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Conferences and Symposia

2018 CHAPS Symposium


April 27th, 2018

Academic Building 1180, College Ave. Campus

The work of heritage is built significantly on visual archives, and heritage preservation practices both access and construct an archive of its own. But these images are virulent, and they intervene in every aspect of our public and disciplinary engagement with the world. Cultural heritage is an arena in which images are created, analyzed, and exchanged in order to craft political agendas. This symposium considers that our contact with heritage is heavily mediated by images, and as professionals our expertise relies significantly on visual analysis and narratives. Our contributors problematize the relationship between cultural heritage, preservation and the visual, to discuss historical trajectories, modes of expertise, political and disciplinary agendas and interventions of the visual archive. We will also look at how the critique of the visual archive may open new possibilities for a multi-sensorial engagement with cultural heritage.



9:30-10:00:       Welcome and registration

10:00-10:15:     Welcoming Remarks

 Trinidad Rico, CHAPS Director, Rutgers University

 Erik Thunø, Chair, Department of Art History, Rutgers University

10:15-11:15:     Legacies of Expertise

Andrés Mario Zervigón, Rutgers University

Photo-Illustrated Magazines and Its Archive of Pictorial Knowledge

Amy Lonetree, University of California, Santa Cruz

Studio Portraits and Tourist Images: Reclaiming Ho-Chunk History and Memory in the Visual Archives of Charles Van Schaick and H.H. Bennett

Pamela Smart, Binghamton University

Art, Artifacts, and Attention at Te Papa

Moderator: Erik Thunø, Department of Art History

11:15-11:30:    Coffee break

11:30-12:30:    Violence and Image

Ömür Harmanşah, University of Illinois, Chicago

The subject of suffering in uncivilized times: The politics of violence in ISIS's visual regime

Rhiannon Welch, Rutgers University

Ethical Vision and the Time of Crisis

Doug Bailey, San Francisco State University

Accelerated decay and release of the confined: destroying a visual archive

Moderator: Marcy Schwartz, Department of Spanish and Portuguese

12:30-2:30:      Lunch

2:30-3:30:        Ruins and Patina

Bjørnar Olsen, University of Tromsø, Norway

Imagining Teriberka: Photography and Heritage beyond Suspicion

Jennifer L. Mass, Bard Graduate Center

The Price of Romance: The Ongoing Battle of Connoisseurship, Patina, Fashion, and Conservation

Rui Gomes Coelho, Rutgers University

Welcome to Demolition, NY

Moderator: Wolfram Hoefer, Department of Landscape Architecture

3:30-3:45:        Coffee break

3:45-4:45:        Unruly Archive

Rachel Ama Asaa Engman, Hampshire College

Decolonizing the Archive: Denmark, Christianborg Castle and the Transatlantic Slave Trade

Uzma Rizvi, Pratt Institute

Canonizing Hasan Sharif: Unruly Subjects and Art Heritages in the UAE

Samantha Boardman, Rutgers University, Newark

The Accidental Archive: Harnessing the Power of Community Collections

Moderator: Alessandro Vettori, Department of Italian

4:45-5:00:        Final remarks

5:00-7:00:        Reception for invited speakers and moderators



Andrés Mario Zervigón

Department of Art History, Rutgers University

Andrés Mario Zervigón received his Ph.D. in Art History from Harvard University. He specializes in the history of photography and his research focuses on the interaction between photographs, film, and fine art. His work generally focuses upon moments in history when these media prove inadequate to their presumed task of representing the visual. More about his work:


Amy Lonetree

History Department, University of California, Santa Cruz

Amy Lonetree received her Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. Her research focuses on Indigenous History, Museum Studies, Commemoration and Public Memory, Native American Cultural Production, Public History, and Ho-Chunk Tribal History. More about her work:


Pamela Smart

Department of Art History, Binghamton University

Pamela Smart received Ph.D. in Anthropology from Rice University. Her research is concerned centrally with the character of the aesthetic as a socio-cultural phenomenon, and the methodological problem of analyzing it ethnographically. She pursues this interest through the institutional form of the art museum, examining the ways in which aesthetic dispositions are produced through the exhibitionary, managerial, and performative practices of museum personnel. More about her work:


Ömür Harmanşah

Department of Art History, University of Illinois, Chicago

Ömür Harmanşah received his Ph.D. in History of Art from the University of Pennsylvania. His research focuses on the history of landscapes in the Middle East and the politics of ecology, place, and heritage in the age of the Anthropocene. As an archaeologist and an architectural historian of the ancient Near East, he specializes in the art, architecture, and material culture of Anatolia, Syria, and Mesopotamia during the Bronze and Iron Ages. More about his work:ömür-harmanşah


Rhiannon Welch

Department of Italian, Rutgers University

Rhiannon Welch received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. Her research focuses on nineteenth and twentieth-century Italian literature, film, and visual

culture, Italian (post-) colonialism and biopolitics, race thinking and nationalism in Italy, critical theory, and film theory. More about her work:


Doug Bailey

Department of Anthropology, San Francisco State University

Doug Bailey received his Ph.D. in Archaeology from Cambridge University, UK. His research focuses on the archaeology of art and visual culture and on art/archaeology as alternative production. His current interests include Art and Visual Culture, Prehistoric Art, Archaeology, Representation, Theory and The Contemporary Past . More about his work:


Bjørnar Olsen

Department of Archaeology, History, Religious Studies and Theology, University of Tromsø, Norway

Bjørnar Olsen received his Ph.D. from the University of Tromsø, Norway. His research focuses on contemporary archaeology, material memory, thing theory, northern prehistory, and Sámi archaeology. His recent projects include Object Matters: Archaeology and Heritage in the 21st century, and Ruin Memories. More about his work:


Jennifer L. Mass

Bard Graduate Center

Jennifer L. Mass received her Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from Cornell University. Her research focuses on the materials chemistry of cultural heritage and how this chemistry affects an object’s visual and functional properties over time. Recent studies include central European porcelain, vert antique furniture finishes, Pablo Picasso’s canvas re-use in his Blue Period, and the patinas of copper alloys from antiquity to 19th century architectural ornament. More about her work:


Rui Gomes Coelho

Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies, Department of Art History, Rutgers University

Rui Gomes Coelho received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from Binghamton University. He is an archaeologist interested in historical archaeology, archaeology of the contemporary, critical heritage and photography. His current interests are driven by a fascination with the sensorial constitution of alternative modernities, and for marginal communities who mobilize material culture against traditional, nationalist-oriented approaches to heritage. More about his work:


Rachel Ama Asaa Engman

Hampshire College

Rachel Ama Asaa Engman received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from Stanford University. Her research interests include archaeological ethnography in Ghana, Islamic Material Culture, African Art/Material Culture, Slavery, African Diaspora, Colonial Photography, Public Archaeology, and Cultural Heritage, Museums and Development. She is the director of the Christianborg Archaeological Heritage Project in Ghana. More about her work:


Uzma Rizvi

Pratt Institute

Uzma Rizvi received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania. Her interests include the understanding of ancient subjectivity, the idea of an intimate architecture, war and trauma in relationship to the urban fabric, and finally, epistemological critiques of archaeology. Her current research focuses Ancient India and Ancient UAE, both during the 3rd millennium BCE. More about her work:


Samantha Boardman

Center for Migration and the Global City, Rutgers University, Newark

Samantha Boardman received her Ph.D. in American Studies from Rutgers University, Newark. Her interests include American Studies, Public History, and Digital Humanities. She is currently the Project Manager for Research and Community Partnerships for the project Newest Americans, which focuses on documenting diversity and the immigration experience in New Jersey. More about her work :


Trinidad Rico

Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies (CHAPS), Rutgers University

Trinidad Rico is Assistant Professor and Director of Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies (CHAPS), and Honorary Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Archaeology of University College London. Dr Rico’s anthropological research in critical heritage is defined by the study of vernacularization of heritage discourses and forms of expertise in non-Western societies. She has conducted research on heritage construction in post-tsunami Indonesia; the mobilization of Islamic values in heritage preservation in Qatar; and currently runs a pilot study on heritage of secrecy in Argentina. Dr Rico is editor for the book series Heritage Studies in the Muslim World, and member of the Executive Committee of the Association of Critical Heritage Studies.



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2015 CHAPS Conference



This international conference examined the phenomenon of shifting populations and their connections to urban heritage, bringing together leading scholars and practitioners from around the world to address the complex and interconnected challenges facing cities and their populations. The overarching goal is to identify new approaches towards working effectively with diverse and dynamic populations as part of current efforts to rethink the meaning and practice of heritage conservation within the “shifting cities” that define urbanism in the 21st century. 
By bringing together heritage practitioners with scholars and organizations engaged in what would not traditionally be considered “heritage” or “conservation” work (such as social services and public health), Shifting Cities was a critical step in pointing us forward to new directions and approaches. The conference included session panels and case studies that explore tangible ways in which practitioners and community organizations have been able to address the challenges of heritage conservation in the face of shifting populations. Two Roundtables, one focusing on the city of Camden, New Jersey and another focusing on armed conflict in the Middle East, brought together diverse sets of professionals to share experiences and expertise.


Keynote Speakers:

• Ishmael Beah, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and author of A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier & Radiance of Tomorrow

• Jyoti Hosagrahar, Director, Sustainable Urbanism International GSAPP, Columbia University, New York, and Bangalore & UNESCO Chair Professor in Culture, Habitat, and Sustainable Development


2012 CHAPS Conference


Cultural Landscapes: Preservation Challenges in the 21st Century brought together leading scholars and practitioners from around the world to examine five core themes around the concept, implementation, and management of cultural landscapes and historic urban landscapes. The conference curated an interdisciplinary forum for forward-looking approaches to 21st century challenges, with the objective of mapping strategies for a ten-year plan of action within these areas. The edited volume, Conserving Cultural Landscapes: Challenges and New Directions draws from this initiative. ‘Cultural Landscapes’ provided a unique opportunity in time and place for the United States to reaffirm its presence within the international arena of cultural heritage preservation. 


Keynote Speakers:

• Mechtild Rössler, UNESCO World Heritage Center. 

• Stephanie Toothman, National Park Service 

• Gustavo Araoz, President, International Council on Monuments and Sites 

• Christina Cameron, University of Montreal

• Kathryn Moore, Birmingham City University, School of Architecture

1998 CHAPS Conference

Art, Antiquity, and the Law: Preserving Our Global Cultural Heritage

This international conference provided a public forum for discussion of the growing threats to movable and immovable cultural property worldwide and of current initiatives to protect our global cultural heritage. The aim was to raise public awareness of these issues and to bring together experts in cultural heritage from a variety of disciplines for discussion and debate.

Topics addressed included: current threats to cultural heritage from armed conflict, development, and looting; national and international initiatives for protecting cultural property; strategies for combating illegal traffic in cultural material; conservation, restoration, and reconstruction; and codes of ethics as a means of protecting cultural heritage.

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