About the Program
2020 has been a challenging year for cultural heritage conservation. Many of us were shut out of our workplaces by a global pandemic that exposed the financial vulnerability of our cultural institutions. At the same time, we witnessed tragic examples of the systemic racism endemic in 21st century life – inequities perpetuated by our own professional practices and within our own organizations. In the coming years, not only will we be forced to do more with less, but we are also morally obligated to address our biases and examine how identity and privilege sway our professional decision-making and interactions. Racism has shaped our discipline from its beginning, and we cannot shirk the work required to address it. Our commitment to practical and moral change must be manifest in the work we choose to do, in our research, and in our teaching. It is time to transform cultural heritage conservation.
With specialized knowledge that gives us a unique perspective on cultural heritage, we have the skills, abilities, and tools to explore alternatives to what was the norm in 2020 and develop a more engaged, critical, and just discipline. We can push ourselves and our colleagues toward more challenging work. These efforts will also allow our field to confront other critical issues more effectively, such as climate change, sustainability, and developing and implementing treatments and preservation practices that do more with less.
For the general sessions of our 2021 annual conference, we are seeking session and paper submissions that challenge “normal” and “normalizing.” How can we transform our field, and how can our work transform the world? Let’s imagine and share projects that incite and foster institutional change; create inclusive and welcoming environments in our museums and studios; and take on big challenges, whether they do so in ways that are large or small.
We have grouped sessions into subject modules, which we will present in Zoom (with automated closed captioning). View the schedule above for more information.
- SPNHC Sessions
Read through this guide to our joint meeting with the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections.
We are excited to offer seven workshops in conjunction with the 2021 AIC Virtual Meeting.