Call for Papers: Universities and Architectural Heritage. Singapore, 7-9 November 2020

The Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) is a network of universities from Asia, Australasia and the Americas. The association established the APRU University Museums Research Symposium in 2012 to bring participants together for the sharing of research and education initiatives concerning their universities’ cultural and scientific collections.

This year, APRU will reflect on the architectural heritage of universities, their deployment for the activities of the institution, the potentials of these historic structures in fostering academic research and education, and the challenges they present to their owners.

The sub-themes of the symposium are developed to encourage personnel from across the university – faculty, undergraduate and postgraduate, estate management, development office – to participate in discussion, debate and reflection:

  • Architectural heritage as a pedagogical resource. Historical architecture on campus are landmarks in the institution’s history; steeped in the collective memories of students across generations, they enhance the sense of place while also serving as markers of the nation’s educational, social and political evolution. In what ways have the continued presence of these buildings sustained the traditions of the institution? How have they inspired studies across a range of disciplines?
  • Architectural preservation on university campuses. With newer available technologies for teaching and learning as well as more demanding users for spaces equipped with up-to-date climate control, acoustics and furnishing, what are the challenges that universities encounter in retrofitting their historic buildings to suit contemporary needs? In a setting where human resource capacity building is tuned towards modern construction materials and methods, are there sustainable strategies for the upkeep of architectural heritage?
  • Bequest of estates to universities. Bequest of an estate may take the form of an existent building or funding towards the construction of a purpose-made complex. What are the opportunities and challenges that such gifts present on various fronts such as finance, operations and public relations? How does the university achieve a balance of its own objectives for the estate and the expectations of stakeholders?
  • University archives as research resources. How have archival records about campus planning and architecture been useful as materials for understanding the history of an institution? On an operational level, what insights can architectural archives offer for the ongoing upkeep of built structures?

Abstracts of no more than 300 words, for presentations of 15 mins per presenter, must be submitted in English to apru2020@nus.edu.sg by 26 June 2020. Please include a biography of not more than 150 words. For submissions, please use the template available here. Selected presenters will be notified by the end of August 2020.

More information about the symposium can be found on the symposium webpage.

For other enquiries, please email apru2020@nus.edu.sg.

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