International Conference of Heritage Conservation along the Belt and Road Zones: Between Politics and Professionalism (Hong Kong)

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Thursday, 4 June, 2020 to Friday, 5 June, 2020
Tuesday, 31 December, 2019
Hong Kong

The Hang Seng University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR

This conference aims to bring together scholars in the field of heritage studies for an intensive discussion on heritage governance among the BRI countries, focusing in particular on the role of heritage diplomacy as well as the uneasy relationship between “politics” and “professionalism” in the conservation process.

Specifically, the conference seeks to address the following questions:

Examination of empirical cases of heritage conservation in BRI countries: How have the BRI states prioritized the projects of heritage conservation? What are the main considerations for BRI states to engage in heritage conservation together? How has the UNESCO enhanced international cooperation of BRI heritage conservation? What are the opportunities and challenges ahead?

Reflection on China’s heritage diplomacy: In what ways have China exerted its soft power, a.k.a. political influence, over the decision-making process of heritage conservation of other BRI countries? What strategies have China used? And how have other BRI countries responded to China’s potential influence in heritage conservation?

Analysis of the dynamics between “politics” and “professionalism” in heritage conservation: To what extent can heritage conservation be “free from politics”? What roles have the professionals at different levels played in the process of heritage conservation? To what extent have they been able to affect other stakeholders in directing a professional approach in the conservation of heritage sites?

Reconsidering the role of community participation in heritage governance: What are the main issuesrelated to community participation in heritage conservation? What are the considerations of BRI governments in involving communities in heritage conservation and management programs? How does community-based heritage governance work in BRI heritage sites?

Submission Instructions
Paper proposals should include a title, name of author, institutional affiliation, email address, an abstract (300 words) and a brief personal biography (150 words). The proposal should be submitted via this form by 31 December 2019. Successful applicants will be notified by 30 January 2020 and will be required to send a draft paper (6000 - 8000 words) by 4 May 2020.

The conference will take place in The Hang Seng University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China. Travel subsidy and local accommodation will be provided for all accepted non-local participants.

Contact Information
For enquiries about the conference and submission of abstracts, please contact Dr. Victor Chan at
The conference is fully supported by the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China (Project No. IIDS14-H03-19).

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