Friday 14 September

2018 Senate House, London, WC1 7HU

Sensorial interactions with heritage is opening a new field of interrogation into how immersive experience of heritage shapes our understanding of the modern world. This symposium will bring together academics, immersive experience, creative expressionists and heritage industry practitioners.

Affective and immersive experiences are part of individual and communal acts of remembering, engaging, emulating, re-visioning, and refuting the past. Heritage England in 2017 identified heritage as a key part of the UK ‘brand’ and central to the UK economy. In the current political climate there is an increasing importance in investigating how local, national, and international heritage affects wellbeing, identity, community regeneration and social cohesion. With increasing innovations to both mixed reality and live immersive experience design, it is time to examine the role of the senses in public response to heritage sites.

We invite 20 minute papers and/or participatory workshops, posters or digital displays covering, but not limited to, the following topics on the use of immersive and sensorial experience in cultural heritage including:

  • Embodying, engaging and mediating sensory narratives in cultural heritage performances, spaces
  • Immersive experiences of cultural landscapes, such as heritage sites and built forms, as well as institutional repositories such as museums, archives, libraries, and
  • What are the perceived social and personal benefits (or detriments) experienced by the public in participatory heritage performance and embodied senses of place?
  • How to evaluate audiences’ immersive experiences and responses
  • How can technological advances in immersive experience design attract wider audiences to heritage sites?
  • Benefits and challenges of theoretical and practitioner collaborations
  • Long term impact strategies, measurement and implementation issues

Paper or workshop proposals of no more than 300 words, accompanied by a 100-word biography, should be submitted to Thursday 28 July 2018.

Posters or digital displays (maximum A3 size) to by Thursday 28 July 2018.

The symposium program will be confirmed by early August, when registration opens.

The symposium is kindly sponsored by the Brunel University London’s Global Lives Research Cluster, Eastern Arc. Immersive heritage research in the Heritage Lottery Funded Paston Footprints project will be showcased in the digital exhibition. There is no conference fee.


Symposium organisers:

Dr Holly Maples, Brunel University London (Senior Lecturer in Theatre)

Dr Karen Smyth, University of East Anglia (Senior Lecturer in Medieval & Early Modern Literature)

Any personal data exchanged as part of this conference call will be processed in accordance with current UK data protection law and in line with the relevant UEA & Brunel Privacy Notices