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The Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage (IIICH) is delighted to be working in close partnership with organisations in the USA and Argentina to deliver an exciting international conference entitled Heritages of Migration: Moving Stories, Objects and Home, which will take place at the National Museum of Immigration in Buenos Aires from 6 – 10 April 2017.

This conference forms part of ‘Trans-Atlantic Dialogues in Cultural Heritage,’ an ongoing joint project with the Collaborative for Cultural Heritage Management and Policy at the University of Illinois (CHAMP). The project seeks to generate a series of research questions which examine Old World and New World perspectives on cultural heritage.

The first Trans-Atlantic Dialogues international conference took place in Liverpool in July 2015. The conference bought together over 140 academics from around the world to explore themes of heritage, tourism and traditions. The conference asked:

  • How do heritages travel?
  • How is trans-Atlantic tourism shaped by heritage?
  • To what extent have traditions crossed and re-crossed the Atlantic?
  • How have heritage and tourism economies emerged based upon flows of peoples and popular imaginaries?

IIICH is currently working in partnership with CHAMP, the UNESCO Chair in Cultural Tourism, Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero (UNTREF) and the National Museum of Immigration (led by the Museums department at UNTREF), to deliver its second international conference as part of the Trans-Atlantic Dialogues collaboration in 2017.

Heritages of Migration: Moving Stories, Objects and Home seeks to explore the practices, traditions, objects and stories that are carried by migrant communities between old and new worlds. The conference will investigate the layering of global cultures that has been produced by centuries of global migration, the traditions that are transmitted across new communities and through generations, and the effects on memory, identity and belonging. The conference is designed encourage provocative dialogue across the fullest range of disciplines, and will ask:

  • What objects and practices do migrants value and carry with them in their movements between old and new worlds?
  • How do people negotiate and renegotiate their “being in the world” in the framework of migration?
  • How is memory enacted through material culture and heritage into new active domains?
  • What stories are told and how are they transmitted within and between migrant communities and generations?
  • How is the concept of ‘home’ made meaningful in a mobile world?
  • Where do performances of identity “take place” so as to generate new landscapes of collective memory?
  • How do the meanings of place and placelessness change over generations from an initial migration?

The conference itself will take place at the National Museum of Immigration in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The museum, managed by MUNTREF, is the site of an old Immigrants Hotel which once housed thousands of immigrants that came through the Port of Buenos Aires to start a new life in Argentina.

Copyright_Archivo General De la Nacion Argentina

The museum is now home to the archive and a series of interactive exhibitions which invites visitors to experience all stages of migrating to Argentina through unique historical documents, photographs, films and testimonies. The museum team at UNTREF undertakes research and develops innovative exhibitions in response to the history, heritage and impact of immigration into Argentina, and explores the stories behind the many thousands of people that passed through the Immigrants Hotel and ultimately came to call Argentina their home.

Alongside UNTREF, IIICH and CHAMP are working closely with the UNESCO Chair in Cultural Tourism – a joint initiative between the university and the Friends of the National Museum of Fine Art in Buenos Aires. The initiative aims to develop knowledge and research to promote the protection of Argentina’s cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible, and encourages the development of sustainable tourism through academic research and practical application.


In September 2016, Hannah Stretton, Development officer for IIICH, visited the conference partners in Argentina to work together on the development and organisation of the conference. Whist there, the partners met to discuss the content and focus of the conference, and undertook important study visits to greater understand the impact of immigration to the city of Buenos Aires.

Further information relating to the conference and the partners is available on the website:

The conference call for papers is open until 14 October 2016. To take part in the conference, please submit a 300 word abstract via our online submission form. Full details can be found on the conference website above. If you have any queries, please contact Hannah Stretton on

Image 1: Arrivals to the Immigrants Hotel, Archivo General de la Nacion Argentina

Image 2: Left to Right -  Lorena Di Vico (UNTREF), Marcelo Huernos (MUNTREF), Carmen Maria Ramos (UNESCO Chair), Paula Hrycyk (UNTREF), Hannah Stretton (UoB)

Main Image: Immigrants Arriving. Image courtesy of Archivo General de la Nacion Argentina