What is an unconference?

An unconference is a lightly organized conference in which participants propose and facilitate sessions. No prepared formal presentations and no Power Points – this cannot be stressed enough! Unconference sessions are meant to be free-flowing discussions, not presentations of one person’s work or point of view. Each session should be like the best college or graduate school seminar: dynamic, collaborative, thought-provoking and fun.

This video, called “Unconference 101,” gives an overview of how it works.

What is “hacking” and why on earth would we want to hack heritage?

“Hacking” is associated with data breaches, yes, but it also more generally is associated with modifications or disruptions to existing objects, programs and ideas. We see “hacking” as an approach to cultural heritage that questions norms and attempts to formulate alternatives through collaborative discussion and debate.

Can I attend without proposing a session?


How do I propose a session?

There are two ways to propose a session: online or in person, the morning of the Unconference. Proposing online prior to May 12 is great for two reasons. It gives you more room to describe the questions, approaches or projects that you would like to facilitate and it gives other participants a sense of the different sessions that might take place on May 12.

To propose a session online, just go to our registration page and register to attend; then go to our proposal page and submit your session proposal.  It will be added to the Session Proposals page within a few days and will automatically be included as a Session Proposal when all participants vote on sessions on the morning of May 12.

How are sessions chosen?

All participants will vote on the morning of May 12 for the sessions they want to see. We will tape all of the session proposals in a grid on a wall and all participants will cast votes for their top choice; votes will be quickly tabulated and an Unschedule put together and disseminated listing all sessions and their locations.

What kinds of sessions can be proposed?

All kinds, including general discussion sessions, project-based discussion/prototyping sessions, technology/skills workshop sessions or miscellaneous experimental sessions which may even take place outside of the building, such as walks and tours.

When should I propose a session?

You can propose a session as early as you’d like, but most people will propose sessions online in the few weeks leading up to the unconference. You can also propose sessions on May 12 – see below.

Can I register and propose a session on-site on May 12?

Absolutely. If you do plan to register and propose on-site, just make sure you arrive right on time at 9:30am to ensure that you have enough time to register, write up your proposal on a sheet of paper and give it to us to tape up to the wall before participant voting starts at 9:50am. We will take more write-in proposals for the afternoon session during lunch.  Also: we can only take cash or check if you register on-site on May 12, so if you need or intend to use a credit card, please register online prior to May 12.

Will I be able to present material on a laptop if my session is chosen?

No prepared slides. If you would like to bring handouts for a session, you can bring paper handouts that can be given out if your session is chosen (sessions generally get between 8-20 people, so bringing 10-15 would be fine as people can share).

Can I leave a session that I’m in and join another one?


Are the sessions recorded and archived on the unconference website for future reference?

Nope; it’s all about the IRL experience.

Can I post content to social media before, during and after the Unconference?

Yes, please! Our Twitter hashtag is #heritage18 .

How many sessions will there be?

There will be roughly 10 sessions to choose from over the course of the day, with 3-4 different options per block of time. Check out the Unschedule here.

Is there a registration fee?

Yes, there is a registration fee of $10, and that covers your lunch. Payment can be taken online via credit card or on May 12 at the registration table with cash and check only. Please note that we will not be set up to take credit card payments on May 12, so if you must pay with a credit card, please do so online prior to May 12.

Is lunch provided and where is it held?

Yes, lunch is provided for all attendees who have paid the registration fee. If you require a special lunch due to a food allergy, intolerance or to conform with a special diet, please contact Sabina Griffin by April 27, 2018 at sabina_griffin@brown.edu.

What happens at the end of the day?

Coffee! We will provide coffee and tea for those who want to continue their conversations after the sessions have concluded.

Have another question? Email marisa_brown@brown.edu.