Call for Papers: Cultural Heritage and Technology

Via Ewa Manikowska, Institute of Art of the Polish Academy of Sciences
The project “Digital Heritage in Cultural Conflicts” (DigiCONFLICT), in cooperation with Editorial Board of the biannual “Santander Art and Culture Law Review” (SAACLR), is pleased to announce a Call for Papers on the impact of the digital turn on cultural heritage law and policy.
The rapidly-evolving digital technologies are affecting every major aspect of cultural heritage – its preservation, management, and enjoyment – and their application in this realm is ever more taken for granted. Stimulated just 15 years ago by the Google Books project, the first initiative of such global reach and breath, digitization – nowadays the heart of national and supranational policies worldwide – is profoundly shifting the traditional approach to heritage, based on the ideas of preservation, access, and education, to a global, economic, and contemporaneously-focused perspective rooted in the core of technological development. Such an approach is at the heart of the digital heritage labs, seminars, research projects which in recent years have become an indispensable part of the activity of universities and memory institutions worldwide. Technology and digitization in the realm of cultural heritage today involve social equity and are important topics of theoretical reflection, focused on issues of innovation, the efficient application of digital means, on creative industries and economic aspects, as well as on the presumption that technology applied to cultural heritage is an instrument of democratization which might bring a solution to social inequalities and conflicts.
While institutional stakeholders and policy-makers strive to keep pace with the rapidly- changing technological innovations and possibilities in order to make digital heritage a showcase of cultural and economic power, they operate in a context defined in the previous pre-digital era, conceived to fit the concept of “classical” (analogue) heritage. The application and proliferation of technology in the cultural heritage realm has brought about and will bring substantial changes to the core of what we understand as cultural heritage: it is transforming our ideas on what heritage is, to whom it belongs, and how it should be preserved and shared. Moreover, it rises new and relevant ethical issues. Among others, technology has strengthened the framing of heritage in global and economic contexts, altered the traditional understanding of access to heritage, influenced conservation and restitution issues, and profoundly transformed memory institutions worldwide.
This Call for Papers is aimed at fostering a discussion on the relationship and the right balance between cultural heritage and technology. We are seeking articles which address the current challenges faced by cultural heritage law and policy in view of the changes brought about by the digital turn. In particular we welcome case-studies and more general articles, which may refer to, but are not restricted to, the following issues:

  • redefining cultural heritage in the digital era;
  • digitally born heritage: definition, selection, preservation, ethical issues;
  • legal, ethical, and policy implications of the application of Artificial Intelligence to culture and cultural heritage;
  • technology as a factor of the economization and globalization of cultural heritage;
  • transformations of memory institutions in the digital era: do we need a redefinition of museums, libraries, and archives?
  • multimedia exhibitions – legal and ethical issues;
  • the implications of digital copyright, protection, and access to traditional and indigenous cultures, knowledge, and heritage;
  • digitization and cultural rights;
  • international cultural heritage organizations facing the challenge of digital heritage and digitization;
  • declarations, codes of conduct, and best practices as soft law instruments regulating digital heritage and its digitization;
  • digital restitution as a new principle in cultural heritage preservation: How is digitization revolutionizing the realm of cultural heritage restitution?

The deadline for submission of manuscripts is 30 April 2020. Decision letters will be provided to author(s) by 30 June 2020. We expect to publish the issue in autumn 2020. For more information, see: <>.
Manuscripts should be submitted electronically via e-mail to: in .doc format, and shall not exceed 9,000 words, including footnotes and references. A longer article may be accepted only by arrangement with the Editors.

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