Noreen Stonor Drexel Cultural and Historic Preservation program at Salve Regina University will host this Fall (October 18-19, 2019) its annual cultural and historic preservation conference. This year the theme is Preservation and Memory. The purpose of this conference is to explore the complex relationship between the past and the present as it plays out in the preservation and interpretation of buildings, objects, monuments, and landscapes.
Why preservation and memory?
At its most fundamental level, preservation is about memory. Historic buildings, objects, monuments, and landscapes are all materializations of the past, and the basic challenge facing preservationists and scholars is to protect and interpret the past – in the present. Memory, however, is not a basic thing. Like all human constructs, memory is gloriously and sometimes painfully, complex, packed with a myriad of questions like “What or who is being remembered? How is the past physically materialized in ‘things’? For whom were these things created? What meanings were these things given when they were first created? How have those embodied meanings changed over time?” Preservation encompasses an incredibly diverse set of practices; however, whether one is designing a new building to fit in an historic district, researching Civil War monuments, or advocating to preserve a working-class neighborhood streetscape, one must engage with these questions.
With this year’s conference, we are pleased to welcome Dr. Melinda Milligan, Professor of Sociology at Sonoma State University to the 2019 conference to deliver the Richard A. Grills Keynote Address in Historic Preservation. Dr. Milligan is a leading researcher in the social psychology of historic preservation, particularly the study of place attachment and nostalgia.
Call for Papers is now open, click here to submit. Potential topics include position papers, conceptualizing preservation and memory, historical analysis, and case studies. Papers in any field of academic or applied preservation (e.g. architecture, architectural history, archaeology, museum studies, preservation planning/policy) and public history are welcome. Presenters of accepted papers will have conference registration fees waived.