daniela [at] courrier [dot] uqam [dot] ca
  • Jessica Roda
    courriel : roda [dot] jessica [at] uqam [dot] ca

Information source

  • Daniela Moisa
    courriel : moisa [dot] daniela [at] courrier [dot] uqam [dot] ca


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Heritage and cultural diversity », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Tuesday, March 11, 2014, https://calenda.org/278822

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