Who we are ….

The Center for Heritage & Society (CHS) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is a multidisciplinary initiative for the development of new theory and implementation for heritage conservation around the world. CHS works with scholars to develop multi- and interdisciplinary research in heritage related fields such as archaeology, history, environmental science, landscape architecture, regional planning, architecture, European studies, Native American Indian Studies, Afro-American Studies, Classics, legal studies, and public policy among others. Additionally, the Center provides undergraduate and graduate students with training and experience in heritage planning and management.

Our Focus ….

The main functions of the Center, closely linked to the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, but working with faculty in other colleges (most notably the Colleges of Humanities and Fine Arts, the College of Science, and the School of Public Policy), academic departments, programs, and institutes are:


  • formulate and implement innovative community-based heritage projects;
  • engage the public in heritage as a source of both identity and economic development; and
  • publicize new and groundbreaking research in the field of cultural heritage.

Teaching and Training:

  • develop new undergraduate and graduate courses and seminars on public communication, community heritage planning, heritage education, management, and international heritage policy;
  • provide opportunities for practical field work experience and academic research by both graduate students and undergraduates; and
  • provide opportunities for funding for students while on campus and position them for a wide variety of careers in heritage, both in the U.S. and abroad.


  • publicize existing heritage efforts on campus; and
  • outreach to local communities of the Commonwealth and  the development of international cooperation and outreach (e.g., international universities and organizations, and governmental and non-governmental organizations).