NOT MY HERITAGE: New Identities/Voices in Conservation

11th Annual Graduate Student Heritage Conservation Symposium
Hosted by the School of Canadian Studies, Carleton University

A pluralizing identity and voice, 2015. Photos & design by James Arteaga.

“Not My Heritage” is a one-day student-run symposium exploring the following questions:

  • Whose heritage are we conserving?
  • Whose heritage is being unrepresented or underrepresented in the heritage conservation discourse of the 21st century?

This theme aims to critically address missing identities and voices in the heritage field and/or highlight alternative stories and perspectives in heritage conservation.

In recent years, the identification and conservation of cultural heritage resources—the built environment, cultural landscapes, or intangible heritage—by heritage professionals, has needed to expand and broaden its understanding of community histories to address the plurality and the multi-narratives that exist in our communities. Events such as: the release of the Final Report on Residential Schools by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Occupy movement, the protests for gender equality rights, the push for youth engagement in civic duties (voting), and the global issue of refugees and immigration, have recently highlighted some of these ignored or unknown identities and voices that exist, and which have been underrepresented or unrepresented in the field of heritage conservation.

The 2016 Graduate Student Heritage Conservation Symposium will explore areas, voices, and identities of Canadian cultural heritage that have not/are not being acknowledged or identified as significant cultural heritage resources in the current heritage discourse. We will ask questions regarding how colonial/post-colonial and transnational perspectives are being addressed in heritage conservation; and how we are engaging or interacting with minority groups who may not consider what they value to be ‘heritage’.

The Heritage Conservation stream in Carleton’s School of Canadian Studies is uniquely positioned to facilitate this discussion, drawing from its interdisciplinary context, as well as its connections to related departments and practitioners inside and outside the Carleton community.