World Universities Network (WUN) Understanding Cultures Steering Group
UMass Amherst Representative
As a consortium of 23 research universities from around the globe, the WUN brings partners together to tackle critical research issues in a transdisciplinary and international forum. The Understanding Cultures Steering Group is one of the WUN’s Global Challenges, focused on understanding the consequences of globalisation for cultural identities. Elizabeth Brabec, Director of the Center, sits on the Steering Group to assist in crafting the approaches and strategies that will guide the group each year.
For more information about the projects the Center is or has been involved with, please click
1. for the 2017 UMass Amherst Center-led project “In-Herit: The Role of Heritage in Ontological Security during Migraton and Displacement;” and here for the Symposium proceedings resulting from the project;
2. for the 2019 “Memorials to people missing who have died and to those missing during migration: a global project,” led by Ann Singleton, University of Bristol; UMass is a cooperating team member;
3. for the 2020 projects “Climate-Induced Migration: Global Scope, Regional Impacts and National Policy Frameworks,” led by Andreas Neef, University of Auckland;
4. for the 2020 project “Gendering Migration: Women and Girls Experiences of Gender-based discrimination, abuse and violence across migratory stages,” led by Katie Kuschminder, Maastricht University.
Cultural Heritage Coordinating Committee
The CHCC consists of 12 U.S. Government agencies, who coordinate U.S. government efforts to protect and preserve international cultural property at risk from political instability, armed conflict, and natural or other disasters. The Department of State established the CHCC in 2016 per the Protect and Preserve International Cultural Property Act (Public Law 114-151).
Click here to read about the Center’s activities with the CHCC …
NAC CESU – North Atlantic Coast, Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit
The North Atlantic Coast Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (CESU) engages federal agency scientists and managers, in collaboration with academic and other non-federal scientists and students, to engage in collaborative research partnerships addressing natural and cultural resource stewardship in the United States. The Center for Heritage and Society is the representative for cultural resources issues and projects through the CESU at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Click below to learn more about the Center’s Projects through the CESU at
Fort Stanwix National Monument and
Mount Rushmore National Memorial ….
Cultural Landscapes Initiative
As part of our ongoing work with ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites), and the International Scientific Committee on Cultural Landscapes (ISCCL) of ICOMOS, the Center has focused recent work on a Cultural Landscape Initiative. This Initiative builds on work begun in 2015 with US/ICOMOS to develop the Cultural Landscape Knowledge Exchange (see below).
Cultural Landscape Field School
Graduate students have the opportunity to be a part of an annual 2-week field study course in the Czech Republic. This is a hands-on opportunity to work on a cultural landscape doing an analysis of documentary sources, landscape analysis in the field and a focus on an emerging area of interest in a cultural landscape. We spend one week on-site at the palace in Valeč, Karlovarsky kraj, west of Prague, and another week looking at similar sites within a day’s journey of Prague. Students can participate for the entire two week study, or for the second week only.
The field study can be taken either as graduate credit at the University of Massachusetts (4 credits), or as an European Union of Life Sciences (ELLS) course for 7.5 credits.
US/CLICK – Cultural Landscape Knowledge Exchange
US/CLICK is a joint project of US/ICOMOS, the Center for Heritage & Society and the US National Committee of the ICOMOS-IFLA International Scientific Committee on Cultural Landscapes (ISCCL).
This Knowledge Community focuses on exploring particularly innovative and well-defined efforts abroad that can be utilized to develop practical solutions to landscape scale approaches in the US.
A Reconciliation of Natural and Cultural Heritage
The Nature-Culture project builds on the idea that natural and cultural heritage are closely interconnected in most landscapes and seascapes, and that effective and lasting conservation of such places depends on better integration of philosophies and procedures regarding their management.
In partnership with US/ICOMOS, the Center is involved in the development and communication of this Nature-Culture link. The Center played an important role in developing the Nature-Culture track at the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress in Hawaii, as well as the ICOMOS General Assembly in Delhi in 2017.
Click here to see our reporting from the 2017 IUCN World Conservation Congress.
Sustainable Heritage on the Island of Eleuthera
The goal of this project is to create a comprehensive framework for island-wide collaboration and management and develop strong community control of Eleuthera’s rich heritage resources.
The current project is focused on community archaeology in the southern part of the island, an area less visited by tourists, except very briefly from the cruise ship dock. UMass Associate Professor Whitney Battle Baptiste leads this research effort.