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Call for papers - UK Maritime Heritage Forum 2023

Posted: Tuesday 4th April 2023

Call for papers - UK Maritime Heritage Forum 2023

Transformation and Renewal


Date: 20– 22 September 2023

Venue: National Museums Liverpool

This September the UK Maritime Heritage Forum comes to the Maritime Museum in Liverpool, a city at the start of a period of change that will transform the Mersey waterfront’s heritage spaces on the greatest scale since the early 1980s. These changes will see the renewal of the waterfront’s physical spaces, collections, and operating practices, but these projects are also intended to transform the Museum’s partnership relationships, and enhance the personal development of staff, volunteers and visitors.

These kinds of transformative projects are happening across the heritage sector, and this year’s Forum is an opportunity to share your experience of how maritime museums and historic vessels can be pivotal as catalysts for wider change. We would like to hear your examples of how the maritime heritage sector both facilitates and is shaped by change at all levels - from personal stories of renewal through engagement with the sea and maritime history, to large, transformative capital projects. At UK Maritime Heritage Forum 2023, we want to provide a platform for sharing your stories, experience and advice for others at the start of similar processes.

Conference themes include:

  • Physical Transformation - Material culture is central to the maritime heritage sector. Have you been involved in work that’s changed the way we engage with our vessels and historic environment? How can the heritage sector contribute to the challenges facing the wider environment? Can organisations and groups share their expertise and experience to provide help and support for others engaged in maritime heritage projects? Can you share your experience of a successful project that you’ve been involved with?
  • Personal Renewal - Engaging with the sea can be life changing. How can maritime heritage provide an environment to improve wellbeing and mental health? How do maritime heritage institutions, historic vessels and museums work with marginalised or unheard voices to create a sector that is genuinely open to all?
  • Cultural Transformation - Transforming and renewing the culture of an organisation is critically important to its long-term success and survival. Do you have an example of how co-production has created a fundamental change at all levels in an organisation? We are interested in how organisations are changing how they work in order to achieve better outcomes for their heritage vessel or 

The UKMHF provides a platform for connecting with a wide range of different voices, specialisms and organisations and the final conference programme will be structured accordingly. We welcome proposals for papers on any aspects of the conference theme, from within the maritime heritage community or from beyond. Insights and best practice from other sectors will be warmly welcomed, so please do share this call for papers beyond your usual networks. 

• 20-minute illustrated paper – these can provide either an overview of an issue or focus on a case study. Speakers are asked to provide a 20-minute illustrated presentation. 
• 5-minute summary – an opportunity to share your updates, ideas and experiences of change, presented as a short verbal update. 
• New for 2023! A poster session will be incorporated into this year’s event. This is a chance for anyone to display a flipchart-sized poster during conference breaks to share updates on something that you’re working on in an informal, friendly environment, and to talk one to one with other delegates about your project.

The conference is an in-person event. Speakers contributing 20-minute papers will have the conference fee waived. However, if your institution is able to pay conference fees this will make a huge difference to our ability to include others who may otherwise struggle to attend.Unfortunately, we are unable to routinely meet travel and accommodation costs but will prioritise assisting speakers who do not have institutional support.

How to submit
Please submit a summary of your proposal in up to 300 words, or express interest in presenting a poster

DEADLINE by 12 noon on 26 May 2023* to

Please state whether you wish to present for 5 or for 20 minutes. The final UKMHF programme will be released by the summer of 2023 with full information for speakers and delegates

Download full Call For Papers here

*note deadline extended from 15 May.