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Performance, Learning & Heritage

Conference 2008

PERFORMING HERITAGE - RESEARCH AND PRACTICE | International Conference: 3rd -5th April 2008

Thanks once again to everyone for their active and enthusiastic participation in the conference. It was a pleasure to host an event attended by people and groups with expertise in such a diverse range of research and practice yet ready to engage in debates across the traditional boundary lines.

As you will have noticed, many of the conference sessions were filmed for inclusion on the project DVD. The conference team will be in touch with presenters over summer 2008 to discuss permissions.

Project database launched

The new project database was launched at the conference. You can find the project database here: http://plah.web.its.manchester.ac.uk/site/. The database houses many digital resources connected to performance and heritage.

In order to contribute to the database please visit the 'Get Involved' section of the website.

Areas covered by the conference:

.  Making connections : the intersection of performance/performativity, site specific practice and notions of heritage;

.  Gauging impact : audience response and longer-term impact, the place of interactivity, and community outreach;

.  Reports from the field : accounts and findings from research and evaluation projects in the UK and abroad. Some sessions at the conference will be devoted to the emerging findings of the PL&H research and the implications for future practice and policy making; but we are keen to hear about, and compare notes with, other research projects across the globe;

.  Developing practice : examples of practice - live and recorded - to illustrate the range of performance practice and provide opportuni tie s to interrogate that practice; workshops from practitioners and academics are invited as a means of exploring how research and practice interconnect;

.  'research at the heart of practice' - the focus will be on research as it informs practice, practice as it informs research and (not least) practice as a means of research in the museum/heritage sector.

Above (from left - right): Professor Tony Jackson, Dr. Catherine Hughes

Following the success of the Performing Heritage Conference (3rd - 5th April, 2008), below are some of the highlights:

Key-note Speakers

Catherine Hughes is a museum theatre practitioner and scholar, who worked for many years at the Museum of Science , Boston . She wrote the first book on museum theatre, Museum theatre: communicating with visitors through drama (Heinemann 1998) and is currently completing a major research project on the subject at Ohio State University .

Baz Kershaw is Professor of Drama at the University of Warwick and was formerly Director of the five-year research project PaRiP (Practice as Research in Performance). He has extensive experience as a director and writer in experimental, radical and community-based theatre, and recently mounted site-specific productions on the Bristol heritage ship, the SS Great Britain. He is the author of The Politics of Performance (Routledge 1992) and The Radical in Performance (Routledge 1999), and editor of The Cambridge History of British Theatre, Vol 3 - Since 1895 (2004). His current research includes investigation of the nature of performance ecologies.

Laurajane Smith is Reader in Cultural Heritage Studies and Archaeology at the University of York. She previously taught Indigenous Studies and Cultural Heritage Management at the University of New South Wales , Sydney , and worked as a cultural heritage consultant for many years. She is author of The Uses of Heritage (Routledge 2006) and Archaeological Theory and the Politics of Cultural Heritage (Routledge 2004), and continues to publish on topics such as the cultural politics of identity and heritage management, community involvement, tourism and ethics.