The UMass Center for Heritage and Society and ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Interpretation and Presentation (ICIP), is organizing an International Conference entitled Why Does the Past Matter? Changing Visions, Media, and Rationales in the 21st Century to be held at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA, May 4-7, 2011.

Abstracts for poster presentations and research papers (20 min.) on the symposium themes will be accepted until 15 December 2010. Notification of acceptance will be sent by 15 January 2011.

The goal of this conference is to bring together a wide range of academics, public officials, planners, educators, heritage professionals, and community leaders to examine the practical value of the past—by means of a rigorous humanities and social science reexamination through five distinct thematic lenses.

The Center for Heritage and Society is seeking innovative research papers and case studies that assess contemporary social impacts of heritage administration and commemoration throughout the world organized around the following themes: Identity, Culture, Economics, Ecology, and Civil Society.

Selected papers will be published in a special issue of Heritage & Society, a peer-reviewed journal, whose editorship has been assumed by the UMass Amherst Center for Heritage and Society. For more information about the conference including conference theme and tentative programme information or to submit an abstract or organised session, visit