7th Feb 2015 9:00am-4:30pm

Grand Parade

It is now over thirty years since English Heritage was established in 1983 with the National Heritage Act, and over twenty since John Major established the Department of National Heritage in 1992, since converted by New Labour into the Department of Media, Sport and Culture. It was also over 30 years ago that Robert Hewison published his significant study The Heritage Industry: Britain in a climate of decline (London: Methuen,1987)

How have ideas of ‘heritage’ changed since then? The impact of new media and digitalization have had a profound effect on the culture of museums, tourist sites and national collection. In an age of austerity, popular culture has responded with a renewed interest in heritage and nostalgia. What are the current critical debates around heritage, for both curators and scholars with a concern for how ‘heritage’ works in in the 21st Century?

This symposium brings together academics who are critiquing and challenging ideas of ‘heritage’ and those who are directly involved in supporting and maintaining the national heritage. Together they will debate what ‘heritage’ means in the current climate of a Britain of austerity in which nostalgia has become a potent political force. The day will address questions of how ‘heritage’ has been used as a concept, and how it might be used in the future.

Keynote Speakers: Professor Robert Hewison (University of Lancaster) and Professor David Arnold (University of Brighton)
Speakers include: Professor Deborah Philips (University of Brighton), Dr Douglas Macnaughton (Queen Margaret University), Dr Liam Connell (University of Brighton), Abigail Wincott (University of Brighton), Dr Louise Fitzgerald (University of Brighton) and Dr Ailsa Grant Ferguson (University of Brighton.

Registration and delegate rates:

This event is open to all but delegates must register in advance. The registration fee is £50 (waged), with concessions for retired/unemployed/unaffiliated delegates (£15) and students (£15). The registration fee includes tea/coffee and lunch. 


Professor Robert Hewison is Honorary Professor at the Ruskin Centre, Lancaster University. He is a writer whose academic appointments have included Visiting Professor at De Montfort University, at the University of Lancaster as Professor in Literary and Cultural Studies (1995–2000), and as as Slade Professor of Fine Art in the University of Oxford. Until 2012 he was Professor of Cultural Policy and Leadership Studies at City University, London.

His many publications include: Cultural Capital: The Rise and Fall of Creative Britain (Verso, 2014), Ruskin on Venice: The Paradise of Cities (Yale University Press, 2009), John Ruskin (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), Not a sideshow: leadership and cultural value: a matrix for change (London: Demos, 2006), Culture and consensus: England, art and politics since 1940 (London: Methuen, 1995, revised edn 1997) Too much: art and society in the Sixties, 1960-75 (London: Methuen, 1986), Footlights!: a hundred years of Cambridge comedy (London: Methuen London, 1983), In anger: culture in the Cold War, 1945-60 (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1981) and Monty Python: the case against: irreverence, scurrility, profanity, vilification and licentious abuse (London: Methuen, 1981)

Professor David Arnold is Dean of the Doctoral College at the University of Brighton and director of Research Initiatives. For the past fifteen years Professor Arnold has been leading research at the interface of technologies supporting the documentation and analysis of cultural heritage data. He has been the coordinator of two large EU projects since 2002, as Head of the Cultural Informatics Research Group, EPOCH (Network of Excellence in Processing Open Cultural Heritage) and the 3D-COFORM project (Tools and Expertise for 3D Collection FORMation). He is a Chartered Engineer, a Chartered Information Technology Professional, a Member of the ACM and ACM SIGGRAPH and the UK Computing Research Committee (UKCRC); he is also a Fellow of the British Computer Society (FBCS) and the EUROGRAPHICS Association of which he is a past chair.He has also been chair of many international committees including VAST (Virtual reality, Archaeology and Cultural Heritage). He was the founding editor-in-chief of the ACM Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage (JOCCH).