2018 Annual Preservation Conference - Student Abstract Competition

General Details

The California Preservation Foundation is pleased to announce the 2018 Call for Student Papers to be presented at the California Preservation Foundation’s annual conference, entitled, “Deep Roots in Dynamic Times,” at the Sheraton of Palo Alto from May 17 – 20, 2018.

  • Selected students will present a topic at the “On the Cutting Edge: Students in Preservation Share their Research” session
  • The full session is scheduled for May 18, 2018 from 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM.
  • Up to five students will be selected to present their papers at the conference
  • Each selected student will be awarded a travel grant of $400, thanks to a generous gift from Liz’s Antique Hardware and an anonymous donor.

The California Preservation Foundation is accepting abstracts no later than Monday, February 19, 2018 for a session presentation in one of the following themes (though these themes are meant only to be suggestive, and your session is not required to fit into them):

  • Documentation and Reality capture in preservation
  • Advocacy and Grassroots Efforts
  • Resiliency
  • Sustainability
  • Cultural Landscapes
  • Striving for a Diverse and Inclusive Preservation
  • Gentrification, mansionization, displacement
  • Preservation planning tools or techniques
  • Intangible Cultural Resources
  • Public History
  • Preservation Practice
  • Materials and Conservation Methods
  • Modernism, Postmodernism and the Challenges of Preservation for Certain Eras of Construction

Your proposal should share, describe, or include a more focused analysis of historic preservation topics.

  • Which projects have you worked on that hold promise as useful historic preservation tools or practices for community engagement?
  • How do you think Historic Preservation, as a discipline, can approach issues such as mansionization, gentrification, displacement, sustainability, economic development, and protection of heritage in low-income communities, the LGBTQ community, or communities of color.
  • How can historic preservation engage youth?
These are suggestive topics, but feel free to submit your proposal for consideration if it fits into the field of historic preservation.


Current full-time trade school, undergraduate, or graduate students enrolled in programs in California, Oregon, or Washington universities and colleges are eligible to enter the 2018 CPF Paper Competition, including those students who will complete their program in the Spring 2018. Abstracts may be developed specifically for this competition or may be ones completed for any preservation related course or training program during the 2017 – 2018 academic year. Abstracts must be the work of a single individual; team or group papers may be permitted, though they will need to confine their presentation to the same length as individual prize winner (15 minutes). Only one abstract per student/team is permitted. Selected teams will need to divide their $400 travel grant equally among all team members.


Submission Guidelines


  • Abstracts must be under 300 words
  • The title should not exceed 65 characters, including spaces and punctuation
  • Abstracts must follow the Chicago Manual of Style
Abstracts should define the subject and summarize the argument to be presented in the proposed paper. For undergraduate and graduate students, the content of that paper should be the product of well-documented original research that is primarily analytical and interpretive rather than descriptive in nature. For trade school applicants, the abstract should describe the methodology of a completed project and the key takeaways and conclusions you’ve drawn from your project’s completion. All abstracts will be held in confidence during the review and selection process, and only the session chair and general chair will have access to them.


Key Dates


  • February 19, 2018 – Submission of Abstract to California Preservation Foundation
  • March 9, 2018 – Session Chairs notify all persons submitting abstracts of their acceptance or rejection
  • March 19, 2018 – Speakers submit completed drafts of papers to session chairs
  • April 16, 2018 – Speakers complete revisions and distribute copy of their papers to session chairs
  • May 18, 2018, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM – Selected students present their topics at the conference center




Up to five selected students will each receive…

  • Complementary registration to the full 2018 CPF conference and a one-year complimentary membership to CPF, courtesy of the California Preservation Foundation.
  • A $400 travel grant, to be used for Room & Board or other travel expenses to the Annual Conference, thanks to the generous support of Liz’s Antique Hardware and an anonymous donor.
  • The opportunity to be matched up with a mentor in the preservation field, who is selected from a pool of interested mentors within our professional member database, committees, or Board of Directors.




Please address all questions to CPF Field Services Director, Jonathan Haeber ( cpf@californiapreservation.org / 415-495-0349 )



Submit your Abstract Here

Student Sessions - Conference