Forum Journal Seeking Articles About Intangible Heritage

By Forum Online posted 09-07-2018 14:23


The Preservation Leadership Forum is soliciting article submissions for a forthcoming Forum Journal issue dedicated to intangible heritage.

In our effort to represent all the histories that comprise the full American story, preservationists are learning how much of what we need to save is intangible. We must find ways to preserve not only place, but the heritage associated with it.


The Spokane, Kalispell, and Coeur D’Alene tribes sponsored a pow wow during the 2012 National Preservation Conference. Pow wow traditions are an example of intangible heritage that should be protected and preserved. | Credit: Barry Coon, National Trust for Historic Preservation

For example, if we set out to save a bar that is significant for having provided lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people with a place to find community and seek respite from oppression and violence, is it the building that housed the bar that we should save? And if that structure survives but no longer serves a community-building purpose, have we succeeded? And, on the other hand, if the bar remains in operation but moves to a different place, has it not been preserved?

Saving intangible heritage requires us to look at association, to find strategies for preserving use, so the tools, practices, and approaches that we rely on to steward tangible resources are not always sufficient to the task. And while we have begun developing new strategies to protect intangible heritage—the legacy business program in San Francisco, for instance—this is still a nascent branch of our field.

By seeking article submissions, we hope to unearth pioneering approaches to preserving intangible heritage and to give new voices a platform in the Forum Journal. Since 1987 the Forum Journal has featured high-quality, in-depth articles written by knowledgeable preservation professionals who generously share their expertise with the field. Our goal is to make sure that these resources get widespread recognition and are made available to other preservation leaders in order to advance the knowledge and understanding of preservation practices.

If you’re interested in writing for this issue, please start with a 500-word abstract (for what will eventually become a 2,500-word article). We are seeking articles that present an argument, thesis, exemplary case study, or particular perspective to our preservation leader audience. Avoid impartial narration, except as background.

Please send your abstract to forum[at] by Friday, October 4, using “Forum Journal: Intangible Heritage Abstract” as the subject line of your email. We look forward to reading about your ideas and your work devoted to intangible heritage preservation.


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