Vernacular Narratives

Call for Proposals

11-13 December 2019, Leiden University, The Netherlands

This event is co-organised by the Oral Traditions Association, Indonesia [ATL], Leiden University and the University of South Australia’s, School of Art, Architecture and Design, Vernacular Knowledge Research Group [VKRG].

This international seminar and exhibition of vernacular works has come about due to shared interests in the notion of narrative bridging oral traditions, linguistic studies + architecture. Over three days we will explore each of these fields of enquiry:

  • The architecturally focussed session Vernacular Narratives will examine vernacular knowledge and built space as being responsible for insightful narratives around human experiences and lived conditions.
  • How narratives in their numerous forms and their representations animate, instruct, educate and entertain us about the values and the semantics of vernacular space.
  • The role of narrative in occupying a present condition as a story telling device is a currency which delivers the vernacular in its many forms as relevant to a contemporary audience.

Hinging on the work of Marcel Vellinga and his forthcoming comprehensive undertaking of the Encyclopedia of Vernacular Architecture of the World (expected release Nov. 2020), we wish to discover new ways of valuing and adopting vernacular heritages.

Through various forms of narratives and their representation of the vernacular let us consider where the discursive trends are at in 21st century vernacular studies. In its interconnected sets of relationships intrinsic to the human condition, vernacular knowledge may be considered dynamic and ephemeral in nature; its holistic effect may be debated as more in the realm of the intangible than the tangible.

Some of the thematics we hope to address in relation to narratives of vernacular knowledge include:

• Architectural anthropology and representation                  

• Heritage and value                                     

• Archival representations

• Future narratives of vernacular                                            

• Intangible heritage                                      

• Semiotics and the vernacular

The structure of the Vernacular Narratives day-long session [13 December 2019] will consist of 6-8 individual paper presentations and discussion, followed by an afternoon master class.

Please provide a 200 word abstract on any of the afore-mentioned themes by 28 September 2019 to confirm your participation.

We welcome working papers to be provided by 30 November 2019 for circulation to the participants of the Vernacular Narratives session. For publication: please prepare papers in accordance with the publication guidelines, templates and referencing styles that comply with the International Journal of Intangible Heritage.

This final paper for publication will be due on 15 December 2019 for peer review for their next issue. Please note this is a free event with morning/afternoon tea and lunch supplied. Contact: for more details and to confirm your interest.