Call for Papers

The Past in its Place

A two-day workshop at Buckfast Abbey, Devon, 17-18 April 2015.

This interdisciplinary workshop will explore current approaches to place and memory, with contributions from specialists in Archaeology, Geography, Heritage Studies, History, Literary Studies, and other disciplines. Sponsored by the ERC-funded “Past in its Place” project (, the workshop will explore how different sorts of locales come to serve as sites of memory, both in the past and in the present. How do perspectives on the past become embedded in physical space? How do sites of memory function culturally, aesthetically, and politically?

Confirmed speakers include Sally Bushell (Lancaster), Lucy Donkin (Bristol), Roberta Gilchrist (Reading), Keith Lilley (QUB), Steve Watson (York St John), Chris Chapman (Dartmoor photographer), and members of the Past in its Place research team (listed below).

We are soliciting short, reflective papers from practitioners in any discipline. Although the chief focus of the workshop will be on sites of memory in the British Isles over the last millennium, papers dealing with other regions or time periods will also be considered. Proposals are invited in relation to the following general themes:

  • Mapping the Past (cartographic and GIS approaches to memory, space and place).
  • Time-Lines / Periodisations (time-tagging; anniversary practices; sites of multitemporality)
  • Communities of Memory (the politics of community memory practices, the past as a means of social inclusion / exclusion)
  • Markings (on the land or in buildings, annotation, erasure, scoring, scouring, palimpsests)
  • Local Memory and Everyday Life (customs, knowledge practices, generational memory and the lifecourse)
  • Environments of memory (landscape as narrative, assemblages of memory).
  • Trauma and Tourism (revisiting sites of death and disaster, dark tourism)
  • Biographies of Place (continuity and change, the long life histories of churches, castles, monuments and ruins)

Please submit abstracts of up to 500 words or full papers to Philip Schwyzer ( by 1 December 2014.Any queries relating to the conference may be directed to the same address.

The Past in its Place Team:

Paul Bryant-Quinn (Celtic Studies, Exeter)

Sarah Hamilton (History, Exeter)

David Harvey (Geography, Exeter)

Naomi Howell (Medieval Studies, Exeter)

Patricia Murrieta-Flores (Archaeology, Chester)

Ruth Nugent (Archaeology, Chester)

Joanne Parker (English, Exeter)

Philip Schwyzer (English, Exeter)

Nicola Whyte (History, Exeter)

Howard Williams (Archaeology, Chester)