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Call for Papers: Bridge Conference

The final call for papers for the international conference 'BRIDGE: The Heritage of Connecting Places and Cultures', closes on 27th February

They are particularly keen to receive papers from those working in the field of conservation, as they feel that there is a lot to be said about the preservation and promotion of historic bridges in this context.

The conference will take place at the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site (UK) and seeks to explore heritage of bridges as remarkable physical structures that connect places and cultures, bridges that are spectacular feats of engineering, connecting an industrialised world, and bridges that are symbolic and metaphorical markers in the landscape, romanticised in art, literature and film. 

This conference seeks to engage in an open multi-disciplinary analysis of the heritage of bridges –not only as physical structures connecting places and cultures but also as symbolic and metaphorical markers in the landscape. It seeks to explore the relationships that places, cultures and communities develop with bridges and to discuss how and why societies value bridges as an integral part of their heritages. It seeks to examine the variety of bridges we designate as heritage and the changes in their form and functionality over the years. In particular we wish to examine the full range of meanings we ascribe to the bridge in social and cultural life. The conference welcomes academics from the widest range of disciplines and wishes to act as a forum for exchange between the sciences, social sciences and the humanities. The conference will draw from anthropology, archaeology, art history, architecture, engineering, ethnology, heritage studies, history, geography, landscape studies, literature, linguistics, museum studies, sociology, tourism studies etc. The conference will take place at the World Heritage Site of Ironbridge Gorge – the birthplace of the industrial revolution and the home of the World’s first iron bridge.

Indicative themes of interest to the conference include:

The materials and technologies of bridges – the heritage of form and function
National and local iconographies of bridges
Narratives of bridge construction and destruction
Communities united and communities divided by bridges
Poetics of the bridge – representing the bridge in art, literature and film
Love and death on the bridge
The language of the bridge – metaphors and meanings in social life
Touring bridges – travel narratives and tourism economies
Alternative bridge crossings – tunnels and ferries

Abstracts of 300 words submitted in word format should be sent as soon as possible but no later than 27 February 2017 to For any queries, or if you have trouble accessing the online submission form, please contact

For more info, please see the full call for papers. 

Lead Image: Bridge Conference


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