13 Apr 2021

Call For Abstracts: West Dean Student Conference 2021

Deadline: 3rd May 2021

West Dean College of Arts and Conservation is holding a conference: Inclusion, Access, Diversity: Changing the Face of Heritage Conservation to take place over two days from 30 June - 1 July, and held online over Microsoft Teams.

History is global, multifaceted and ever evolving. It is the transference of ideas, your Granny’s old china, the formation of the earth itself and the tiniest fragment of an arrowhead. The role of the conservator is to preserve these remains of the past, a job of immeasurable variability.

However, as a profession, conservation is noticeably un-varied. Predominantly white, middle-class and University educated, the field is dichotomous in its select scope of gatekeepers chosen to preserve this amorphous past. If the profession is so homogenous, how can we accurately understand or treat such a huge entity as the entirety of human history?

The 2021 West Dean student conference, Inclusion, Access, Diversity: Changing the Face of Heritage Conservation will offer an opportunity to exchange ideas about the need to focus on inclusion, by supporting access into the profession and diversifying approaches within the profession.


Call for papers

Speaker participation from students, allied professions, global professionals, community groups and institution representatives is encouraged.


30mins presentations with 10mins Q&A.

Examples could include:

  • Workshop demonstrations, such as case study examples of objects which are particularly unique or incorporate a global approach.
  • Community engagement projects, demonstrating collaboration with stakeholders in the conservation decision-making process.
  • Presentations from institutions which are working towards change in the sector or which incorporate different approaches to conservation.
  • The personal experiences of conservators working within the field.

Panel Discussions:

40mins panel discussion (10mins per panellist), followed by 40mins of discussion, before 10mins of concluding remarks from the panellists.

Examples could include:

  • An introduction to Conservation.
  • Global Approaches to Conservation.
  • Cross-Disciplinary Approaches to Conservation.

Abstracts should be in English and 250–500 words in length. To apply, please return the submission form below, along with a copy of your CV, to [email protected] no later than  3rd May 2021.  

A selection committee will review abstracts and notify speakers by 24th May 2021.

Any questions? Please email [email protected].

Download the application form here

For more information please visit the West Dean College website here.