Call for Applications - ISAC 2015


The theoretical input for ISAC 2015 is based on the scientific approaches in Heritage Studies. The aim is to develop conflict-solving strategies towards the protection and use of heritage. In the course of two weeks, participants of the Academy will immerse themselves into disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches towards identifying the reasons and solutions of heritage-related conflicts. Among others, the Academy will address such crucial issues as heritage in the event of armed conflict and terrorism, the impact of modernization and gentrification on historic urban landscapes, tools for the protection of contested cultural landscapes, natural heritage and climate change, and heritage impact assessment.
With this in mind, and also taking into account the recommendations of the 2015 Bonn Declaration on World Heritage, ISAC 2015 will contribute to the identification of heritage-related conflicts and to the elaboration of innovative multilevel approaches for solving them. As fundamental component of conflict-solving strategies, they will take into consideration the interests of various authorities, institutions, organizations and other actors. From the theoretical perspective, such approaches are fundamental for the advancement of Heritage Studies. At the same time, they will develop practical, context-based tools that will enable different stakeholders to achieve mutually satisfying decisions in questions related to all aspects of heritage protection, use and development.


ISAC 2015 covers five thematic areas:

Conflict-solving strategies in the context of historic urban landscapes

The past decades have seen a number of serious disputes arising around heritage sites worldwide, particularly in relation to historic urban landscapes, whose authenticity and visual integrity often becomes compromised by the construction of new high-rise buildings, or traffic infrastructure and by rapid city growth and gentrification. The speakers will discuss the reasons and effects of such developments, and will seek possible solutions towards the enhancement of communication between different actors, which can facilitate decision-making in relation to urban policies, planning and management of historic urban landscapes.

Cultural landscapes in conflict: challenges and solutions

Cultural landscapes present a complex phenomenon, expressed in both the tangible and the intangible components. Given the speed and scope with which cultural landscapes develop and change in the modern world, they often become “battlefields” of interest between various stakeholders, whose conflicting agendas impede the balanced and well-informed decisions with regards to their protection and use. The speakers will look into the possible causes and effects of conflicts in relation to cultural landscapes and will discuss the tools that can be applied for solving such conflicts.

Heritage in the event of war and terrorism

Abundant examples of destruction of cultural properties in the event of armed conflict and terrorist attacks over the past decades demonstrate that heritage presents a highly sensitive target. The speakers will present examples of heritage involved in war action and endangered by possible terrorist attacks. They will elaborate on the background and the impact of these destructive activities and will discuss possible solutions in the context of heritage.

Climate change and natural disasters as challenges for natural heritage

Apart from armed conflicts and terrorism, there also exist other, long-lasting and highly hazardous factors that jeopardise the safeguarding of the world’s natural heritage, through the conflicts they attract. These include climate change and various natural disasters, which have far-reaching implications for societies worldwide, with effects on social relations and economic activities. Speakers will discuss the causes and effects of these hazards on the world’s natural heritage and the tools for their mitigation.

Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) as a tool for solving conflicts

The aim of HIA lies in assessing the impacts of the threats to heritage properties from various large-scale developments, as well as of inappropriate constructions, renewals and demolitions that do not take into consideration the original layout and fabric of these properties. HIA also assesses threats related to natural heritage, such as changes in land-use policies. The speakers will present examples of successful implementation of HIA in different heritage contexts and will discuss the ways in which it can contribute to the alleviation of conflicts between various stakeholders involved in the protection and development of heritage sites.

Target Group

ISAC 2015 aims at international Master’s and Ph.D. students in Heritage Studies or related fields. During the two-week programme, participants will receive comprehensive insights into research on the most relevant and innovative approaches to conflict-solving in the broad field of heritage.

How to apply?

Deadline for applications is August 25, 2015.

ISAC may offer up to 15 scholarships provided by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

In order to apply please submit the following documents:

  • Application form (Please download the form to you computer)
  • Curriculum Vitae (1 page)
  • Letter of Motivation indicating the chosen thematic area (1 page)
  • Abstract of your research project in progress, i.e. your in-class presentation (0,5 page)
  • Proof of enrolment as a Master’s or Ph.D. student

Send your application via email to:

Ms. Dariya Afanasyeva
Scientific Assistant
BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg
Chair Intercultural Studies, UNESCO Chair in Heritage Studies
Email: heritagecottbus(at)

Deadline for applications is August 25, 2015

Application procedure:

Please, be aware that applicants have to select one of the five thematic areas described above. The application is considered incomplete, if a thematic area is not indicated. The short-listed candidates will be invited to submit a 2,000-word essay on their in-class presentation by September 15, 2015. Based on the quality of the papers the advisory board of ISAC will select the definite participants and award up to 15 scholarships.

For more information about ISAC 2015 and the admission procedure, please visit our website:

This website uses cookies. Those have two functions: On the one hand they are providing basic functionality for this website. On the other hand they allow us to improve our content for you by saving and analyzing anonymized user data. You can redraw your consent to using these cookies at any time. Find more information regarding cookies on our Data Protection Declaration and regarding us on the Imprint.


These cookies are needed for a smooth operation of our website.


Name Purpose Lifetime Type Provider
_pk_id Used to store a few details about the user such as the unique visitor ID. 13 months HTML Matomo
_pk_ref Used to store the attribution information, the referrer initially used to visit the website. 6 months HTML Matomo
_pk_ses Short lived cookie used to temporarily store data for the visit. 30 minutes HTML Matomo