The Attic (a name which commemorates our first physical location) is, first and foremost, a site for the research students of the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester: a virtual community which aims to include all students, be they campus-based and full-time, or distance-learning and overseas. But we welcome contributions from students of museum studies - and allied subject areas - from outside the School and from around the world. Here you will find a lot of serious stuff, like exhibition and research seminar reviews, conference alerts and calls for papers, but there's also some 'fluff'; the things that inspire, distract and keep us going. After all, while we may be dead serious academic types, we're human too.

Friday, September 28, 2007

CFP: The Artefact and Our Text

From H-Museum:

Call for Papers

The Artefact and Our Text
Post-Graduate Conference at The University of Manchester
30th October 2007

How do we conceive the relationship between the text of our criticism and the cultural artefact (e.g.: a film, a novel, a sculpture, the object in the museum...)? We want to explore the ways in which contemporary cultural criticism deals with this problem. We welcome papers from every discipline in the humanities stating how research is influenced by the relationship between our text and the artefact.


We would like to bring as many positions as possible together in order to
enhance dialogue about our methods of cultural enquiry.
The following topics may serve as a guide, but are not exclusive:
. Method and cultural interpretation
. How do I, as an interpreter, face the object
. The importance of understanding the mediation of language in criticism
. The relationship between language and matter
. he materiality of the text/artefact
. Hermeneutics of the cultural object

Papers should be no more than 20 minutes long and abstracts should be
submitted by 5th October 2007 to juan.jimenez-anca@manchester.ac.uk

Industrial Heritage Weekend

From H-Museum:

Industrial Heritage 2007
Second European contact weekend for industrial heritage volunteers andassociations
Kortrijk - Zwevegem
16 - 18 November 2007

E-FAITH, the European Federation of Associations of Industrial and Technical Heritage is a young platform promoting contacts and co-operation between non profit volunteer associations, the place where those can meet, exchange experiences, learn from each other and support each other’s activities an campaigns. After a succesfull first meeting last year in October, attended by representatives from 11 countries, E-FAITH is now going to organize a second European contact weekend for volunteers and non profit organisations that are engaged in the research, the preservation, the interpretation and/or the presentation of the industrial and technical heritage.


It will again be an open and stimulating meeting where organisations and
individuals can present and compare their ideas, projects and results - and
find out where cooperation or common projects can grow, how they can support
the aims of colleagues and how colleagues can support their objectives. This
will be possible by lectures and oral presentations, leaflets, information
stands, posters and small exhibits. Each participant is allowed to use the
presentation techniques that to him/her seems to be the most appropriate.

The main themes of the meeting will be:
- European bordercrossing cooperation between industrial and technical
heritage associations
- twinning between associations
- exchanging experiences from the field

This second contact weekend is organised on November 16th-18th in Kortrijk
and Zwevegem (Belgium). Both towns are situated on the French-Belgian
border, less than 30 km from Lille (France). This second European Industrial
and Technical Heritage Weekend will take place in in the former electrical
power station of Zwevegem (protected by law and now being transformed into a
multifunctional cultural, music, meetings and business center) and in the
National Flax Museum in Kortrijk. The power station of Zwevegem holds turbo
generators and other machinery of Belgian, French, Swiss, Swedish,
Hungarian, etc. origin and offers a real 'European' story of electricity
production.

Participants will have the opportunity to visit the power station in detail.
On Sunday November 18th there will be a facultative bus tour in the region
(25 euro, lunch included), visiting the flax heritage (e.g. retting and
scutching), windmills (oil and grain mill, and the last flax scutching
windmill of Europe recently restored by a volunteer association), steam
engines, etc.

Additional information on the Second European Industrial and Technical
Heritage Weekend is available and will be regularly updated
- on the website of E-FAITH, www.e-faith.org
- or can be requested by e-mail at meetings@e-faith.org
- by fax + 32 56 41 76 36 or +32 56 25 51 73


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Conference Alert: Technology in Museums

From H-Museum:

TECHNOLOGY IN MUSEUMS: EMPOWERING THE VISITOR
National Academy Museum, 89th Street at 5th Avenue, New York City
19 October 2007

Keynote Speaker: Phil Reed, Director of the Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms, London

This essential day for museum and heritage professionals will bring together some of Europe's and North America's experts in using technology in all its forms. Speakers will show how to get the delicate balance right between technology and a curator's vision, to drive new audiences and build awareness of important but hard-to-reach collections, to show how museum professionals and their visitors can work together to generate content, all this while increasing productivity and bottom-line profits.


New York City's National Academy Museum, in Museum Mile in Manhattan will be
our base, and each day-long seminar will include eight speakers, lunch,
afternoon tea, and a wine reception. To further extend your opportunity for
networking, the final session of the afternoon will be a "surgery" where
each speaker will be available at a separate table to consult with delegates
about their own particular challenges and opportunities -- another chance to
get real, hands-on advice that you can take back to your own institutions.


CONFERENCE SPEAKERS INCLUDE:

Phil Reed
Director, Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms, London

Douglas Hegley
Deputy Chief Technology Officer, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Dave Patten
Head of New Media, Science Museum, London

Bill Haley
Founder and Director, Haley Sharpe Design Ltd, UK and North America

Nancy Proctor
Head of New Product Development, Antenna Audio

Bill Mori,
CEO, Arius 3D

Phillip Tiongson
Partner, Potion Design

The day long conference costs $395, with a discount of $100 for each
colleague who attends from the same institution. On the previous day, we
are holding a seminar on "Marketing in Museums: Building the Brand and
Extending Audience Reach." Delegates who register for both conferences can
do so for a fee of $495 for the two days.

To book, go to www.heritage365.com/conferences or email ann@heritage365.com.
Deadline: 12/10/07

Symposium: The Public Object

From H-ArtHist:

Symposium
The Public Object: Facing Contemporary Challenges in the Art Museum

February 01, 2008
10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
Baltimore, Maryland

Today's museums face the challenging task of balancing traditional, object-based demands with contemporary, audience-driven ones. Many things are at stake, including the public's sense of engagement with art, the status of museum-based scholarship, and the integrity of the object. These matters concern not just museum professionals, but critics, academics, artists, and museum visitors.


"The Public Object" takes as its starting point the question of whether the
primary responsibility of museums is to audiences and their values or to the
objects themselves. Participants will explore, through formal presentations
and discussion, how collections of historical objects can work as thinking
spaces for the present and future.

"The Public Object" is organized by the Walters Art Museum and the Program in
Museums and Society at Johns Hopkins University.

CONFERENCE PROGRAM:


Morning session (10 a.m.-noon):

Stephen Campbell, Chair, Department of the History of Art, Johns Hopkins
University
Introductory Remarks/Moderator

Peter Parshall, Curator of Old Master Prints, National Gallery of Art,
Washington, D.C., "The Disembodied Object: A Brief History,"

Elizabeth Rodini, Associate Director, Program in Museums and Society, Johns
Hopkins University, "Whose Art Museum? Historical and Contemporary Perspectives"


Afternoon session (2-5 p.m.)

Eik Kahng, Curator of 18th and 19th-Century Art, Walters Art Museum,
"Painting as a Visual Art: Should It Ever Be Heard, as Well as Seen?"

Martina Bagnoli, Associate Curator of Manuscripts and Rare Books, Walters Art
Museum, "The Implications of Global Demand for Western Culture"

Ivan Karp, Director of Center for Public Scholarship, Emory University,
Summary and response: "The Object and Its Public: An Anthropologist's
Perspective"

Reception (5:30-7 p.m.)


To register (conference is free) go to:

www.thewalters.org/eventscalendar/eventdetails.aspx?e=563&sd=2/1/2008&cd=0

Monday, September 24, 2007

NaMu: Setting the Frames - Proceedings online

The organisers have announced the publication of the proceedings from the first NaMu workshop held in Norrkoping back in February.

N.B. Contributor's posters from the second workshop are also published on the NaMu website, accessible to registered users only.

Conference Alert: Voiceless Odysseys

Voiceless Odysseys: excavating the unspeakable in enslavement

Thursday 27 September 14.00 – 19.00

2007 offers an opportunity to re-examine how the history of enslavement is both represented and remembered. What is voiced and what is left unspoken in our collective consciousness of enslavement? How do our cultural translations of the past constitute historical legitimacy in the present? This symposium draws together artists and academics to recover hidden histories.



Papers:

Problematic Histories: the slave trade, slavery and emancipation
Catherine Hall, Professor of Modern British Social and Cultural History,
University College London

The Mask. Remembering Slavery, Understanding Trauma
Grada Kilomba, Writer from the West African Islands São Tomé e Príncìpe and
lecturer at the Free University, Berlin

Blighty, Guinea, Dixie
Mary Evans, London-based Nigerian artist working primarily in installation and
intervention and Associate Lecturer at Central Saint Martins

Hawkins and Co.
Kimathi Donkor, London-based artist concerned with the cultural
representation of oppression and resistance

Chaired by Colin Prescod, Chair of the Institute of Race Relations and
Dr David Dibosa, Senior Lecturer in Fine Art Theory, University of the Arts,
London

With poetry readings by John Agard

Tickets: £15/£10 Bookings: 020 8312 8560 or bookings@nmm.ac.uk
National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, SE10 9NF
Cutty Sark Zone 2 Greenwich Zone 2 Greenwich Pier

CFP: The Intersection of the Learning Sciences and Museum Education

Call for Manuscripts from Researchers and Practitioners

The Intersection of the Learning Sciencesand Museum Education

An upcoming issue of the Journal of Museum Education (JME) will be devoted to the intersection of the learning sciences and museum education. Learning sciences researchers examine social, organizational, and cultural dynamics in teaching and learning while museum educators are immersed in practices that inform understanding about how diverse groups learn and interact. This issue will bring learning sciences research to the attention of museum researchers and practitioners and allow practitioners and researchers to participate in the learning sciences research agenda.


Articles should speak to both practitioners and researchers about theory, research, and practice specifically related to museum education and the role of the museum educator.

Authors should be interested in addressing
the advancement of scientific understanding and practice of teaching and learning in museum environments and
familiar with existing museum education literature.


Manuscripts should be between 1,500 and 3,000 words and
adhere to The Chicago Manual of Style, (15th Edition).

The deadline for receipt of manuscripts is January 1, 2008.

If you are interested in submitting a manuscript,
please send an email to Sandra Toro Martell at smartell@uwm.edu
or Heather Toomey Zimmerman at htoomey@u.washington.edu
for more information, including JME guidelines for style, language, and format.

Friday, September 21, 2007

CFP: Art in Public Spaces

From H-ArtHist:

Call for Papers

"Art in Public Spaces"

The Visual Culture Division invites submissions for the Sixth Annual Meeting of the Cultural Studies Association (U.S.) to be held on the campus of NYU in Greenwich Village, in New York City, May 22-24, 2008.

http://www.csaus.pitt.edu/frame_home.htm

Deadline: October 22, 2007

Art in Public Spaces

Public art, particularly in the form of monuments, has a centuries-old history, one traditionally associated with civic and state ideals‹ideals that were increasingly subverted in the post-revolutionary era by the destruction of extant monuments and the erection of anti-monuments.
Urbanization provided an important backdrop to the development of the public spaces of modernism, enabling as it did the flourishing of mass culture and mass media. As the nature and function of public space continued to shift over the course of the twentieth century, so did the meaning of "public" and of "art" in those spaces.


From Vladimir Tatlin's Monument to the Third International to Maya Lin's
Vietnam Memorial; and from Spencer Tunick's Naked States to Creative Time¹s
Panasonic-funded The 59th Minute: Video Art on the Times Square Astrovision,
not only have the role and function of art in public spaces changed, so has
the definition of public art's "social responsibility." As the rhetoric of
globalization increasingly de-emphasizes the city in favor of the flows of
capital, information, and identity, what is meant by "public space" is less
clear as the boundaries between public, private, and corporate space are
increasingly blurred‹if indeed they ever really were secure. Theories of
"public space" now often include not only the "virtual" public space of, for
example, Second Life, but, more problematically, even the "private spaces"
now made public on the Internet via webcams and surveillance.

In the face of Robert Smithson's "non-sites," of controversy over Richard
Serra's Tilted Arc, of graffiti gone high art, and of home videos gone
"viral," how are we to understand the ways that the art and visual culture
of public spaces intersects with or redefines social responsibility today?
Can we even talk about "public space" or "public art" anymore? What, if
anything, is lost or gained by the redefinition of these terms?

Topics might include, but are certainly not restricted to the following:

* The nomadism of site-specific art characterizing encounters between local
and global artists characterizing biennales of the last decade
* The AIDS quilt
* The ongoing destruction of traditional monuments such as the Bamiyan
Buddhas by the Taliban in Afghanistan and that of Saddam Hussein by US
troops
* Graffiti art, street art, tagging, web graffiti, hacking
* Homelessness and private space in public
* Public space and invasion of privacy
* Surveillance in public and self-surveillance in private

Please submit via email a 500-word abstract of a 15-20 minute paper
proposal, including name, department, and institutional affiliation, email
address, and one-page CV by October 22 to:

Kelly Dennis
Chair, CSA Visual Culture Division
Department of Art and Art History
830 Bolton Rd U-1099
University of Connecticut
Storrs, CT 06269-1099
kelly.dennis@uconn.edu

CFP: Museums and Refugees - Keeping Cultures

From H-Museum:

Call for Papers

Museums and Refugees - Keeping Cultures
Museum in Docklands, London
13-14 March 2008

End of call date: 17 October 2007

How do museums, the heritage sector, refugees and asylum seekers engage with each other? The collective and individual voices are rarely heard and often misrepresented in the media. How can we establish two-way conversations and together respond to the increased global focus on forced migration? Museums, academic research centres, non-government organisations and government departments/agencies now see the need to explore the cultural contributions to and impact of refugee and asylum seeker groups on urban and regional centres.


The conference aims to explore how museums and other heritage agencies are
responding to complex ethical, legal, social and political issues. What do
refugee or asylum seekers want from museums? How can museums inform debate
and, given recent trends in immigration and asylum polices, highlight
international and national obligations to protect people from persecution?


These issues significantly affect museums' work: curatorial decisions,
collecting strategies, partnerships, approaches to programming, as well as
shared decision making in collaborative exhibitions and public events. Are
museums agents and forums of cultural change or do they reflect social
change? Is there a new role for museums in terms of cultural facilitation
and mediation? Should museums be more proactive places for cross-cultural
exchange and understanding between 'new' communities and peoples of diverse
backgrounds? Are there appropriate ethical codes of practice in place to
facilitate these new relationships?

We invite a range of papers that might be prompted by these questions as
well as three conference themes:

1. Giving voice to refugees: the museological agenda
- what are the current museological strategies to record, engage and reflect
diverse tangible and intangible heritage?
- what resources and expertise can museums offer to and exchange with
individuals and community groups and in turn serve as a counterpoint to the
dominant discourses?
- to what extent do current practices inform museological policies,
practices and long-term agendas for working with refugee and asylum seeker
groups?

2. Evidencing social impact of work with new communities
- how can concepts such as social capital be an effective means of to
measure museums' effectiveness, develop responsive practice and inform
policies and funding opportunities?
- can museums be effective forums for bridging, by offering active
participation, access to power and encouraging cross-cultural discussions,
debate and understanding - and, if so, how can this be realising measured in
terms of evidence that will convince policy makers?
- where does the work of museums sit with political and social policies on
measuring social impact, e.g. in terms of regeneration, social cohesion?
- can we ensure that notions of citizenship and values are not used to
promote the cultural values of a more dominant group over another?

3. Innovation and lasting partnerships
- how can museums and heritage agencies be more creative and innovative in
addressing these issues?
- how can museums develop more flexible spaces and partnerships to present
plural perspectives of groups and individuals' histories and heritage
(tangible and intangible)?
- how can museums work better with refugee and asylum seekers, new
communities, universities and other relevant agencies as a knowledge base
and communicate these issues to the public.

We would welcome abstracts of 1-2 pages on these issues and other issues
pertinent to the aims of this conference - these might include partnership
work, community cantered museum work, social inclusion, diasporas and
transnational social movements, gender and sexuality, deportation and
detention, and combating racism.

Please send abstracts and/or proposals to dmcintyre@museumoflondon.org.uk
and korchard@museumoflondon.org.uk by 17 October 2007.

Responses to abstracts will be by 1 December 2007.

A selection of papers will be published in the Museums and Diversity series,
which is published by UNESCO.


Dr. Darryl McIntyre
Group Director, Public Programmes
Museum of London Group
150 London Wall
London. EC2Y 5HN
Tel: 020 7814 5663
Fax: 0870 444 3853
Email: dmcintyre@museumoflondon.org.uk
www.museumoflondon.org.uk

CFP: Museum Education Monitor (MEM)

From H-Museum:

Are you or your students currently undertaking research or evaluation on questions related to museum learning, education and interpretation? Work by museum professionals and volunteers, faculty and students is all equally welcome and will be listed.

MUSEUM EDUCATION MONITOR (MEM), the monthly e-newsletter, is now compiling a list of ongoing research and evaluation projects on questions relating to museum/gallery education or interpretation for our upcoming October 2007 issue.


If you wish to share your research or evaluation with others around the
world, please send an e-mail to mem@mccastle.com that includes:
- name of project
- research or evaluation question(s) [no more than 50 words, please]
- how the data will be presented [report, article, dissertation, program,
training event, workshop, curriculum, plan for change, etc.]
- principal researcher(s)/ evaluator(s)
- site(s) where research is being conducted
- time span
- contact information
- key words to describe the project [no more than 4 or 5, please] Deadline
for this issue is *Friday, October 5, 2007.*

All listings are free. Submissions are included in the current MEM and
catalogued afterwards in our online archives, which holds all of our past
issues (to Feb. 2004) in PDF format. Full access to the MEM Archives is
available only to subscribers. However, time-limited guest passes are
available to students and interested others by contacting MEM at
mem@mccastle.com .

FYI, the following research projects were listed in MEM, August 2007:
- At the Crossroads: 'Discovery Centres' in museums: their development,
history, philosophy, and management (Australia)
- Visitor Centre Visitation in a Provincial Park (Canada)
- Industrial and technical museums - historical education with relics of
industrialisation (Germany)
- Target: Education. How do museums reach it? A managerial perspective
(Romania)
- Virtual Museums in Real Classrooms: Pedagogical Practice and Implications
for Design (UK)

UPDATES on research listed in earlier issues of MEM:
- What previous knowledge, experience and interest do Science North visitors
have of polar science? (Canada)
- Cultural Hubs (UK)
- 21st century review of attendance statistics for Australian museums
(Australia
- Teacher Usage of Art Museum Online Curriculum and Lesson
Plans(USA)(includes link to thesis)

A complimentary copy of the August 2007 issue of Museum Education
Monitor noted above is available upon request to mem@mccastle.com .

Please get in touch for more information about this call or to discuss your
research. We look forward to hearing from you!

M. Christine Castle, Editor, Museum Education Monitor Hamilton, Ontario,
Canada
mem@mccastle.com
Museum Education Monitor will be upgrading and expanding its services as of
October 1/07. Subscribe today to enjoy the new MEM at the old rate!
For more information visit http://www.mccastle.com

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

CFP: Museum Ethnography at Home

From: Ethnomuseums listserv

FIRST CALL FOR PAPERS

'MUSEUM ETHNOGRAPHY AT HOME'
Museum Ethnographers' Group Annual UK Conference 2008,
Thursday and Friday 10-11 April 2008
Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford.

Museums of anthropology are supposed to be fascinated by 'the other', the material culture of exotic cultures and remote places, far from the site of the museums. However, the Pitt Rivers Museum is not the only UK ethnographic museum which actually has large ethnographic and archaeological collections from its own country.


This conference will explore the many aspects of museum ethnography at home. It is hoped that participants will explore this theme as widely as possible and it is anticipated that not all of the 'homes' that will be explored will be English or British. Papers might consider the kind of issues that arise when carrying out ethnographic research in a home country or else look at historic research or historic collections of 'home' material.

It is hoped that one of the sessions will be led by Chris Gosden, Professor of European Archaeology at Oxford University, who is currently the leader of an ESRC-funded 3 year research project looking into precisely these issues regarding the large English
collections at the Pitt Rivers Museum. Other sessions may focus on other museums and collections.

In addition, a 'work in progress' session is planned for up-to-date information on current and on-going projects, this may relate to any field of museum ethnography not just this year's conference theme (informal 5-10 minute presentations are required).

Papers from the conference may be considered for publication in the Journal of Museum Ethnography published annual by the Group.

For further information or to propose papers or sessions contact:
Alison Petch, Pitt Rivers Museum, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PP United Kingdom
Tel: [+44] [0]1865 613007 Email: alison.petch@prm.ox.ac.uk

The closing date for submissions and abstracts is Friday 1 February 2008.


Monday, September 17, 2007

The First Emperor: A Preview

I've been sent an online preview of the BM's new exhibition: The First Emperor. You can access it by clicking here. Oh, and if you pass it onto your mates you're entered into a draw to win a trip to China! The preview certainly creates an atmosphere and a sense of anticipation. Although the exhibition opened last week, it's unlikely I'll get to see it until demand for tickets has died down a bit. I hope it will be worth the wait!

Actually, it looks like it will. The British media has been going CRAZY for the terracotta warriers which feature in the exhibition, and BBC2 broadcast a documentary about its making the other night. Although it was a bit of a superficial introduction to Qin Shihuangdi (the aforementioned 'First Emperor'), it gave an insight into the development of a major exhibition, which was fascinating - from initial discussions about the exhibition narrative, to the engineering work required to construct the gallery space in the Reading Room, to the choice of a Chinese font for text translations.

I'm succumbing to blockbuster exhibition fever!

A bumper crop of new publications from the Department of Museum Studies

This is going to be a loooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnngggggggggg post - sorry!

Museums and Education: Purpose, Pedagogy, Performance (Museum Meanings) (Hardcover)

by Eilean Hooper Greenhill (Author)

At the beginning of the 21st century museums are challenged on a number of fronts. The prioritisation of learning in museums in the context of demands for social justice and cultural democracy combined with cultural policy based on economic rationalism forces museums to review their educational purposes, redesign their pedagogies and account for their performance.

The need to theorise learning and culture for a cultural theory of learning is very pressing.If culture acts as a process of signification, a means of producing meaning that shapes worldviews, learning in museums and other cultural organisations is potentially dynamic and profound, producing self-identities.

How is this complexity to be 'measured'? What can this 'measurement' reveal about the character of museum-based learning? The calibration of culture is an international phenomenon, and the measurement of the outcomes and impact of learning in museums in England has provided a detailed case study.

Three national evaluation studies were carried out between 2003 and 2006 based on the conceptual framework of Generic Learning Outcomes. Using this revealing data "Museums and Education" reveals the power of museum pedagogy.

Product details

Hardcover: 256 pages Publisher: Routledge (1 Sep 2007) Language English ISBN-10: 0415379350 ISBN-13: 978-0415379359 Price: £70 (Hardcover) £23.99 (Papercover)

***

Museum Revolutions How Museums Change and are Changed

by Sheila Watson, Suzanne MacLeod, and Simon Knell

This single-volume museum studies reference title explores the ways in which museums are shaped and configured and how they themselves attempt to shape and change the world around them. Written by a leading group of museum professionals and academics from around the world and including new research, the chapters reveal the diverse and subtle means by which museums engage and in so doing change and are changed.

The authors span over 200 years discussing national museums, ecomuseums, society museums, provincial galleries, colonial museums, the showman's museum, and science centres.

Topics covered include: disciplinary practices, ethnic representation, postcolonial politics, economic aspiration, social reform, indigenous models, conceptions of history, urban regeneration, sustainability, sacred objects, a sense of place, globalization, identities, social responsibility, controversy, repatriation, human remains, drama, and learning and education.

Capturing the richness of the museum studies discipline, "Museum Revolutions "is the ideal text for museum studies courses, providing a wide range of interlinked themes and the latest thought and research from experts in the field.

Product details

Hardcover: 352 pages Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (1 Jun 2007) Language English ISBN-10: 0415444667 ISBN-13: 978-0415444668 RRP: £76.99 (Hardcover) £25.99 (Paperback)

***

Museums in the Material World

by Simon Knell (Editor)

"Museums in the Material World" seeks to both introduce classic and thought-provoking pieces and contrast them with articles which reveal grounded practice. The articles are selected from across the full breadth of museum disciplines and are linked by a logical narrative, as detailed in the section introductions.

The choice of articles reveals how the debate has opened up on disciplinary practice, how the practices of the past have been critiqued and in some cases replaced, how it has become necessary to look beyond and outside disciplinary boundaries, and how old practices can in many circumstances continue to have validity.

"Museums in the Material World" is about broadening horizons and moving museum studies students, and others, beyond the narrow confines of their own disciplinary thinking or indeed any narrow conception of collections. In essence, this is a book about the practice of interpretation and will therefore be of great use to those students and museum practitioners involved in the field of material culture in museums.

Product details

Hardcover: 392 pages Publisher: Routledge; New Ed edition (7 Jun 2007) Language English ISBN-10: 041541699X ISBN-13: 978-0415416993 Product Dimensions: 24.2 x 17.4 x 2.4 cm RRP: £27.50 (Hardcover)

***

Recoding the Museum: Digital Heritage and the Technologies of Change

by Ross Parry (Author)

"Recoding the Museum" is a cultural reading of how 'new media' has coded the practices, aspirations and perceptions of the modern museum.

Through an historical approach, Ross Parry excavates cultural assumptions and values that provide the basis of museum information management and display, and that are still used to this day. The book analyzes topics such as digitization techniques, database management, virtual reality and hypermedia.

Parry resists models of technological determinism, passive media, and the notions of the museum as a constant institution transmitting knowledge, and instead predicates : that communication technologies are as formed (as they inform) society; that new media as a cultural product is an active contributor to any message it transmits; and that museums themselves are an adaptive medium that tend to be part of dynamic interactions with a diverse and active audience.

For students and professionals in the field, this is a hugely interesting and enlightening book full of ideas and arguments to make you think.

Product details

Hardcover: 192 pages Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (1 Sep 2007) Language English ISBN-10: 0415353874 ISBN-13: 978-0415353878 RRP: £65 (Hardcover) £22.99 (Papercover)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

On My Desk

Here's a simple, but delightful little blog which I find really inspiring. On My Desk: Creative folk share the stuff on their desk features photographs of artists', designers' and writers' work areas, with a brief description of the things they have around them by the owners themselves. I wonder what all your desks look like? Here's mine for starters...



Look! I'm writing an Attic blog post!! ;)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

If doing a PhD isn't tough enough....

Now we have to contend with people who can do them in two years whilst an undergraduate and also without a BSc in the subject they are studying!!! This came to light whilst I was idly looking at the University of Leicester home page where Mohammad Al-Fayez's amazing story was headlined....

http://www2.le.ac.uk/ebulletin/features/2000-2009/2007/09/nparticle.2007-09-03.3118764063

But then I read on. It transpires that he already has a BSc from another university, or so it suggests, which makes the whole thing rather confusing. However Mohammad's experience as a PhD student is sure to strike some as familiar, as he states in the article;

"A postgraduate student needs to focus, persevere and be open to inspiration. The biggest surprise for me was how lonely research work can be, in spite of all the help and camaraderie available. Using your intellect is not enough. It takes a lot of hard work and complete commitment to succeed."

I wonder however if stories like this are motivating or unhelpful, especially to those who struggle with their PhDs. For me it was more of a neutral response, lucky him I thought and went back to grappling with the ways in which I am going to be taking my own PhD forward.

On another note (yes it is going to be one of those pointless rambles today) I noticed now that the word 'curator' is breaking out of the museum sector and is being used in a host of other contents, particularly the music festival world. For example I attended Bestival over the weekend on the Isle of Wight, which was curated by Rob da Bank, otherwise a Radio 1 DJ. Other music events which have been curated include the South Bank Festival. Considering the museum world is mostly ignored by those outside it, for me it is interesting that the term we most associate with it is now being used more widely. I guess it gives a posher alternative to 'putting together' :D

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

CFP: Material Posessions

From H-Museum:

Call for papers (Collection)

"Material Possessions: Objects and Textures of Everyday Life in Imperial Britain"

Focusing on the materiality of everyday life in nineteenth-century Britain and its imperial possessions, this collection seeks essay submissions that move Victorian material studies beyond the museum to demonstrate how preoccupations with the shape and form of common household goods and domestic habits lay at the heart of Victorian-era debates about cultural institutions ranging from personal matters of marriage and family to the more overtly political issues of empire building. While existing scholarship on material culture has centered on nineteenth-century artifacts in museums and galleries, this collection shifts its focus to the practices of everyday life. Through prosaic habits of shopping, housekeeping, and child rearing as well as rituals of tea drinking, holiday excursions, and Christmas celebrations, Britons of all classes established, sometimes inadvertently, the tenets of domesticity as central to individual happiness, national security, and imperial hegemony.


As is now widely understood, however, the Victorians? sense of domestic surety was by no means secure. The beauty products, advice columns, and emigration pamphlets marketed toward middle-class spinsters after the census of 1841 speak to the social and political functions of matrimony as a means of cultural reproduction and to the ways that domestic matters impacted colonial policy. Similarly, a perceived crisis of identity among the British laboring classes prompted spectacular displays of industrial and imperial wares in the Great Exhibition of 1851. In the Great Stink of 1855 noxious effluvia from the Thames closed Parliament, raising further specters about disease, urban planning, and household management at the heart of the imperial metropole. We contend that studies of the material traces of these and other less notable historical sites will provide significant links between homes and museums, between household management and political agency at home and in the empire, and between individual acts of conspicuous display and collective pressures toward conformity. This materialist approach amounts to a rethinking of Victorian cultural formation via the domestic.

We see Material Possessions as addressing the political, economic, psychological, and material practices that allowed nineteenth-century Britons to reassert British identity in an imperial age and, in the process, to refashion the most private aspects of England?s public culture. We anticipate analyses of key objects and practices, as well as a wide range of literary and extraliterary sources, including novels, household manuals, advertisements, illustrated newspapers, pattern books, song lyrics, street maps, playbills, blueprints, scientific treatises, and government reports. We especially encourage essays that use material studies to address the stability and stabilizing structures of life at home, when home itself is increasingly freighted by imperial sojourns, colonial return, class conflict, and gender concerns.

Submissions from English, history, art history, anthropology, law, family studies, and other relevant disciplines, as well as interdisciplinary analyses, are welcome. Please direct questions or submissions of 1000- to 1500-word abstracts as well as a short vita to both editors, Dr. Janet Myers, Elon University (jmyers@elon.edu) and Dr. Deirdre McMahon, Saint Joseph?s University (deirdre.mcmahon@sju.edu). The deadline for abstracts is October 15, 2007; the deadline for accepted essays (approx. 5,000-8,000 words) will be March 15, 2008.

Dr. Deirdre McMahon
Department of English
Saint Joseph's University

Dr. Janet Myers
Department of English
Elon University

Email: deirdre.mcmahon@sju.edu , jmyers@elon.edu

Monday, September 10, 2007

A pointer to 3pointD: 9/11 Gets a Fitting Memorial in Second Life

Museums and memorials both deal with memory (I know, the clue's in the name) and both need sustaining for this to work. Of course many museums act as memorials and sometimes it's not really clear which we're looking at.

The memorial to 9/11mentioned in 3pointDs post sounds like a case in point (I haven't seen it, still no SL account but slowly getting keener on trying it out). "Artworks" in SL are, it would appear, common enough, indeed so are museums and galleries; but something like this memorial seems to be on a level very appropriate to the question I want to ask regarding experience-level resources, and when and how we decide what will happen to them in the future. There are many other questions of a more museological bent: who can feel ownership of this? does that matter anyway? can we be confident of what we see there?

Maybe I'll sign up soon and decide for myself. If it's as powerful as it sounds I hope the memorial is durable, but the chances of that are hard to assess in these hosted virtual worlds.
Empty as it may sound, my thoughts go out to those who lost loved ones that day six years ago, and indeed to those who were lost or scarred. The media is doing a good job of memorialising right now, and my mind is quite full of those terrible events; they never seem to settle down into becoming assimilated knowledge, bleached of much of their original emotion, in the way that other disasters so often seem to. The shock is still there.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

CFP: 34th Annual CAC Conference and Workshop

From H-Museum:

Call for Papers

34th Annual CAC Conference and Workshop
Montreal, Quebec
30 May – 5 June 2008

The Canadian Association for Conservation of Cultural Property is pleased to invite you to its 34th Annual Conference and Workshop in Montreal, Canada. The conference will be held at the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec followed by a 4-day workshop to be held at the McCord Museum. Both events will offer simultaneous translation in English and French.


Conference
30 May – 1 June 2008

Abstracts on all aspects of conservation are invited. In addition to formal papers, submissions for posters and video presentations are also welcomed. Abstracts for conference presentations must be between 300-500 words written in English with French translation if available. Presentations should last no longer than twenty minutes. Poster and video presentations must use a maximum space of three feet wide by four feet high. Please include the title of the presentation, name(s) of the author(s), mailing address, telephone and fax numbers, e-mail addresses, name of the presenter and the required AV material.

Submit abstracts by December 15, 2007 to: Joan Marshall, Conference Program Chair, e-mail address. Please send submissions by e-mail attachment (Times New Roman font, 12 points, double-spaced) and indicate 'Call for Papers-CAC 2008' in the subject line. Abstracts will be published and should contain all essential details, main results and conclusions. Ambiguous phrases such as ‘will be discussed’ or ‘will be presented' should be avoided. A selection committee will review abstracts and notify speakers by January 30, 2008. Participation from students, new members and professionals from allied fields is encouraged.


Workshop
2 June – 5 June 2008

The 4-day workshop, a collaboration between the CAC and the Canadian Conservation Institute, will be held at the McCord Museum. The workshop New Methods of Cleaning Painted and Decorative Surfaces, Including the Modular Cleaning Program: a Systemic Approach to Cleaning Artworks is aimed at conservators involved in the cleaning of painted and decorative surfaces. The instructors, Richard Wolbers, Associate Professor, Art Conservation Department, University of Delaware, and Chris Stavroudis, Paintings Conservator in private practice, will present an overview of the theoretical principles needed to evaluate and formulate tailored aqueous and solvent-based cleaning systems for a variety of painted and decorative surface problems. The workshop will consist of lectures and practical session in the laboratory.

Workshop topics will include: the characterization of painted surfaces; aqueous and solvent cleaning techniques; chelating/complexing materials, thickeners, gels, pastes and poultices; and resin soaps, enzymes and emulsions. Problems will consist of soil, coating and overpaint removal.

Participants will also have the opportunity to use the Modular Cleaning Program (MCP), developed by Chris Stavroudis and based on Richard Wolber’s systemic approach to cleaning artworks. This program consists of concentrated stock solutions and a computer database that will assist conservators in cleaning with solvents, solvent gels, and water-borne systems. The database assists the conservator in combining the stock solutions, provides information about the solutions and their components, and assists in speifying and mixing new solutions.


Saturday, September 08, 2007

New Issue: museum & society

museum & society Vol. 5 (2007), No. 2

-------------------------------------------

Contents:

'Difficult' exhibitions and intimate encounters
Jennifer Bonnell & Roger I. Simon 65
http://www.le.ac.uk/ms/m&s/Issue%2014/bonnellsimon.pdf

Struggles between curators and artists: the case of the Tochigi Prefectural Museum of Fine Arts in Japan in the early 1980s
Masaaki Morishita 86
http://www.le.ac.uk/ms/m&s/Issue%2014/Morishita.pdf

Authentic recreation: living history and leisure
Lain Hart 103
http://www.le.ac.uk/ms/m&s/Issue%2014/lainhart.pdf


Book Reviews
http://www.le.ac.uk/ms/m&s/Issue%2014/reviews.pdf

Lara Perry, History's Beauties: Women and the National Portrait Gallery
Kate Hill

Vicki Cassman, Nancy Odegaard, and Joseph Powell (eds) Human Remains: guide for museums and academic institutions
Myra Giesen

Caroline Lang, John Reeve and Vicky Woollard (eds) The Responsive Museum: working with audiences in the twenty-first century
Graham Black

Friday, September 07, 2007

CFP: NaMu IV: Comparing - national museums, territories, nation-building and change

NaMu IV: Comparing - national museums, territories, nation-building and change
End of call date: 21 September 2007
Linköping University, Norrköping, Sweden, 18-20 February 2008

This three-day conference is the fourth in a series of six international workshops bringing together current and recent PhD students and senior scholars. Application for participation is open for all disciplines doing research on the historical and contemporary dynamics surrounding National Museums. The program and series is presented on http://www.namu.se/.

C o mp a r i n g is part of the program Making National Museums: Comparing institutional arrangements, narrative scope and cultural integration (NaMu), funded by Marie Curie Conferences & Training Courses – one of the four so-called Host-driven actions aimed at supporting research networks, research organisations and enterprises. The specific objective is to bring together researchers with different levels of experience.

The NaMu programme will form a new departure for understanding and working with the diversity of museum institutions in Europe by bringing the multidisciplinary field of museum and heritage studies together with a sharp and comparative focus on national museums. The purpose of the programme is to develop the tools, concepts and organisational resources necessary for training researchers, investigating and comparing the major public structures of national museums, responding to challenges of globalisation, European integration, and new media. This will be achieved by a series of conferences providing a venue for newer scholars and eminent researchers from Europe and elsewhere to gather and develop the multidisciplinary competence necessary for understanding and comparing the dynamics of national museums in a framework of broader studies of historical culture and identity politics. The full programme of six consecutive workshops is presented on the website http://www.namu.se/

In earlier conferences we have explored the complexity of defining National Museums and laboured with contemporary narrative analyses. In November in Oslo we will deal specifically with how diversity and difference are negotiated in an increasingly globalized world and looked into contemporary challenges.
The fourth conference in the series will take an explicit historical and comparative outlook dealing with any of the main questions of the program:

1) Comparing relationships between different forms of national museums and their related
academic disciplines. To what extent were and are they part of institutions of knowledge? Do
they present a coherent approach to memory politics? To what extent are there autonomous
logics operating in the evolution of cultural, historical, technical, natural and art national
museums?
2) Comparing the narratives told in and by museums: how do they evolve over time? What “us”
and what “others” were constructed with what means? Do they differ between countries
structurally?
3) Comparing the role of national museums in the overall history of their setting (relating to
disciplinary, esthetical, political and economical developments. Are they forming nations, creating
hegemony, arguing for change, disrupting order or integrate?
Papers might deal with any of these themes. Papers that take a comparative strand in space
and/or time are welcomed. Those papers that are based more on case studies are asked to
articulate comparative aspects that will be focused when placed into sessions. Some of the papers
will be picked up to be used more extensively for workshops, while others will be more of input
to be read beforehand. This will give us the opportunity to discuss empirical answers to the
questions above, but also to deal with methodology. How can comparison be used to enhance
the level of knowledge in this field of study? What are the most fruitful ambitions to generalize,
individualize, theory development through comparative reflection? What are the most effective
level of comparison: institutions, nations, processes? It is also possible to participate without
presenting a paper if you can provide a strong motivation of the mutual benefit anticipated.
More information on the website, www.namu.se. Send application by registering at www.namu.se
and submit an abstract or motivation of 1-3 pages to Andreas.Nyblom@isak.liu.se before 21
September 2006. Admittance will be decided before 1 November. Papers to be delivered. 10
January. You will also need to supply Andreas with details of your likely travel costs. Reaching
Campus Norrköping, Linköping University can be done through Linköping or Norrköping
airports or Stockholm (Arlanda or Nyköping), Copenhagen (Kastrup) and then train/bus. Final
selection will be made to ensure a rich disciplinary and national mix of delegates.
Grants for accepted participants will cover limited travel costs and accommodation at the
conference.
There are three categories of participation:
1. There are 30 paid places for current PhD students who have not completed more than 4
years of postgraduate research.
2. There are 10 paid places for current postdoctoral researchers with less that 6 years
postgraduate research experience.
Funding covers two nights accommodation, a contribution to travel expenses and all meals whilst
at the conference.
3. A select group of keynote speakers and advisory board members will participate at the
conference. Individuals who believe they could help shape these workshops through
presentations etc should contact the local organisers for each workshop.
Past, present and future meetings in the NaMu series (specific titles to be confirmed in
some cases):
• Workshop 1: Setting the frames, Cultural Studies, Linköping University, Norrköping,
Sweden, 26-28 February 2007.
• Workshop 2: National museum narratives, Department of Museum Studies, University
of Leicester, UK, 18-20 June 2007
• Workshop 3: National museums in a global world, Department of culture studies and
oriental languages, University of Oslo, Norway, 19-21 November 2007
• Workshop 4: Comparing - national museums, territories, nation-building and
change, Cultural Studies, Linköping University, Norrköping, Sweden, 18-20 February
2008
• Workshop 5. National museums in a technological Europe, Department of Museum
Studies, University of Leicester, 16-18 June 2008
• Workshop 6. Concluding conference: European national museums encountering a
globalized culture, Department of culture studies and oriental languages, University of
Oslo, Norway, 17-19 November 2008

Organising Committee
Professor Peter Aronsson, Culture Studies, Linköping University, Sweden.
Professor Arne Bugge Amundsen, Cultural History, University of Oslo, Norway.
Professor Simon Knell, Museum Studies, University of Leicester, UK.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

CFP: NaMu III: National museums in a global world

NaMu III: National museums in a global world

End of call date: 21 September 2007
Department of culture studies and oriental languages, University of Oslo, Norway,
19-21 November 2007

This three-day conference is the third in a series of six international workshops bringing together current and recent PhD students and senior scholars. Application for participation is open for all disciplines doing research on the historical and contemporary dynamics surrounding National Museums. The program and series is presented on http://www.namu.se/.

The conference European national museums in a global world is part of the programme Making National Museums: Comparing institutional arrangements, narrative scope and cultural integration (NaMu), funded by Marie Curie Conferences & Training Courses – one of the four so-called Host-driven actions aimed at supporting research networks, research organisations and enterprises. The specific objective is to bring together researchers with different levels of experience.


The NaMu programme will form a new departure for understanding and working with the
diversity of museum institutions in Europe by bringing the multidisciplinary field of museum
and heritage studies together with a sharp and comparative focus on national museums. The
purpose of the programme is to develop the tools, concepts and organisational resources
necessary for training researchers, investigating and comparing the major public structures of
national museums, responding to challenges of globalisation, European integration, and new
media. This will be achieved by a series of conferences providing a venue for newer scholars
and eminent researchers from Europe and elsewhere to gather and develop the
multidisciplinary competence necessary for understanding and comparing the dynamics of
national museums in a framework of broader studies of historical culture and identity
politics. The full programme of six consecutive workshops is presented on the website
http://www.namu.se/.

In two earlier conferences this year we have explored the complexity of defining National
Museums (NaMu I, Norrköping 26-28 February) and discussed contemporary narrative
analyses (NaMu II, Leicester 18-20 June). In November, in Oslo, we will deal specifically
with how diversity and difference are negotiated in an increasingly globalized world and how
this presents contemporary challenges to national museums.

The Oslo conference will have three kinds of activities: Key note speakers, paper
presentations and opportunities for exploring national museums in Oslo engaged in
questions relating to globalization and multicultural challenges. Details regarding key note
speakers and excursions will be presented later.

The intention of the conference is to explore how the museum has dealt with, and still deals
with, “the Other”. What happens when European national museums are confronted with the
expectation of responding to multi-cultural processes in a globalized world? It would be
expected that the responses have differed widely between European national museums, and
therefore the conference should focus on these differences and develop theoretical and
methodological tools for describing and analyzing these differences.

The Oslo conference in November 2007 will try to address some of these questions, and try
to do so in diverse ways and from a range of perspectives. Probably a good way to approach
this field is by a starting with the overall perspectives of post-colonialism: the construction
of ethnical approaches to minority identity and – not least – to the use of history and cultural
heritage in strategies that aim at legitimating political and economic power for new groups
and societies in different parts of the world. The question of “the Other” is here not only a
question of justice or moral standards but also, of course, a question concerning the struggle
for cultural, symbolic and political power.

Focal points of the conference will be such questions as:

• How are past and present enemies of the state dealt with in national museums historical narratives?
• How are religious or confessional diversities dealt with in national museums?
• How have national museums addressed the challenges of multiculturalism? How has this been challenged by one-nation politics?
• What has been the interplay between the European dimension and universal citizenship and human rights?

From these general, overarching questions, the delegates may then explore:
• The political, rhetorical and practical strategies adopted by national museums.
• To what extent it is possible to combine the concept of a national museum with a multi-cultural approach.

Papers can deal with any of these themes. Papers that take a comparative perspective on
space and/or time are welcomed. Some of the papers will be picked up to be used more
extensively for workshops, while others may be used for preparatory reading beforehand.
This will give us the opportunity to discuss empirical responses to the questions above, but
also to deal with theory and methodology.

It is possible to participate without presenting a paper if you can provide a strong motivation
of the mutual benefit anticipated.

More information can be found on the website, http://www.namu.se/. Send an application by
registering at http://www.namu.se/ and submit an abstract or motivation of 1-3 pages to the
conference assistant, Richard Susegg – rsusegg@gmail.com before 21 September 2007.
Admittance will be decided before 8 October. Papers should be delivered no later than 1
November. You will also need to supply Richard Susegg with details of your likely travel
costs. Reaching the University of Oslo and the Department of culture studies and oriental
languages can be done through Oslo Gardermoen airport and from there train and tram (ca
40 minutes).

The final selection of contributions will be made to ensure a rich disciplinary and national
mix of delegates.
Grants for accepted participants will cover limited travel costs and accommodation
at the conference.
There are three categories of participation:
1. There are 30 paid places for current PhD students who have not completed more
than 4 years of postgraduate research.
2. There are 10 paid places for current postdoctoral researchers with less that 6 years
postgraduate research experience.
Funding covers two nights accommodation, a contribution to travel expenses and all meals
whilst at the conference.
3. A select group of keynote speakers and advisory board members will participate at
the conference. Individuals who believe they could help shape these workshops
through presentations etc should contact the local organisers for each workshop.
Past, present and future meetings in the NaMu series (specific titles to be confirmed
in some cases):
• Workshop 1: Setting the frames, Cultural Studies, Linköping University,
Norrköping, Sweden, 26-28 February 2007.
• Workshop 2: National museum narratives, Department of Museum Studies,
University of Leicester, UK, 18-20 June 2007
• Workshop 3: National museums in a global world, Department of culture studies
and oriental languages, University of Oslo, Norway, 19-21 November 2007
• Workshop 4: Comparing - national museums, territories, nation-building and
change, Cultural Studies, Linköping University, Norrköping, Sweden, 18-20
February 2008
• Workshop 5. National museums in a technological Europe, Department of
Museum Studies, University of Leicester, 16-18 June 2008
• Workshop 6. Concluding conference: European national museums encountering a
globalized culture, Department of culture studies and oriental languages, University
of Oslo, Norway, 17-19 November 2008

Organising Committee
Professor Peter Aronsson, Culture Studies, Linköping University, Sweden.
Professor Arne Bugge Amundsen, Cultural History, University of Oslo, Norway.
Professor Simon Knell, Museum Studies, University of Leicester, UK

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Rethinking Disability Representation

Those of you who subscribe to Jim's job desk emails will have already seen this, but for those that don't...

I am pleased to be able to circulate the first update from the Rethinking Disability Representation in Museums and Galleries project.This is available as an Acrobat file by clicking here. (Please note: this is 700Kb).

Rethinking Disability Representation was initiated and is managed byRCMG (the Research Centre for Museums and Galleries in the University of Leicester's Department of Museum Studies) and is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, NESTA (the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts), with contributions from the University and the nine (UK)partner museums involved.

This is the first of a series of project updates designed to share the outcomes and learning experiences of the project with interested parties - practitioners, policy makers and researchers working across a number of different areas; principally museums, heritage and culture but also the field of disability rights and equality.

Details and contacts for the Research Centre for Museums and Galleries can be found here.