Bridges physically and symbolically connect places, communities and cultures; they remind us of division while at the same time providing the means for unification. This conference seeks to explore heritage of bridges –not only as remarkable physical structures connecting places and cultures but also as symbolic and metaphorical markers in the landscape.
Indicative themes of interest to the conference include:8
• The materials and technologies of bridges – the heritage of form and function
• National and local iconographies of bridges
• Narratives of bridge construction and destruction
• Communities united and communities divided by bridges
• Poetics of the bridge – representing the bridge in art, literature and film
• Love and death on the bridge
• The language of the bridge – metaphors and meanings in social life
• Touring bridges – travel narratives and tourism economies
• Alternative bridge crossings – tunnels and ferries
The conference welcomes academics from the widest range of disciplines and wishes to act as a forum for exchange between the sciences, social sciences and the humanities. The conference will draw from anthropology, archaeology, art history, architecture, engineering, ethnology, heritage studies, history, geography, landscape studies, literature, linguistics, museum studies, sociology, tourism studies etc. The conference will take place at the World Heritage Site of Ironbridge Gorge – the birthplace of the industrial revolution and the home of the World’s first iron bridge.