Religious Houses: A Legacy

This international conference takes place in Montreal and Quebec City from October 7-11, 2009, organized by the Conseil du patrimoine religieux du Québec, the Canada Research Chair on Urban Heritage (UQAM), Concordia University and the Institut du patrimoine (UQAM).


The aim of this international conference is to identify and analyze innovative heritage solutions for the future of convents, monasteries and – more generally – religious houses in Quebec. Case studies supported by theoretical, historical or geographic perspective will attempt to contribute to the future of these urban and rural architectural complexes. We intend to examine specific ways of implementing the proposals and studies, and share our experiences to solve the problems raised and discussed. To this end, the conference will bring together researchers, professionals and decision-makers from the Americas and Europe who have shown particular ability to assess or implement new and original solutions, or who, through historical or epistemological reflections on the problems arising in the secularization, conversion, or governance of former religious houses,

are able to contribute to a discussion of the financial, legal, urban planning or memorial implications of changes in the vocation of religious houses and their redevelopment.


The conference will focus on three major themes: ownership, use and memory.

1. The impact of the ownership structure of religious houses on their public appropriation and possible heritage designation.

2. The future of religious houses and different ways to use and share such properties.

3. The impact on historical memory and how to perpetuate it.


Researchers or professionals who would like to participate in the conference are asked to submit a proposal by February 28, 2009. Submissions should include a summary of the proposal (title and abstract, maximum 300 words) and a brief curriculum vitae. Please send them to Dr. Lucie K. Morisset, Chair of the Scientific Committee, by e-mail at or by regular mail at:


Institut du patrimoine

Université du Québec à Montréal

C. P. 8888, Succ. Centre-ville

Montréal (Québec) H3C 3P8



The Scientific Committee will assess the applications and reply by March 31, 2009. Please note that the Organizing Committee will assume travel and accommodation costs for some speakers.


For more information, please visit the conference website at