Cultural Landscapes and Heritage Values

May 13 to 15, 2015
University of Massachusetts Amherst campus

In recognition of the importance of cultural landscape research in contemporary heritage policy and practice, the University of Massachusetts Center for Heritage & Society (CHS) and the Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning (LARP) have co-organized a three day conference. The goal of the conference is to bring together a broad range of interdisciplinary scholars and heritage professionals to explore key issues in cultural landscapes and heritage values.

Cultural landscapes may be urban or rural, and they include parks, gardens, historic sites, agricultural landscapes, and areas of cultural and historical associations and significance. In the broader field of Heritage Management, the study of cultural landscapes is of particular and current interest. Landscapes are at once “cultural” and “natural,” calling into question traditional divisions of cultural and natural heritage resources and landscape management (e.g., “Cultural Landscapes” vs. “Natural Landscapes” in the World Heritage categories). Landscapes constitute a living heritage, reflecting the mutual influences of diverse groups of people and the equally varied places they inhabit. Like societies, landscapes are continually evolving, and their management demands that social and environmental change be understood and embraced. Landscapes define the sense of a “place,” and are the embodiment of the inextricability of tangible and intangible heritage. For these reasons and others, landscapes are a critical subject in heritage studies.

Plenary Speakers

  • Graham Fairclough, Principal Research Associate, School of History, Classics, and Archaeology, Newcastle University, UK
  • Jane Lennon, Honorary Professor, Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, University of Melbourne, Australia

Conference Themes

The themes of the conference emphasize the need to acknowledge and engage change in the successful interpretation, conservation, and management of landscapes; the often unproductive dichotomy of “natural” and “cultural” resources; the factors of social and economic inequality inherent in the designation and management of living landscapes; and other critical issues in heritage studies today that are raised and provoked by cultural landscape research and conservation.

Themes explored in this conference include:

  • Multi-Cultural Landscapes: Issues of Social Justice and Power
  • Authenticity and Integrity vs. Change in Living Landscapes
  • Tangible and Intangible Heritage in Cultural Landscapes
  • Sustainability in Cultural Landscape Management

Conference Organizers

  • Elizabeth S. Chilton, Professor, Department of Anthropology
  • Elizabeth Brabec, Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture & Regional Planning
  • Ethan Carr, Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture & Regional Planning

Program Committee

  • Carey Clouse (LARP, UMass Amherst, USA)
  • Matthew Hill (Anthropology, UMass Amherst, USA)
  • Steven Moga (Landscape Studies, Smith College, USA)
  • Flavia Montenegro-Menezes (LARP, UMass Amherst, USA)
  • Max Page (Architecture, UMass Amherst, USA)
  • Samuel Redman (History, UMass Amherst, USA)
  • Stan Stevens (Geosciences, UMass Amherst, USA)
  • Paige Warren (Environmental Conservation, UMass Amherst, USA)

Support from

  • Library of American Landscape History
  • Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World
  • The Alliance for Historic Landscape Preservation
  • The University of Georgia, College of Environment and Design
  • UMass Amherst, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • US/ICOMOS (US National Committee of the International Council on Monuments and Sites)
  • UMass Amherst, International Programs Office
  • UMass Amherst, Department of History