Sahapedia Call for Papers

Conference 2021 © Sahapedia

Background: Sahapedia in collaboration with the Azim Premji University, The Centre for Internet and Society and the University of Cape Town is inviting papers in cultural mapping for the Culture for All conference scheduled to be held in March 2021.

Cultural mapping is a set of activities and processes for exploring, discovering, documenting, examining, analyzing, interpreting, presenting, and sharing information related to people, communities, societies, places, and the material products and practices associated with those people and places. It was recognized by UNESCO more than a decade ago as a crucial tool in sustaining the tangible, intangible, and natural heritage of the world.

However, the exercise is either used inadequately or rarely highlighted in the Indian context thereby limiting accessibility to peer-reviewed work in this area. As part of the #CultureForAll festival and conference, an open call for research papers and action projects in cultural mapping is being made to consolidate knowledge created till date in India and regions with similar cultural history like Asia and Africa. Cultural mapping and documentation are intricate processes that attempt to solve complex questions of who, what, how, and for whom to map. We hope these papers will carve out a space to interrogate, discuss, and reflect upon the same.

Another central objective of reviewing work in this area is to develop a mapping toolkit/guide that can help make cultural documentation accessible to anyone interested. Without being prescriptive or lending itself to a homogenous practice, the toolkit/guide would be a way to bring together varied approaches, contexts, and innovations in the field. In a sector like culture where financial and non-financial resources are insubstantial, we believe this toolkit/guide will give organizations and individuals a clear roadmap for future mapping projects.

Themes: All interested academicians, researchers, PhD students, and practitioners are invited to submit their papers under any one of the following themes. All papers will be evaluated by a review committee and select papers in each theme will be awarded INR 10,000 and presented in the #CultureForAll conference. Papers will also get an opportunity to be published in respected peer-reviewed journals and Sahapedia’s web platform.

  1. Cultural Mapping—Theory & Practice: There is no fixed way to map cultural resources and the approach can be multi-fold. Efforts can also vary in terms of community involvement and collaborative processes. Papers submitted under this topic should explore and elucidate the theoretical and methodological frameworks used in mapping, with an emphasis on issues and challenges faced, the extent of community engagement, and the impact of such projects in policymaking and society, if any.
  2. Technology for cultural mapping: Technology and digitization have shifted approaches to culture and heritage and the recent pandemic has made it indispensable to the society at large. Papers are invited on issues related to techniques and technologies for preservation, management and dissemination of cultural heritage with a focus on innovation and social equity specifically for the Indian context.

III. Mapping Matters: Evaluating impact of cultural mapping applications: Cultural mapping provides rich cultural data by creating resource inventories that helps address varied issues like sustainability, intergenerational conflict, alienation of youth, and the role of women in society. It can create opportunities for communities to affirm identity and pursue land rights. Cultural mapping can be an informative classroom activity for children, and a valuable methodology for academic research. As a policymaking tool, it can be used to enhance and conserve heritage sites while promoting new tourism development approaches. Papers submitted under this topic should illustrate how cultural mapping has been used in areas like education, tourism, placemaking, conservation, and skilling, the issues and challenges faced, how impacts are measured, and the metrics associated with such measurement. Important dates:

  • Call for papers: November 16, 2020
  • Last date for submission: January 31, 2021
  • Announcement of final selection: February 26, 2021
  • Presentation of select papers: March 1 to March 15, 2021

If you have any questions, please contact us at Eligibility & Selection: All interested academicians, researchers, PhD students, and practitioners are invited to participate in the call for papers. Papers should be submitted in English and will be reviewed for their originality, relevance, and clarity. Works that have been published earlier or are found to be plagiarized will not be accepted. The submission should include a paper of not more than 3,500 words along with a presentation for the same. Please email submissions to with the subject ‘Paper Submission: <Theme> <Applicant’s Full Name>’.

Annexure 1—Submission Requirements