Call for Contributions: Heritage without National Boundaries

Call for Contributions to Volume 6 of the Yearbook of Transnational History (published with Fairleigh Dickinson University Press/Rowman & Littlefield) in spring 2023

Shelley-Anne Peleg (University of Haifa, Israel) & Barry L. Stiefel (College of Charleston, USA)

Cultural heritage (tangible and intangible), their origins, and practices, are often confined to boundaries of a nation-state. But various heritage aspects are connected via common themes, regional climate zones or cultures, and spatial movement, and not by superimposed national borders. Borders also change over time and space, and cultural heritage is also appropriated by states differently. Nonetheless, some shared heritage practices, materials, ideas, and ideals are interpretated, “used,” or presented in different ways, such as in landscapes. In some cases, heritage, such as shipwrecks, do not even have a national owner, and places like the bottom of the sea and Antarctica are stateless. Things such as motor vehicles can also move in, out of, and between jurisdictions as “moveable heritage”. Therefore, heritage without boundaries suggests a discussion unbounded by national concepts and theories.

To add to this, over the last decades research, evaluation, interpretation, management, and presentation of heritage has become an ongoing international discourse. Organizations such as UNESCO, ICOMOS, the World Monuments Fund, the EU, and Europa-Nostra continue to discuss at large many common issues on heritage, create collective theoretical frameworks, and prepare practical commonly-shared manuals. Within their own borders, settler states such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States also work with aboriginal communities through formalized government-to-government relations to address heritage management challenges that transcend western-indigenous  boundaries. These multinational and multicultural frameworks attempt to reclaim all fields of heritage as global experiences and universal projects. They are based on understanding that aspects of cultural heritage are interconnected, including ties with natural heritage. This means that instead of dealing with a particular heritage issue of a given nation, experts in the field of heritage are encouraged to engage in international debates and discussions that address understanding heritage and its management in a diversity of ways. These international frameworks focus on built and tangible heritage, as well as intangible and living heritage from across the globe and beyond (considering such things as the Space Race).

The objective of this volume is to discuss these issues, through case studies and original research from around the world, and from various cultural and geographic settings. We welcome articles from academics, professionals, and advanced graduate students based upon a broad range of spatial and topical heritage approaches. Topics should relate (but not only) to one of the following topics:

  1. Heritage without or which transcends or is outside of boundaries (e.g. built heritage in stateless places, vehicles that are moveable and not tied to place…)
  2. Common Heritage, and different interpretations (e.g. practice & living heritage…)
  3. To whom does this heritage belong? (e.g. trails, ancient shipwrecks, transportation, indigenous, language …)
  4. The impact of international frameworks on heritage
  5. Address complex issues of restitution, compensation, and responsibility in the trade, traffic, targeting for destruction, and marketing of material culture, past and present (examples are from the Elgin Marbles and Egyptian grave goods, to stolen art from the Holocaust, black market in indigenous artifacts, and the destroyed Bamiyan Buddhas).

Interested contributors should submit a 250-500 word proposal abstract along with a short CV (2 pages max) by March 15, 2021 to Shelley-Anne Peleg (shelleypeleg@gmail.com) and Barry L. Stiefel (stiefelb@cofc.edu) with the subject line “Heritage Without National Boundaries.” Decisions on paper proposals will be made by April 15, 2021. Full papers (including Chicago style citations – endnotes and bibliography) should be between 7,000 to 10,000 words in length using American spelling, grammar, and punctuation conventions of English. Non-native English speakers should have their papers reviewed and edited by an English speaker prior to submission. Final paper drafts are due October 1, 2021.