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.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Exhibitions: China Talks

Found about about the China Talks season today. Thought some of the events and exhibitions might be of interest to those of you in Leicester.

Possible source of funding for U.S. citizens

From H-ArtHist Network:

International Dissertation Research Fellowships (IDRF)

The Social Science Research Council and the American Council of Learned Societies announce the 2007 competition of the INTERNATIONAL DISSERTATION RESEARCH FELLOWSHIP (IDRF) program designed to support distinguished graduate students in the humanities and social sciences conducting dissertation research outside the United States. Fifty fellowships of approximately $20,000 will be awarded in 2007 with funds provided by theAndrew W. Mellon Foundation.The IDRF program is committed to scholarship that advances knowledge about non-U.S. cultures and societies grounded in empirical and site-specific research (involving fieldwork, research in archival or manuscript collections, or quantitative data collection). The program promotes research that is at once located in a specific discipline and geographical region and is engaged with interdisciplinary and cross-regional perspectives. Applicants must have completed all Ph.D. requirements except on-site dissertation research by the time the fellowship begins or by December 2007, whichever comes first. Fellowships will provide support for nine to twelve months of dissertation research. The fellowship must be held for a single continuous period within the eighteen months between July 2007 and December 2008. For more detailed information on application procedures and eligibility requirements, visit the IDRF website at or contact program staff at Deadline: November 1, 2006.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Open Museum Journal 8 (2006)

From the H-Museum Network:

Open Museum Journal vol. 8 (2006): Contest & Contemporary Society.

Redefining museums in the 21st Century
edited by Fiona Cameron & Andrea Witcomb
The issue is based on a one day Symposium held in Sydney in 2003 sponsored by the Museums and Galleries Foundation of NSW, History Department,University of Sydney and the Australian Museum Audience Research Centre. The symposium was based on a research project looking at the relationship between contestation and museums.The project was funded by the Australian Research Council and the Canadian Museums Association.

Criticality and Contention: museums, contemporary societies, civic roles and responsibilities in the 21st Century
Fiona Cameron

Beyond Surface Representations
Museums, Edgy Topics, Civic Responsibilities and Modes of Engagement
by Fiona Cameron

Pushing Buttons
Controversial topics in museums
by Linda Ferguson

Museums as Sources of Information and Learning
The decision making process
by Linda Kelly

Along the continuum, museums and possibilities
by Elaine Heumann Gurian

Museums and the culture wars
In defence of civic pluralism
by Graeme Davison

Content and Contention
Can museums present controversial issues?
by Patrick Greene

A journalist's perspective on the museum world
by Chris Nash

Panel Discussion
chaired by Dr Paul Tacon

Open Museum JournalAustralia's only peer-reviewed online museum journal
ISSN 1443-5144

H-Net Network for Museums and Museum Studies

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Hmmmm - what to do with all our lovely money?!

So, this evening a few select members of the Conference Committee met at 'The Tiffin' on London Road mostly to eat lots of lovely Indian cuisine, but also to decide what to do with the profit made from the Conference in February. And, I'm pleased to report, we reached a consensus. Here we all are, having just made that momentous decision (and spent some of the aforementioned profit!)...

For those of you who don't know what we all look like (left to right) Anna (W), Amy (moi) and Heather...

...Anna (C) and Lena (L).
So, just what did we all decide?'re just gonna have to wait and see. Really, I need to talk to Ceri first in our capacities as joint Student Reps, before I can make any grand announcement. But, I'm sure, if you were to track any of us down and bung us a few quid, you could probably persuade us to reveal all. ;)

CFP/Conference Alert: History and the Public, April 2007

From the H-Museum Network:

History and the Public
Swansea University (Wales, UK)
12 -14 April 2007

A conference organized by the History Department, Swansea University and the Institute of Historical Research, London.

This conference develops the debates on 'the use of history for public purposes and the involvement of the public in the study and consumption of history' that began with the highly successful Institute of Historical Research Conference in February 2006. (See

Proposals are sought for individual papers (20 minutes plus 10 minutes for questions) and panels (three 20 minute papers and 30 minute discussion time). Abstracts (up to 200 words) should be sent by email to Martin Johnes( before 30 November 2006. The final programme will be published in December 2006.

The conference will also include a virtual link up with the National Council for Public History annual conference in Sante Fe, New Mexico, USA. Themes of the conference will include:

  • the concept of public history and its methods,
  • the presentation of history in the media and the heritage sector,
  • telling national stories,
  • the investigation, preservation and presentation of historic environments and artefacts,
  • public and philanthropic investment, interest and involvement in history,
  • the public, commercial and political uses and exploitation of history,
  • official history, propaganda and myth-making,
  • the role and responsibilities of public archives, museums and the heritage sector,
  • the place of history in the community.
For further details please see
Deadline: 30 Nov 2006

Contact:Martin Johnes
Swansea University History Dept, Swansea University, Swansea, SA2 8PP.

Friday, August 25, 2006