Talks & Events

Recent and forthcoming talks and events, including conference presentations.

ACHS 2020: FUTURES, London

26-30 August 2020

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I’m on the Organising Committee for the biennial conference of the Association of Critical Heritage Studies, overseeing two key strands: Arts and Creative Practice and Environmental Change and the Anthropocene.  Call for participation is now closed, but please get in touch if you have any questions.

Arts and Creative Practice

Making, Thinking, Doing, Creating – Looking at issues of co-design and critical creative practice, with a focus on shared methods and questions across heritage and art;

Provocations and Possibilities – How to deal with contested, dissonant and difficult heritage through arts and creative practice, and the production of future heritage imaginaries;

The Broader Context: Politics, Economics and the Environment – Creating and consuming heritage and the arts in times of change, including the relationship between heritage, social justice and the Creative Industries;

Future Trajectories – Working with new technologies, addressing emergent challenges, and building more equitable heritage futures through critical-creative practice.

This sub-theme particularly welcomes alternative session formats and methods of presentation, including short films, photo-essays, performances and creative writing. Crucially, we do not see ‘the arts’ as being restricted to a specific field and would encourage session organisers addressing other thematic areas to explore how the above questions and concerns might challenge or augment their own panels.

Environmental Change and the Anthropocene

Adaptation, mitigation, resilience and sustainability – New approaches to natural and cultural heritage management in times of environmental collapse;

Heritage in more-than-human worlds – Transcending boundaries between social and natural heritage processes, and engaging in an ethical way with indigenous epistemologies and ontologies through decolonial and postcolonial frameworks;

(Re)shaping the future – Developing critical perspectives on future material legacies and new heritage paradigms for a post-Anthropocene Earth.

Email for further details.

Designing Narrative Environments for Critical Heritage, Central Saint Martins, London

19 February 2020

As part of the New Trajectories project, this evening symposium, co-organised with Tricia Austin of CSM, sought to explore the overlaps between critical heritage research and the design of narrative spaces. Speakers included Dan Vo (LGBTQ+ Ambassador for the V&A), Tamsin Silvey (Historic England), Julie Howell (artist and experience designer) and Matt Haycocks (University of Westminster).

Dan Vo, CSM

Sites of Cultural Agency: Creative Knowledge Production in the Arts and Humanities, British School at Rome

17-18 October 2019

I’ll be presenting on the New Trajectories project a the British School at Rome in October as part of a joint conference hosted with UCL. Details below:

This two-day conference, held at and in collaboration with the British School at Rome, examines the intimate link between material sites and creative knowledge production, with specific attention to the museum and the classroom. We will explore how spatial configurations produce meaning, and how critical, creative practice can inform and transform our understanding of space. Museum curators, visual artists, actors and scholars from the creative and applied humanities will share perspectives on the history and practice of display, interpretation, and object-based learning. We are particularly interested in exploring the role of interdisciplinary and interartistic practices in the museum and classroom space.

Royal Geographical Society Annual Conference, London

28-30 August 2019

Delighted to be part of a special panel on ‘More-than-human Haunted Landscapes’ at the RGS Conference. My paper draws together different threads of research on hauntology, experiential design and the Anthropocene, as seen through the lens of critical heritage.

Contemporary Art in the Heritage Experience, Newcastle University

29-30 July 2019

This fantastic two day conference brought together scholars, practitioners and artists from across the heritage and museums sector to explore the changing role of contemporary art in heritage experiences. My paper – ‘Singularities: Heritage and Memory Beyond Experience’ presented some initial findings from the recently launched project New Trajectories in Curatorial Experience Design.

From the Ruins of Preservation: A symposium on rethinking heritage through counter-archives, German Historical Institute, London

11-12 July 2019

My paper titled ‘Ruins of the World: Rethinking Heritage and Photography ‘ is now available to view online.

Art in the Anthropocene, Trinity College Dublin

7-9 June 2019

I presented a paper on ‘Heritage as Critical Anthropocene Method’ at this major international conference covering various dimensions of arts and creative practice in the age of the Anthropocene. Keynote speakers included Anna Tsing, Cary Wolfe and Joanna Zylinska.

Memories of the Future, Centre for the Study of Cultural Memory, London

29-30 March 2019

I’ll be presenting a paper on ‘(Im)possible Cartographies of Earthly Remembrance’ at the above two-day conference, hosted by the Centre for the Study of Cultural Memory. An overview of the conference and a draft programme are now available on the website of the Institute of Modern Languages Research.

Historic Towns and Villages Forum, Kellogg College, Oxford

19 March 2019

Invited talk on The Peckham Coal Line project, focusing on the power of community involvement to enact change in the historic environment.

AHRC/JPICH workshop on the re-use and continued use of historic buildings, urban centres and landscapes, Leicester

26 November 2018

I’ll be chairing a session on ‘Diversity and Communities’ at the above workshop in November. Details here.

Value Matters Workshop

13 November 2018

In mid November I’ll be presenting at a workshop on different concepts of ‘value’ hosted by Peg Rawes, Professor of Architecture and Philosophy at the Bartlett. My talk – part of a panel on ‘environmental responsibility’ – considers emergent ‘ecologies of value’ from the perspective of critical heritage studies.

Deterritorialising the Future: A Symposium on Heritage in, of and after the Anthropocene

14 September 2018

This symposium – held at Senate House in London – sought to bring the rapidly expanding field of critical heritage into productive dialogue with emerging trends in the posthumanities. You can read more about the event on the Heritage Research website.

ACHS 2018: Heritage Across Borders

1-6 September 2018

At the start of September Rodney Harrison and I hosted a day-long session on ‘Heritage and Posthumanism’ at the Association of Critical Heritage Studies Conference in Hangzhou, China. With speakers from around the world the papers ranged across nuclear fish, animism, biobanks, posthuman ethics and critical museology. In particular the session helped to demonstrate the breadth of posthumanist thinking now permeating the heritage field, which often takes a fairly narrow view of this philosophical framework.

International Network for the Theory of History, Place and Displacement: The Spacing of History, Stockholm

20-22 August 2018

I co-organised, with Katie Digan of the University of Ghent, a session on ‘Future Histories’ as part of the 3rd INTH conference at Södertörn University in Stockholm. Drawing on my Anthropocene/posthumanism research I presented a paper on ‘The New Inheritance Paradigm: Future Histories of the More-than-human’.

John Thomson: Reframing Materials, Images, and Archives, London

6-7 June 2018

This workshop coincides with a new exhibition showcasing photographs of China, Siam and Cambodia produced by John Thomson in the nineteenth century. I’ll be presenting research on the role Thomson’s photographs played in the making and unmaking of Angkor as a site of heritage.You can read more about the workshop and book tickets here. The exhibition is being held at The Brunei Gallery, SOAS, from 13 April to 23 June.

Photography & History: A Past & Present Workshop, Birmingham

30-31 May 2018

This workshop hosted by Elizabeth Edwards and Lucie Ryzova sought to explore different modes of ‘doing’ history in the age of photography. My invited paper was based on a new strand of research looking at the role of photography in shaping notions of history and heritage in Thatcher’s Britain. Here I am particularly interested in revisiting Raphael Samuel’s work on the topic to excavate an alternative reading of ‘heritage photography’ – one that is less concerned with the surface of the image than with issues of production, circulation, materiality and affect.

Workshop on heritage, conflict and the photographic archive in Florence

18 – 20 April 2018

I was recently invited to take part in a special workshop on war, photo archives and the temporalities of cultural heritage at the incredible Phototek of the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence. The two day workshop included speakers from Poland, the Ukraine, Ireland, Italy, Germany, and Britain.

You can read more about the workshop here.


TAG Cardiff

18-20 December 2017

I’ll be speaking on speculative archaeologies again at this years TAG in Cardiff. Penelope Foreman has organised what looks to be a fantastic panel on archaeology and sci-fi, which you can read more about at the link below. My paper is titled ‘A Veritable Collection of Erotomaniacs’: Archaeology, Heritage, and the Post-Apocalyptic Museum. I’ll be looking at two of my biggest obsessions: Chris Marker’s seminal short film La Jetee and Nicolas de Crecy’s wonderful graphic novel Glacial Period. Should be a blast.

TAG Cardiff: Unstuck in Time Session

Miscellaneous - 36

CHAT Amsterdam

3-5 November 2017

Delighted that my paper Speculative Archaeologies: Brief Histories of Future Misinterpretation has been accepted for this year’s Contemporary and Historical Archaeology in Theory conference in Amsterdam. Going for quite a grand narrative approach with this one…

CHAT 2017: Heritage, Art, Memory, and Agency

CARMAH, Otherwise: Rethinking Museums and Heritage, Berlin

27-28 July 2017

As part of the World Cafe section of the Centre for Anthropological Research in Museums and Heritage (CARMAH) 2 day symposium Otherwise: Rethinking Museums and Heritage, I was invited to host a table on ‘hauntology’. Abstract below.

First defined by Derrida in “Spectres of Marx”, the term ‘hauntology’ asks us to consider the affective force of what is no longer present, and to acknowledge the failed futures that haunt contemporary life. In this sense hauntology offers a useful vector for rethinking museums and heritage in a way that revitalises their relation to the injustices, exclusions and disturbances of the world. How can we work with or against the absent presences (human and non-human) that are central to the heritage field? What forms of collecting, display and interpretation are required to confront the hauntological within society? How might an aesthetics of the ‘ghostly’ inform meaningful political action in the present? This table will address these and other questions as part of a critical-creative exploration of the hauntology/heritage dynamic.

CARMAH, Otherwise 2017

Centre for Heritage and Development, Leiden University

May 2017

In May 2017 I was invited to contribute to this two day invited workshop exploring synergies between the UCL and University of Gothenburg Centre for Critical Heritage Studies and the Leiden University Centre for Heritage and Development. My talk considered photography and memory from a theoretical perspective.


Decolonising History: Visualisations of Conflict in a ‘Post-War’ Europe, UCL

18 March 2017

I was recently invited to join this one day conference exploring conflict and visualisation. My talk Visualising Varosha: Activist Collecting and the Performance of Photography ‘at the Margins’ explored the making and unmaking of Varosha as a site of contested heritage.