Studying automobiles within the field of heritage studies raises questions related to heritage management as since motor vehicles are deeply embedded in identity formation within many societies. Since UNESCO has declared heritage as a human right; therefore, by extension the automotive past requires consideration, evaluation, and stewardship. Automobile history is also all about the present and future, in addition to the past. Therefore, this aspect of heritage applies to cultural policy makers and practitioners as well as those engineering the future of transportation and the built environment. Comprehensive stewardship of the automotive past also entails recording, interpreting, and documenting the experience of using and being transported in a motor vehicle, as well as the trades skills and craftsmanship of automobile design, assembly, and maintenance; besides the physical conservation interventions of cars. Hence the creation of National Historic Vehicle Register (NHVR), which is a tool that can be used to carefully and accurately study and honor the most historically significant automobiles, motorcycles, trucks, and commercial vehicles, as well as recognize the dynamic relationship between people, culture, and their means of transportation. The NHVR was developed by the Historic Vehicle Association (HVA) in partnership with the U.S. Department of the Interior and the Library of Congress in March 2013 to explore how vehicles important to American and automotive history could be effectively documented (https://historicvehicle.org/national-historic-vehicle-register/).
In a manner of speaking, the heritage studies of automobiles is a parallel if not conjoined field with studying the immovable built environment, and thus provides an opportunity to reflect and refract on the way tangible preservation is conducted, as well as relationships with intangible heritage traditions.
Conference presentations will be organized according to three thematic tracks, which are:
1. Preserving the Artifact
2. Interpretation and Documentation
3. Education, Media, and Sharing
Please submit proposals of no more than 500 words and a brief CV/resume (two pages maximum) in a PDF or MSWord format to Barry L. Stiefel at email@example.com. Proposals will be reviewed on a rolling basis between November 1, 2017 and January 5, 2018. Proposals should include the name(s) of presenters, affiliation/position, and contact information. While the Historic Vehicle Association is based in North America, we desire this to be an international conference and encourage international participation. English is the official language of the conference. From the conference, we anticipate publishing a special edition of an academic journal.