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.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Calls for Papers for an exhibit catalog in NJ

The Museum of Early Trades & Crafts is seeking proposals for articles to
include in the formal exhibit catalog for the exhibit "Ghost, Ghouls and
Gravestones: The Trades of Burial" set to run September 2013 through
February 2014. All articles should relate in some way to the theme of
the exhibit and the state of New Jersey.

Abstract for the Exhibit:
The only guarantees in life are death and taxes.- Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin had it right, death is one of the few guarantees in
life and starting during the colonial period the final phase of life
helped to support numerous tradesmen in the American colonies, later
states. Among the several trades involved were gravediggers,
coffin-makers and gravestone carvers. Few tradesmen could survive solely
working these trades, unless they resided in heavily populated areas
during prosperous times, but they honed their skills while producing
similar products. While they may not have plied their trades full-time
these men helped their communities to mourn their dead and continue with
life. New Jersey tradesmen, notably John Frazee and Uzal Ward, also made
several major contributions to the mourning practices and styles in the
Mid-Atlantic region. Examples of these styles can be found in Bottle
Hill/ Hillside Cemetery, which also has several prominent graves. The
exhibit will also explore some of the well known ghost stories from the
area that have influenced the way burial trades and mourning practices
are perceived.

Please submit a 150-200 word proposal and C.V, by January 9, 2013.
Notification of acceptance will be made by the end of January.
Articles will be due June 17, 2013.
All proposals and questions should be sent to:

Siobhan R. Fitzpatrick
Curator of Collections and Exhibits
Museum of Early Trades and Crafts
9 Main Street
Madison, NJ 07940
curator@metc.org

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

UKMW12 Conference!

The Museums Computer Group’s annual Museums on the Web conference – UKMW12 – will be held at the Wellcome Collection in London on 30 November 2012.
The theme for UKMW12 is ‘strategically digital’. Responding to the issues faced by museums today, UKMW12 is an opportunity to take a step back from everyday work and think strategically about the impact of the digital revolution on your museum and on the sector as a whole, including: digitally enabling the modern museum and its staff; sustaining the digital agenda and the realities of digital strategies and organisational change; and the complexities of digital engagement and the impact of social media on audience expectations.
[And students are half price!]

Monday, October 29, 2012

Interesting Conference in Oxford next Summer!

6th Global Conference
Diasporas

Saturday 6th July - Monday 8th July 2013
Mansfield College, Oxford

Call for Presentations
This inter- and multi-disciplinary project seeks to explore the contemporary experience of Diasporas - communities who conceive of themselves as a national, ethnic, linguistic or other form of cultural and political construction of collective membership living outside of their 'home lands.' Diaspora is a concept which is far from being definitional. Despite problems and limitations in terminology, this notion may be defined with issues attached to it for a more complete understanding. Such a term which may have its roots in Greek, is used customarily to apply to a historical phenomenon that has now passed to a period that usually supposes that diasporans are those who are settled forever in a country other than the one in which they were born and thus this term loses its dimension of irreversibility and of exile.

In order to increase our understanding of Diasporas and their impact on both the receiving countries and their respective homes left behind, key issues will be addressed related to Diaspora cultural expression and interests. In addition, the conference will address the questions: Do Diasporas continue to exist? How do they evolve? What is the footprint or limit of Diaspora? Is the global economy, media and policies sending different messages about diaspora to future generations?

Presentatiosn, papers, performances, workshops, presentations and pre-formed panels are invited on any of the following themes:

Queering Diaspora
Diasporic identities and practices invariably position heterosexuality as central to the past (the imagined homeland) and the future survival of the diasporic community through implicit and explicit norms, traditions, and expectations. How do members of diasporic communities who identify with subordinated forms of sexuality such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered or other queer identities negotiate hetero-normativity in their communities? Do questions of diasporic cultural and social survival heighten homophobia? Or conversely, are diasporic spaces more easily queered? We welcome papers that address how LGBTQ members negotiate sexuality and diasporic identities, and consider the implications for intersectional theories of diaspora.

Diaspora, Sex, and Gender
If heteronormativity can shape diasporic identities, so too can historical norms of patriarchal power and the practices and social infrastructure associated with them. How, for instance, are diasporas and diasporic communities complicit in the general social practices that buttress inequalities or abuses? Do differences between sexes produce different perspectives on what constitutes diasporic identity? Does this disparity result in the co-existence of competing diasporic identities or 'imaginaries' that are tied to sex and gender identity? Or, on the other hand, does diaspora offer opportunities for change or for alternate social performances of sex and gender to arise? Does the distance between the home/land left behind and the new home offer an opportunity to break with the past and with tradition? To what extent can we speak of 'gendered' diasporas?

Visible Diasporas
Cinema, television, youtube and other mass media, and the visual arts are instrumental in representing diaspora or making diaspora visible both to itself and to others beyond the diasporic community. In the case of cinema, the presence and impact of displaced / globalised populations of audiences, spectators and producers of new mainstream /Hollywood /Bollywood cinema are crucial to the emergence of this post-diasporic cinema, as these narratives from texts to screen constitute a fundamental challenge for the negotiation of complex diasporic issues. How does the visual language of these various media shape or define diaspora? Those presenting on this topic and whose papers focus on cinema and other visual narratives/media are encouraged to show short excerpts or clips from their primary texts or to provide handouts rather than simply to describe the visual media. Long, descriptive summaries of film, for instance, are discouraged.

Invisible Diasporas
While there are multiple ways in which diaspora is made visible, what are the ways in which diasporas are made invisible? How do diasporas escape the attention of, or are actively made invisible by, the global media the collective institutional consciousness of such bodies as state governments and organisations such as the United Nations, etc.? Are these diasporas invisible because of their relatively small size or because they exist within other diasporas or in the shadow of other, larger visible diasporas? Is their invisibilty the result of a lack of awareness or documentation? Ignorance and apathy? Or are they forced into silence and invisibility due to the exigencies of power? That is to say, is their visibility actively repressed? Or do these diasporas engage in making themselves strategically invisible as a kind of self-defensive cloaking or masking mechanism necessary to survival? Do discrimination, assimilationist ideology or other forces ensure that this takes place either actively or passively over the course of time?

e-Diasporas and Technology
Technology has changed the way we think about diaspora. The internet, youtube, email, skype, social media, etc. have produced what has become known as the virtual diaspora and has had a profound effect on the way that diasporic communities interact with 'home/land' and each other. When communication can take place in such an immediate way, distances are shrunk and the boundaries between 'here' and 'there' are problematised or made more porous if not actually erased. Such connectivity only intensifies the interstitiality or cross-border mobility of diasporans who are able to engage virtually in more than one social environment. In a discussion of so-called e-diasporas, questions of access, mobility, connectivity ultimately lead to questions of privilege. Who is able to connect and who is not? And how does technology and the connections it provides allow the diaspora to reshape 'home' from a distance and vice versa?

The Limits of Diaspora - Problematising 'Diaspora'
What are the 'limits' of diaspora? What is its 'footprint'? What are the inter-generational issues that cause diasporas to evolve over time, to move toward or away from assimilation in then mainstream culture of the present home? How and why do diasporas redefine themselves? In what ways does 'diaporic identity' perform a gate-keeping function that includes but also excludes? How are diasporic identities contested? What are some of the ways to identity and define the subject in changing political boundaries where cultural interactions are amplified? What are the processes of social formation and reformation of diasporas in an age of increasing globalisation? What are the circumstances that give diasporas a window of opportunity to redefine their social position in both the place of origin and the current place of residence? How do we 'problematise' or critique diaspora?

The Evolution of the Critical Language of Diaspora
This topic is related to the previous one but focuses more specifically on the discipline of diaspora studies itself. What new cross-'ethnoscapes' and cross-'ideoscapes' are emerging and what new methods can be used to theorise the web of forces that influences Diasporas? Rogers Brubaker posits the current phenomenon of a diaspora 'diaspora' or an increasing dispersal of the concept and the ways that diaspora is represented, understood, and theorised. Stephane Dufoix discusses the need to "go beyond 'diaspora' in the same way that Rogers Brubaker and Frederick Cooper have shown it is useful to go beyond 'identity'" (Diaspora. Berkeley: U of California P, 2008. 108). What is the current state of diaspora studies and what is the trajectory of its evolution? How does globalisation affect the ways in which we understand diaspora? In what ways are the realities of contemporary diasporas posing challenges to the critical language of the discipline? What's next?

The Steering Group particularly welcomes the submission of pre-formed panel proposals. Papers will also be considered on any related theme.

What to Send:
300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 8th February 2013. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Friday 10th May 2013. Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, or RTF formats with the following information and in this order:

a) author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract, f) up to 10 keywords.
E-mails should be entitled: DIAS6 Abstract Submission.

Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). Please note that a Book of Abstracts is planned for the end of the year. We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.

Organising Chairs

Ram Vemuri and Rob Fisher: dias6@inter-disciplinary.net
Jonathan Rollins: jrollins@arts.ryerson.ca

The conference is part of the 'Diversity and Recognition' series of research projects, which in turn belong to the At the Interface programmes of ID.Net. All papers accepted for and presented at the conference will be published in an ISBN eBook. Selected papers may be invited to go forward for development into 20-25 page chapters for publication in a themed dialogic ISBN hard copy volume.

For further details of the conference, please visit:
http://www.inter-disciplinary.net/at-the-interface/diversity-recognition/diasporas/call-for-papers/

Please note: Inter-Disciplinary.Net is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

A Wonderful Opportunity with a Short Deadline!

Meet the Reviewer - Made for Trade

7 November 2012, 11am – 4.30pm
Pitt Rivers Museum,University of Oxford
An opportunity to critically interrogate the process of curating a temporary exhibition with curators, designers and conservators. Learn how a particular display of ethnographic objects was conceived and evolved and participate in a critical evaluation of the result.
This event marks the first of a new series of events offering professional development opportunities for MEG members and non-members.
BOOKING CLOSES FRIDAY 2 NOVEMBER 2012

Friday, October 26, 2012

Random Thing on the Internet Today

It is things like this that fill me with giddy glee and make me love my thesis topic.

"We are looking to implement iPads as part of an interactive simulation experience we offer to 25,000 students per year here at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum. Specifically we aim to increase student retention of the material covered in the simulation through uses of the iPad that allow us to effectively appeal to an increased number of learning modalities (Linguistic, Logical, Spatial, Kinesthetic, Interpersonal, and Intrapersonal) as well as appeal to some of those important 21st Century Skills that are so important to today’s students (Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Communication, and Creativity). "

-Anthony Pennay
Director of the Walter and Leonore Annenberg Presidential Learning Center
The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation
 
Mostly it's because I come across quotes like this A LOT in my research. It's not just for the iPad, you can substitute any mainstream technology you like. The point is usually the same. The idea that technology + children = learning! That somehow, reading it on an iPad is more likely to lead to retention.
 
Then, of course, you go trolling the Internet and find a whole list of articles, none of which have anything to do with museums, but everything to do with education that says the computer is not the fix to learning and that, actually, using the computer will not increase knowledge retention (will, in many cases, decrease it). How is it that after more than two decades with the Internet, museums and scientific theory still aren't crossing?
 
Of course, if they are going to cross, can they wait a few more years until I've published my thesis please?
 
[Please note that I found this quote on a post on an online network that I belong to, which sends me email updates to the email account linked to this blog - only slight hypocrisy using emailed research to say that children don't learn better on a computer!]

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Review for the 17 October Brown Bag Seminar with Patricia Cronin.



" . . . The artist sees the world as incomplete and attempts to complete it in their studio; that is what I attempt to do.”
~Patricia Cronin, Brown Bag Session 2012.

On Wednesday, 17 October, New York conceptual artist and Professor of Art, Brooklyn College, Patricia Cronin, visited the University of Leicester School of Museum Studies Brown Bag Seminar Series, to discuss her journey as an artist and her most recent project, ‘Dante: The Way Of All Flesh’. Cronin’s current work is a meditation on the human condition, using Dante Alighieri’s ‘Inferno’ as aesthetic inspiration. Using the mediums of oil painting, watercolour and bleach drawing, Cronin explores the socio-political dimensions of justice and revenge as enacted by intra and inter-personal narrative experience. Before discussing the ‘Dante’ series however, Cronin shared reflections upon the past ten years of her life as an artist and how some of her previous projects have contributed to this new series of works-in-process. Cronin began the seminar session with a brief discussion of ‘Memorial to a Marriage’ (featured as the image upper-left).

Fine art at its best, has a profound ability to promote empathy in the viewer/audience, evokes in the viewer a sense of mutual recognition and creates a point of reference that links the life experience of the viewer to the perceived meaning of the artwork. In this way, Patricia Cronin’s work seeks to support a better understanding of the human condition while manifesting personal resonance. Her graceful treatment of socially policised, feminist subjects potentially makes topics and challenges that are of particular concern to LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) communities, personally relevant to non-LGBT communities.

‘Memorial to a Marriage’ depicts Cronin and her wife tenderly lying together in bed. The Neoclassicism of the sculptural technique depicting a what is initially to many viewers, an androgynously beautiful shared intimacy, calls to mind the narrative sculptural pieces of Renaissance of Italy, causing Cronin’s aesthetic to be at once familiar and unfamiliar to audiences acquainted with classical and Neoclassical traditions. It generally takes a moment for the audience to realize that the sculpture depicts two women in bed together, rather than a man and a woman. This observation, teamed with the title: ‘Memorial to a Marriage’ rather than ‘Sisters’ or ‘Shelter from the Storm’ affords no doubt in the viewer’s mind that this work is dedicated to a same-gender marriage.

‘Memorial to a Marriage’ is a sculptural experience that potentially creates an empathetic bridge.  In that moment of immediately accepting the work as a lovely, ‘traditional’ Neoclassical sculpture, followed by the viewer’s dawning realisation of the ‘non-traditional’ subject matter of the sculpture, an audience that may not understand or accept the concept of same-gender marriage, may momentarily undergo a shift in consciousness. In ‘Memorial to a Marriage’, viewers are gently invited to acknowledge and reflect upon whatever biases they may have on the subject of same-gender marriage and lifestyle choices. It is a stunningly intelligent challenge to the justification of unexamined social prohibitions.

Of course, none of the potentially profound socio-political impact of Cronin’s work was the original creative catalyst her work. Her technique and aesthetic sensibility are informed by her own daily life, her sense of identity and expression of personhood. ‘Memorial to a Marriage’ was created in response to Cronin’s frustration at not being able to have the love that she shares with her wife recognized legally. ‘Memorial to a Marriage’ will be the tombstone for Cronin and her wife’s gravesite; it is Cronin’s very public expression of her marriage, written/carved in stone, for all to witness.

In addition to ‘Memorial to a Marriage’, Cronin also briefly discussed her research into the life of Harriet Hosmer and the influence that Hosmer had on Cronin’s own aesthetic praxis. Cronin’s research into the life of Hosmer resulted in both an exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum and in the publication of ‘Patricia Cronin: Harriet Hosmer, Lost and Found’ in 2009. The academic research of the Hosmer project was again, motivated by a burgeoning sense of identification that Cronin had in response to the history of Hosmer’s life and Hosmer’s aesthetic agenda.

The life of Hosmer, ‘Memorial to a Marriage’, all of the varied, intense projects of Cronin’s life hereto and her current ‘Dante’ series are expressive of the guiding principle of her working method as an artist. Cronin “--sees the world as incomplete and attempts to lend completion”. She is interested in the people, events and places that are ‘hidden in plain sight’. Cronin hopes to lend ‘presence to absence’ and in some cases, absence to presence.

What an honour for our seminar to be given the opportunity to share ideas about ‘work in progress’ with such an acclaimed artist and scholar. The second half of the Brown Bag session was a creative exploration of the ‘Dante’ series, suffuse with questions:

“How will the placement of the paintings of the ‘Dante Series’ within the chosen gallery space create a narrative dialogue between the paintings?” “What type of gallery space will be used?” “What can museums and galleries do to help engage with work?” “What is the relationship between the techniques used and the subject of the work of art?” “Is the Neoclassical aesthetic of Cronin’s work  a form of ‘safe subversion’?” “What is the dynamic relationship between conceptualization, social interactions, the medium used, technique and the ownership of the ‘real estate’ or physical context where any given work of art is installed?”


Depicting her ideas in oil, watercolours and bleach, all of Cronin’s current work has a sense of timelessness about it, rather than any sort of postmodern specificity. Cronin is interested in the most intrinsic of questions about what it means to live passionately in accordance with one's own beliefs--to courageously live one's personal 'truth'. There are two main bodies of work-in-progress that Cronin shared with the Brown Bag Seminar: her 'Dante Series' and her associated work in the portraiture of corruption. 

Cronin’s re-interpretation the ‘Inferno’ from Dante’s ‘Divine Comedy’—in which the dead reside in a hell of their own design—considers the physical nature of the painting process itself, in relation to an exploration of the essential experience of humanity, desire and betrayal. To the right of this text, please observe one of the images of the ‘Dante Series’.

Working with intense, dazzlingly robust primary reds, blacks, blues, and stark whites, upon huge canvases, featuring twisted, sometimes headless, always faceless figures, some male, some female, that appear to be struggling against the binding edges of their visual frame, their torment exceeding the limitations of their context, Cronin strokes the canvas in fluid lines and florid shapes slashed on raw linen--soft linen, emphasises Cronin, that texturally is “--as natural as skin”. For some of her subjects Cronin paints as little as possible so that the application of the painting technique resonates with the psychological life of the subject.  

 In contrast to the large 'Dante Series' works, Cronin's bleach paintings of notoriously corrupt political figures are much smaller, roughly 14x10 inches. Again, Cronin has chosen her technique to suit her subject; she feels that the process of the medium itself treats the subject of the painting as they should be treated. For example, bleach drawings of corrupt political figures that are warped and will disintegrate over time due to exposure to light. In this way, the display context becomes a vital component to the ongoing progression of Cronin’s technique.

In the case of the bleach drawings, the materials that the artwork is made out of may disintegrate over time with exposure to light. This process becomes allegorical to the subject—the disintegration of the soul from corruption. As was remarked by one of our seminar members, the only way for bleach drawings—or corrupt political practices—to survive, is if the corruption remains in the dark. Bringing these images of  corruption into the light of day will destroy them. Cronin has posited that in the gallery presentation of the bleach paintings, she may simply pin them to the wall (again, the display technique allegorical to how Cronin feels the subject deserves to be treated).

Though Cronin had originally assumed that the ‘Dante Series’ would attract the interest of a factory-like or dungeon-like exhibition space, the gallery that has expressed interest in showing Cronin’s interpretation of the ‘Inferno’, is an open, airy, beautiful and bright environment, with a magnificent staircase leading between the levels of the exhibition space. Cronin laughed that it is almost as if the Ninth Circle of Hell is about to be hosted within Paradise! And yet, this seemingly inappropriate setting may be in better keeping with the idea of 'Hell' and 'Heaven' as a frame of mind, that one person’s ‘Hell’ is another’s ‘Heaven’, than a more decorously ‘hellish’ gallery setting (would be). Perhaps a lovely, light-filled environment will prove the perfect juxtaposition for the intensity of Cronin’s vision of the ‘Inferno’.

To paraphrase and summarise Cronin’s gracious response to all of the seminar’s insistent questions, her work, though fiercely politicised, is very personal. Her work is always an expression of her life and perception of the world. Cronin tries to ‘lull’ her audience into a sense of security—to provide them with a ‘familiar’ contextual orientation for non-traditional subject matter, in order to encourage an alteration of social consciousness and awareness. Certainly, this is a very challenging aesthetic to successfully create and the display context—that is, the physical characteristics of the exhibition—has a remarkable impact upon the ability of the painting or sculpture to communicate the artist’s intentions. Cronin feels that the gallery/museum space is partnered to the unfolding process of her art (to the development of the ‘life’ of any given work of art).

The essence of Cronin’s process is transformation. Intimating that everything that the artist experiences in life, is a part of the creative development of art, Cronin observed that resultant to the interactions of our Brown Bag session she was already a different person than she had been upon arrival. Indeed, everyone in the room seemed impressed with the new perspectives garnered from the discussion and was enlivened by a delightful if all too swift passage of an hour’s conversation. Safe journey and best wishes to Patricia Cronin for her continued tour of the United Kingdom, due to include a lecture at the Victoria and Albert Museum, hopefully to be followed by a visit to Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, in Glasgow, where of one of the smaller versions of ‘Memorial to a Marriage’ is now on permanent display.

Many thanks to Janet, Jocelyn and Richard for bringing Patricia Cronin to the Brown Bag Seminar Series and thank you as well, to Linda, for audio recording Prof. Cronin’s visit (currently accessible as an mp3 file for the benefit of our Museum Studies distance learning community at the departmental, in-house Blackboard site). 

For those not able to access the University of Leicester Museum Studies in-house departmental website and/or for those that simply want to know more about Prof. Cronin’s work, the following website links are offered for perusal:


http://www.patriciacronin.net/newpattie/news.html This page is a part of Prof. Cronin’s website. It features news updates and information about her most recent work.

http://www.brooklyn.cuny.edu/web/academics/faculty/faculty_profile.jsp?faculty=29 This is Prof. Cronin’s academic/staff information page at Brooklyn College.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patricia_Cronin This is Prof. Cronin’s Wikipedia page.

http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/exhibitions/patricia_cronin/ This is the Brooklyn Museum page for the 2009-2010 Exhibitions: Patricia Cronin: "Harriet Hosmer, Lost and Found".

http://www.patriciacronin.net/html/Cronin_First%20Proof.pdf   This is the pdf file for a review/reflection piece by Prof. Cronin regards: "Harriet Hosmer, Lost and Found".

http://www.glreview.com/article.php?articleid=180The Second Life of Harriet Hosmer’ is the transcription of a short interview that Prof. Cronin did with Cassandra Langer for ‘Gay and Lesbian Review’ in 2010. In it, Cronin discusses not only the life of Harriet Hosmer but her own work, notably remarking: “[Harriet Hosmer’s] Neoclassical forms were very inspiring to me when I made ‘Memorial to a Marriage’. I made this three-ton marble mortuary statue of my partner and myself in what I considered to be an American nationalist form, to address what I considered a federal failure, which is that same-sex couples can’t legally wed throughout the United States.”

http://www.amazon.com/Patricia-Cronin-Harriet-Hosmer-Found/dp/8881587327 This is a link to the Amazon page for "Patricia Cronin: Harriet Hosmer, Lost and Found".


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

When I was 14 years old my family and I lived in Oxford for a few months where my father was doing research and finishing a book. Because of my young age, and protective mother, the only two places my younger sister and I were allowed to go unsupervised was the self-service laundry and the Pitt Rivers Museum, which was close to where we lived. 

Despite the restrictions, we were quite content with the arrangement; we knew no place more fun than the Pitt Rivers. We used to spend days and days exploring all the cases, corner, drawers and displays, drawing objects that drew our attention and stare at the shrunken heads in disbelief, fascination and perhaps a little disgust. And now, years later when seeing Pitt River’s ‘Small blessings’ amulet competition advertised, I of course had to participate, as it would be an honor to be at least in some little way part of the museum’s wonderful and strange world.

The museum received a well earned grant in order to catalogue and make accessible one of its diverse and beautiful amulet collections and I urge everyone to head over to the projects homepage and browse the online database and the multimedia section. There you can also see the competition entries, where I am very proud to say the amulet I submitted was described as ‘Pitt-River-esque’ and so one of my childhood obsessions has been materialized right around my neck.

Small Blessings – homepage here

Friday, October 05, 2012

Erotica, Pornography and the Obscene in Europe

University of Warwick, UK. April 10-12, 2013

This three day interdisciplinary conference seeks to bring together scholars of all levels who discuss material oft talked about, rarely read. The conference aims to draw out key debates in the study of erotica, pornography and the obscene, in the context of sex and sexuality in Europe, 1600-1900. The conference organisers welcome research papers on literature, print, objects, philosophy or individuals that deal directly with material that has been considered ‘hidden’ away or perceived to be ‘unfit for modest ears’.

Topics and questions considered for day one and two could include, but are by no means limited to:
  • The Marquis de Sade in the British context.
  • The influence of the Obscene Publications Act (1857) on the printing industry.
  • The relationship between text and visual representation.
  • Representations of bawdy and lewd houses.
  • How was erotica, pornography or the obscene distributed?
  • Sex and Politics
  • Or, any paper on intellectual or moral theory surrounding the theme of this conference.
Please submit a 250 word abstract for a 20-25min paper by the 19th October to A.V.Burnham@warwick.ac.uk

Day three of this confernces seeks to bring together academic research with current cultural and social debates surrounding the theme of this conference.
This organiser welcomes submissions for round table discussion, readings or papers on topics such as, but by no mean limited to:
  • The Sex Industry
  • The Regualtion of Pornography
  • UK and European Law
  • Religious and Moral Concerns
  • Sexualities
Please submit an abstract or proposal, with an estimated time plan, by the 19th October to A.V.Burnham@warwick.ac.uk

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Museum Next Call for Papers

Now in its fifth year MuseumNext looks to bring together the leading themes, trends and related best practice from the digital side of museums, with the aim of providing a clear insight into how technology and media are shaping our institutions and the world around us.

This year MuseumNext will focus on 'What's Next' and will use this call for papers to create a programme that is structured around eight key themes. These will be directed by the proposals submitted from our community to highlight the direction in which museums and technology are heading.

We will look favourably at proposals that push the boundaries, turn convention on its head and use technology for a positive impact.

In keeping with the open and participatory philosophy of MuseumNext we invite those in our community who would like to share a presentation in Amsterdam to make proposals for fifteen-minute presentations.

All presentations should deliver thought provoking insight, showcase innovative ideas or projects, revealing 'how to' or even sharing stories of when things have gone wrong. At the end of each session we want delegates to be able to take away knowledge that they can apply to their own work.

Proposals should, in no more than 300 words, outline your presentation, including:

- The title
- Name or names of those presenting
- Organisation
- Key themes which your presentation relates to
- An overview of your presentation
- Relevant links
- What you expect delegates to learn from your session.

The deadline for submitting a proposal is November 1st 2012.

An international peer panel will consider all proposals and we shall inform all those, successful or otherwise of the decision by December 15th 2012. The decision of the panel is final.

Your 300 word proposal should be emailed along with the names and contact details of those who will make the presentation to proposals (at) museumnext.org no later than November 1st 2012.


Important information for those submitting proposals:

One complimentary ticket shall be provided per selected presentation. Any additional speakers must purchase a MuseumNext ticket. Unfortunately we are not able to compensate for travel and accommodation.

All presentations will be filmed and shared on our members only website, and highlights will be made available publically.

Presentations may not be used as promotional opportunities for commercial organisations, products or software. Promotional opportunities will be available through sponsorship packages.

All papers and presentations must be in English.