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, February 28, 2007

Reminder: Research Seminar Series, Anna Chrusciel (5th March 2007)

Department of Museum Studies, Research Seminar Series
Monday, 5th March 2007
1pm, LT1

Questions of access – The disadvantaged young in German museums
Anna Chrusciel

Aims and context of research:

‘One of the greatest challenges for museums at the beginning of the twenty-first century is the turn to the visitor’
(Hooper-Greenhill, 2006:362)

Within my research I want to explore, through both empirical and theoretical investigation the role of German Museums in questions of social responsibility and access towards young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

My paper will provide an overview of the present German situation that constitutes the context of my research.

Germany's alarming results of comparative international education studies like PISA [1] and the fact that in no other industrialized country the social background seems to be so decisive for educational success as in Germany [2] have raised the discussion of equity in education within academy, policy makers and professionals from different disciplines. Within this debate cultural education is seen as crucial for developing life-skills and combating this disadvantages. Cultural education within this context is seen as learning through the engagement within the arts and music (BKJ 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004). But although there is an understanding of Museums in Germany as places for life-long learning for all (German Museums Association 2004) German museums only play a passive and marginalised role in this ongoing debate.

Thus the aim of my research is to identify reasons of this role and its influence on disadvantaged young people towards their agendas concerning museums in order to consider the potentials of challenging this position towards a more inclusive and active one.

[1] With the PISA studies ("Programme for International Student Assessment"), the OECD tries to explore how well young people are prepared for the challenges of the knowledge society. The target group are fifteen-year old pupils, for whom compulsory education soon ends in many countries. The student skills are tested in the areas of mahematics, reading and the sciences.

[2] PISA results 2003


2005, I have started my PhD-Research at the University of Hildesheim, Department of Cultural Politics. Since September 2006 I am a visitor research student at the Department of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester. My research concentrates on the social responsibility of Museums in a German context with special focus to the accessibility of the disadvantaged young.
After receiving a diploma in Business Communication with a thesis on “Museums in the Light of today’s Economy” in cooperation with the State Museums of Berlin, I have worked for two years as marketing manager at the Jewish Museum Berlin. Opening in September 2001, the Jewish Museum Berlin, with its spectacular building designed by Daniel Libeskind, is the largest Museum of its kind in Europe. With nearly 700.000 visitors each year, it has become one of the most visited Museums in Germany. During this time I developed special programs for children and young people, like the holiday educational program and some activities around Jewish holidays, that are still part of the educational work of the museum.

Since the beginning of 2003 I was chief editor and project manager of ‘ZWEI’, the Jewish Museum Berlin’s magazine. Appearing twice a year it is the Museum’s most important marketing publication and is orientated towards the members of the museum’s society, the donors and year-card-holders, as well as anyone who is interested in German Jewish history and life.

CFP: Journeys of Expressions VI: Diaspora Community Festivals, Cultural Events and Tourism

From H-Museum:

Conference Announcement and Call for Papers

Journeys of Expressions VI: Diaspora Community Festivals, Cultural Events
and Tourism

York, United Kingdom
4-6 October 2007

Organised by:
Centre for Tourism and Cultural Change
Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds, United Kingdom

Journeys of Expression VI will bring together researchers who share
interests in diaspora community cultures as expressed, translated and
consumed through festivals and cultural events. The conference encourages
contributions from contrasting but related theoretical and conceptual
approaches from Social Science and Humanities disciplinary perspectives. The
conference will also attract researchers from the fields of tourism and
festival studies.

The enforced, encouraged or voluntary movement, migration and dispersion of
people over centuries and in recent years is reflected in the family
backgrounds, life histories and cultural practices of communities in many
countries, regions and cities worldwide. Mobilities associated with the
processes of globalisation are demonstrably, if unevenly contributing to an
acceleration of migration for more or less permanent, official and legal
settlement of people beyond their 'homelands'.

In many cases, diaspora communities have been subject to hostility and
discrimination in their adopted countries and some remain relatively
impoverished, marginalised and excluded from 'mainstream' society.
Others, in contrast have been more socially and economically successful and
have either retained distinct diaspora community identities or have become
more integrated with other communities over time.

Tourism has also grown substantially and unevenly in recent years, with
tourists increasingly encouraged to attend and participate in 'exotic'and
'characteristically authentic' displays of community life in destinations
visited. Such tourism typically features the packaging, promotion and
consumption of diaspora community neighbourhoods, food and shopping and
importantly festivals and cultural events.

The relationships between diaspora communities, festivity, cultural events
and tourism are therefore of considerable interest to academic researchers,
as well as for arts, social, cultural and tourism policy makers and
practitioners in many countries.

Theoretical issues and themes to be explored at this conference include:

* Defining and conceptualising diasporas in connection with festivals and
cultural events;

* Histories of diaspora communities' mobilities and the transformation and
adaptation of festivity and cultural events to new community circumstances
and settings;

* Relationships between diaspora communities and the 'homeland' and
expressions of collective memory through festivals and cultural events;

* The distribution and circulation of globalised diaspora festival forms -
e.g. carnival, mela, Irish, Chinese, Jewish - religious and secular,
established, emerging and contested;

* The role of diaspora festivals and cultural events in policies and
programmes to promote community cohesion, crime reduction and anti-racism;

* Festivals, cultural events and the identities of diaspora community
members - inter-generational issues;

* Festivals, cultural events and the multi- (inter-) cultural city;

* Settings and spaces for diaspora festivals and cultural events;

* Issues surrounding new and recently introduced diaspora community
festivals and cultural events;

* Performing diaspora community arts through festivals;

* Diaspora tourism markets.

In the tradition of the Journeys of Expressions conference series, we wish
to encourage an interdisciplinary debate on the suggested themes and welcome
paper proposals from academics from various disciplinary backgrounds
including: tourism studies, festival studies, sociology, anthropology,
cultural studies, cultural geography, politics, etc. If you wish to submit a
paper proposal, please send a 300-word abstract with full address and
institutional affiliation details as an electronic file to Dr. Philip Long
( ).

The deadline for the reception of abstracts is 16 April 2007.
Please find regularly updated information regarding this conference,
registration procedures and (at a later stage) a programme at our website

Lecture: Indigenous Peoples and the "Universal Museum"

From H-Museum (and leading on from the previous post):

The University of Queensland presents a


Indigenous Peoples and the "Universal Museum"
by Dr Rick West, National Museum of the American Indian, USA
Auditorium Two, State Library of Queensland, South Brisbane
Thursday 15 March 2007, 5.30pm-7.00pm (including refreshments)

The University of Queensland is pleased to host Dr Rick West

W. Richard West Jr., a citizen of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of
Oklahoma and a Peace Chief of the Southern Cheyenne, is founding director of
the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian. West has devoted
his professional life and much of his personal life to working with American
Indians on cultural, educational, legal and governmental issues.
Before becoming director of the National Museum of the American Indian, West
practiced law at the Indian-owned Albuquerque, N.M., law firm of Gover,
Stetson, Williams & West, P.C.; and before that, he was a partner in the
Washington, D.C., office of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson. He
served as general counsel and special counsel to numerous tribes and
organizations. In that capacity, he represented clients before federal,
state and tribal courts, various executive departments of the federal
government and Congress.

Limited places available.

RSVP: Thursday 8 March 2007
Ms Tania Hudspith
Protocol and Ceremonies
The University of Queensland
Phone: (07) 3365 1596

Masterclass: Indigenous Peoples and the concept of the "Fourth Museum"

From H-Museum:

Museum Studies in the School of English, Media Studies and Art History at
the University of Queensland, Australia presents a


Indigenous Peoples and the concept of the "Fourth Museum"
The Boardroom, State Library of Queensland, South Brisbane
Friday 16 March 2007, 9am-12:30pm

Facilitated by

Dr Rick West, National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian
Institution, Washington DC, USA
& Professor Amareswar Galla, Museum Studies, The University of Queensland,
Brisbane, Australia

This free Masterclass is open to senior level personnel in museums, art
museums, libraries and archives responsible for decision-making in
Indigenous Studies, Collections and Programs. Please send an expression of
interest to the Project Officer, Museum Studies (above).

The Masterclass will examine the way museums as civic spaces are engaging
with stakeholder communities in addressing indigenous concerns. In
particular, the relationship between community based heritage developments
and museums will be considered.

Dr West will present and discuss ways of forging a dialogue between museums
and communities through the conceptual framework of the 'fourth museum'

* How the voices of indigenous people can be invoked in museums, not merely
through providing access to collections, but by building meaningful
intellectual and psychic dialogue; and
* The way museums could be realized as spaces that transcend the physical
museum and go beyond the concept of a 'cultural destination' to become a
'civic space'

Dr Galla will present and discuss comparative demonstration projects from
different countries and international efforts to forge partnerships through
both NGOs and INGOs.

The participants will make brief presentations (5 minutes) on the way they
engage with indigenous concerns in their institutions. Discussions will be
facilitated by Dr West and Dr Galla.

It is envisaged that the Masterclass would result in the following learning

* Understanding of current practice and some of the challenges
* Knowledge sharing through case studies
* Drafting guiding principles for facilitating partnership development

Applications due: Monday 12 March 2007

Dr Kim Selling
Project Officer, Museum Studies Program
School of English, Media Studies & Art History
The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, 4072 Australia
Tel: +61 7 3365 2590

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Internet auctions lead to less objects donated to museums and other stuff in the news

I'm not well and yet I'm still blogging. How committed does that make me? ;)

Anyway, while I suffer from woolly brain and other such ailments, here's a few news items to get you all thinking:

BBC NEWS Wales South West Wales Web auctions hit heritage museum

Louvre staff strike over stress

Coin shows Cleopatra's ugly truth

Aboriginal remains tests halted

Go on! Discuss!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Greetings from snowy Sweden!

Hi Everyone

Just a quick update from the NaMu conference in Sweden that 4 of the Leicester PhD students are presenting at! So far Anna presented today about how the German national museums are presenting ideas about the Holocaust. Anna called for more connection to the wider audience. Lena's paper on the New National Museum of Korea also considered the question of audiences and their expectations of National Museums and the message of the 'Nation'. Wednesday we have Mette and Sally presenting, so hopefully more updates soon!

Många Hälsningar från Sverige

Anna, Lena & Anna xxx

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Exhibition review: Matisse to Freud: A Critic's Choice

Yes, it's me again, with another of my scintillating reviews of exhibitions at New Walk Museum. Actually I haven't got a lot to say about this one to be honest, having been completely stupefied by the bog-standard, minimalist approach to the gallery design and the pseudo-expert musings of equally bored, but desperate-to-look-like-they-have-a-clue-what-they're-looking-at posturings of other visitors* (big yawn). I shall, instead, quote from the flyer:

Matisse to Freud
A Critic's Choice
27th January - 18th March 2007

Free admission

Matisse to Freud: A Critic's Choice is an exhibition drawn from the art collection of the late Alexander Walker, which was bequeathed to the British Museum in 2003. Walker, one of London's most highly regarded film critics, amassed an outstanding collection of over 200 works on paper by some of the best known artists of the twentieth century, including Lucien Freud, David Hockney, Bridget Riley, Chuck Close, Jasper Johns and Philip Guston. The School of Paris (Picasso, Matisse, Miro), the English avant-garde (David Bloomberg and Edward Wadsworth) as well as 1960s figuration, geometric, abstraction, minimalism and photo-realism are all represented within this fabulous collection.

As far as the works on display go, I wasn't terribly excited. There was a nice orange aquatint by Howard Hodgkin and a kind of ethereal wintry scene in the darkest indigo blue and 'mucky' (but in a good way) green by Peter Doig, and some small illustrations by Joan Miro (which reminds me - if you ever get the chance to go to Barcelona, make sure you visit the Joan Miro Foundation - fantastic views of the city from the roof-terrace - and pretty good art too). Compared to the permanent German Expressionist gallery - which is much more my thing - it all felt a bit soulless. But I freely admit I actually didn't really know what I was looking at (and I'm an art historian!!!), and others might completely disagree with my assessment. But, as they say, the proof is in the pudding, and while the Kathe Kollwitz prints in the aforementioned German Expressionist gallery are always affecting and have inspired me to do a print workshop, the works in 'Matisse To Freud' largely left me cold. Oh, and I've decided I really DO NOT like Paula Rego's work. Very worthy it may be. But it actually really upsets me. (Perhaps that's the point?)

To be fair, while the other visitors were acting out that predictable how-to-behave-in-an-art-gallery mode of behaviour, there were actually quite a lot of them. Which is a good thing. In fact, the museum was positively heaving today. I had to fight through a right scrum in the corridor that goes alongside the shop! How many were really there just to see Rolf Harris' portrait of the Queen, I'm not sure. Not that there's anything wrong with that...

*Of course, I'm being terribly unfair. I can completely accept the argument that in order to set the exhibits off to their best advantage, they need to be displayed against a neutral background, blah, blah, blah. But, there's no getting away from it: that approach is deathly dull. Makes me appreciate the full-on, in-yer-face design of the recent Black British Style exhibition which used the same space. I'm dead keen on the concept of sound and music in the gallery environment now.

Anthropologists - take heed!

What can I say? C'est moi! ;)

Anthropologist-Mangling, Yokel-Jeopardizing Abomination from the Ninth Earth

Get Your Monster Name

Saturday, February 24, 2007

NaMu: Setting the Frames

A large contingent of our PhD group will be attending the first NaMu conference 'Setting the Frames' in Norrkopping this week. I am delighted that Anna, Mette and Sally, hopefully with contributions from the rest of their intrepid band, are planning to blog regularly, to keep us up to date with events as they unfold. 'Intrepid band' cos Norrkopping is currently way below freezing and knee-deep in snow. I'm looking forward to seeing the pics. ;)

Imposter Syndrome

Mary's written a really interesting post about Mental Health and Graduate Students on her blog. Apparently there's a recognised psychological condition 'Imposter Syndrome' that affects high achievers, including academics, especially women and, I should think, a large proportion of PhD students! Given that most of us from time to time say we feel like frauds I suggest we all study these 10 Steps to Overcome Impostor Syndrome.

Friday, February 23, 2007

To Add to Ceri's light relief post I was pointed in the direction of a website in the US called 'The Onion' which you may be familiar with already. I just typed in the word 'museum' and there are some very funny stories - One of my favourites - the featured headline 'Wax museum fire results in Hundreds of new Dany DeVito statues'
In the vein of silliness or light relief (following on from Amy's / Captain's post below) this is how not to advertise a museum, check out the kid's pages in particular...

Museological Review: Call for Papers

Museological Review Issue 13
The Museum: Ideology, Power and the State
Autumn 2007

The Museological Review, edited by the PhD students of the Department of Museum Studies based at the University of Leicester, is to be relaunched as a biannual online journal from Autumn 2007. It is a forum for students and practitioners to share and debate innovative perspectives on museums and related issues and publishes original research in the field of museum studies and allied subject areas, from a range of multi-disciplinary, theoretical and critical perspectives. For this, and future issues, we are seeking contributors from the international research community, to share experimental and creative ideas to encourage debate and enhance museum practice. We actively encourage new thinking with the aim that the Museological Review will – in conjunction with The Attic weblog ( - offer opportunities to share experimental research and creative ideas within a supportive and constructive environment.

This issue - The Museum: Ideology, Power and the State - will broadly discuss the influence of government initiatives and political frameworks, social policy and propaganda on museums. Papers may cover subjects as diverse as social inclusion, cultural policy, the history of national museums, construction of identities, the politics of display, ‘dark’ tourism and propaganda.

We invite abstracts for papers (of no more than 250 words in length) in English, that explore these issues. The proposed use of illustrations, photographs, music, video-clips or other media, in digital format, will be more than welcome and accommodated where possible. The Museological Review is targeted towards PhD students in museum-related disciplines from all over the world, but we would also welcome contributions from other researchers in the field and museum professionals.

Please send an abstract - and a 100-word biography describing your current area of research or position of employment - by email, or by post to the address given below, to the Editors ( by 30th April 2007. Please remember to include your email address and/or contact details and details of your institutional affiliation, if applicable. Successful contributors will be notified by email before the end of May 2007. All abstracts submitted will be subject to a rigorous selection process to maintain academic quality. We regret that we will be unable to accept all abstracts submitted.

The Editors, Museological Review
Department of Museum Studies
University of Leicester
105, Princess Road East


The Museum Of Bad Art (MOBA)

If you're in need of a diversionary tactic or a bit of light relief, have a look at The Museum of Bad Art (MOBA) (thanks to Museum Madness for this one).

Thursday, February 22, 2007

International Seminar: A New Museum: a performing tool for social cohesion and local development

From H-Museum:

International Seminar

A New Museum: a performing tool for social cohesion and local development
Val-de-Marne, France
12–13 March 2007

organized by
INTA – International Urban Development Association
Planning Institute of Paris, University of Paris XII

How do cities use cultural dynamics for local development? The various
notions of culture - as social marker, aesthetic and marketing tool - are
reshaping urban places and conflicts over revitalisation. In recent decades,
territories that lost their traditional industrial or service activities
under the impact of economic and social transformations have been
marshalling their cultural facilities to explore new paths of development
and thereby affirm their determination to sustain their growth.
Well-documented cases like Bilbao, Newcastle, Sheffield, Grand Hornu,
Philadelphia come to mind.

INTA and its partners, after the successful conference in November 2005 at
the occasion of the opening of a new Modern Art Museum in the periphery of
Paris, are calling an international seminar to pursue the debate on the
social, economic and spatial impacts of these cultural facilities on their

Investigating the impact of cultural facilities on its environment implies
the recognition that there is indeed a contribution of those facilities to
territorial development strategies. However, the question may be asked what
type of development strategies cultural facilities will affect? Beyond its
cultural function, can we assume that cultural facilities contribute to the
general development of a territory, in terms of economic growth, territorial
identity and social cohesion? If they do so, to what extent and in what way
do they contribute? Which methods of analysis to apply for measuring the
impacts? How can these findings assist in the evaluation of the performance
and effectiveness of local public policies and their impact on their

There are but few of the questions the March 2007 seminar will raise.


Monday 12 March 2007

09h00 Registration

09h30 – 13h00 How does a museum contribute to its territorial
attractiveness? How should a museum be managed in order to promote its
social accessibility and economic impact on its environment?

Debate animated by Joe Montgomery, President of INTA
• Paivi Kiiski-Finel, Museum of Art, Turku, Finland
• Mateja Kos, Head of Applied Arts Department, National Museum of Slovenia
• Nick Hunt, Director Mid Pennine Art, Lancashire, UK
• Ruxandra Balaci, Artistic Director, The National Museum of Contemporary
Art, Bucharest, Romania
• Adela Zeleznik, Curator Moderna Galeria, Ljubljana, Slovenia
• Jean Hurstel, President, Banlieues d'Europe, Strasbourg, France
• Anne Gosse, Director of Culture, Sheffield City Council, UK

14h00 – 17h00 What is the impact of museums on urban regeneration dynamics?
How much can a museum use its popular support for other social dynamics at
local/regional level? How can museums contribute to the change of image and
stigmatization of peripheral areas?

Debate animated by Dan Sequerra, Chair, Cultural Industries Quarter Agency,
• Marc Terrisse, Laboratoire Lhamans, Université́ du Maine, Le Mans, France
• Jérôme André́, Le Grand Hornu, Belgium
• Victoria Gonzales Buitrago, Municipality of Valencia, Spain
• Kepa Korta Murua, Director of the Strategic Plan of Donostia - San
Sebastian, Spain
• Helen Chimirri-Russel, Research Co-ordinator, Culture North East,
Newcastle, UK
• Claudio Bocci, Head of Federculture Cultural Office, Federculture, Italy

17h00 Conclusions of the day

Tuesday 13 March 2007

09h30 – 13h00 Analyzing and measuring the impact of Museums on their
territory. How to define the criteria to create an evaluation grid that will
allow policy makers at local and regional levels to measure the performance
and effectiveness of public policies and the impact of these policies on the
social environment?

Debate animated by Georges Knaebel, Director of Planning Institute of Paris
• Alexia Fabre, Director MAC/VAL, Val-de-Marne, France
• Ana Duarte, Director of Municipal Museums of Setubal, Portugal
• Astrida Rogule: "New Three Brothers", Ministry of Culture, Riga, Latvia
• Frédéric Jambu, Directeur, A.D.C.E.I., France
• Jean-François Legrand, directeur du projet "politique des publics et
médiation" Louvre-Lens, France
• Yann Nicolas, Economist, DEPS, Ministry of Culture and Communication,

14h00 – 17h00 Discussion on a European project on the impact of cultural
public policies on local development.
Debate animated by Michel Sudarskis, Secretary General of INTA

17h Closure and conclusions

Martijn Onderstal
Project Coordinator
INTA- The International Urban Development Association
Toussaintkade 71
NL-2513 CL The Hague, The Netherlands
T : +31-70-3244526
F : +31-70-3280727
E :
W :

Symposia Series: Exhibition Practices : Stakes & Perspectives

From H-Museum:

Exhibition Practices : Stakes & Perspectives
Symposium at the Museum of Fine Arts (Auditorium)
8 March 2007
22 March 2007

In 2007, la criée center for contemporary art will initiate a series of
symposia on exhibition practices in contemporary art. It is our hope that
this first edition will be the beginning of a series rich in the exchange of
experiences and curatorial perspectives. The series of symposia on
exhibition practices has emerged from la criée’s project for residencies and
exhibitions initiated in 2005 in the European cities of the Atlantic Arc.
This European project has provided opportunities for productive encounters
and collaborations between visiting artists, curators, directors,
international art critics and artistic directors.

The discovery of very different ways of working from one context to another,
exchanges around production and exhibition projects, encounters, often
unexpected, with art theoreticians and practitioners all contributed to our
desire to prolong and deepen this reflection, to make these exchanges public
and maintain the connections established.

Each symposium will bring together international professionals; these
artists, curators, art historians and theoreticians will be invited because
they analyze and renew exhibition practices in the field of contemporary

The complementary nature of artistic creation, curatorial practice,
historical research, critical thought and theorization will enrich the
debate and enable the exchange of experiences and the sharing of projects,
thereby contributing to the quality of scholarship and prospective thought.

The goal of the 2007 symposium is to share different experiences and
perspectives on the way artists and curators work with the history and
current status of the exhibition, and how they take charge of, circumscribe
or undermine existing exhibition formats.

How do they propose new ways of working with the artist, giving priority to
directions within the work or to production rather than to the exhibition
or, on the contrary, extending the exhibition model according to specific
conditions of exchange, work and visibility? How can we "produce",
"control", or "free ourselves from" images in exhibitions in the age of

With (subject to modifications):

Thursday 8 March 2007
Chus Martinez, Director of Frankfurter Kunstverein, Germany.
Joanna Mytkowska, curator at Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France.
Raphaële Jeune, Artistic director of the first contemporary art biennial in
Rennes, France.
Alexandre Perigot, Artist.

Thursday 22 March 2007
John Welchman, Professor of Art History in the Visual Arts Department at the
University of California, San Diego, USA.
Hou Hanru, Director of Exhibitions and Public Programs and Chair of the
Exhibition and Museum Studies program at the San Francisco Art Institute,
Manuel Olveira Paz, Artist and Director of Centro Galego de Arte
Contemporanea, Spain.

Further information (participants, program, etc.) :

Joining the symposium : email at

The symposium 2007 has received exceptional support from CULTURESFRANCE
within the framework of an agreement with the City of Rennes.

Conference: Shifting practice, shifting roles? Artists' Installations and the museum

From H-Museum:

Shifting practice, shifting roles? Artists' Installations and the museum
Tate Modern, Starr Auditorium
March 22nd 2007, 9.15 - 18.30

This conference explores the idea that artists' installations draw into
sharp focus the way in which contemporary artistic practice can shift the
organizational logic of the museum. Where is the dividing line between the
artist and the curator? How should artists' installations be conserved and
reinstalled? How does this practice affect notions of artistic authorship?
This conference will look at places of friction and resistance between
contemporary art and traditional museum conventions, and consider how the
roles of conservator and curator are evolving in response to particular
artistic practices.

Saskia Sassen will examine how major global changes are reflected in some of
the basic tenets of the museum (Ralph Lewis Professor of Sociology at the
University of Chicago, and Centennial Visiting Professor of Political
Economy in the Department of Sociology at the London School of Economics)
Jill Sterrett will consider the museum's response to installation art in
terms of shifting practices within conservation and the challenges of
custodianship. (Director of Collections San Francisco Museum of Modern Art)
Bruce Altshuler will present a paper on Exhibition, Collection, Re-creation
(Director of the Program in Museum Studies, Graduate School of Arts and
Science, New York University) Claire Bishop will present a paper entitled
What is a curator? in which she will consider the simultaneous emergence of
installation art, institutional critique and the independent curator in the
period 1968-72. (Assistant Professor in Art History at University of
Warwick) Alex Farquharson will present a paper entitled When can an
exhibition be a work of art? In which he will consider the exhibition as
work of art through the practices of artist-curators, performative curators
and experimental exhibition designers (Freelance curator and critic and
Research Fellow, Royal College of Art) Teresa Gleadowe (Former Director of
the Curating Contemporary Art Department at the Royal College of Art
(1992-2006), freelance curator and writer) Moderator Vivian van Saaze will
present a paper entitled Doing artworks. An ethnographic study into a case
study of the Inside Installations' project which explores how the
acquisition, presentation and preservation of installation art challenges
the working practices of the contemporary art museum with particular
reference to the work of Pierre Huyghe and Philippe Parreno. (Ph.D.
candidate Maastricht University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, and
the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage) Andrzej Przywara, a
director of the Foksal Gallery Foundation, Warsaw, Poland, will speak about
issues raised by the project to preserve the studio of Edward Krasinski in
the Warsaw apartment he took over from the Polish constructivist Henryk
Stazewski. He will also speak about work undertaken in preparation for the
retrospective exhibition of Krasinski's work presented by the Generali
Foundation in Vienna last summer.
Daniel Roesler, Gallery Nara Roesler, will speak about the reconstruction of
Oiticica's Cosmococa - CC4 Nocagions

The meeting is the last in a series organized across Europe as part of a
project funded by Culture 2000 "Inside Installations: the preservation and
presentation of Installation art".

£25 (£15 concessions), booking recommended. For tickets call 020 7887 8888
or visit website

Webcasts, the Internet and new technologies part two, or Blogs: aren't they great?

Ceri and I were talking the other day about how much we're loving The Attic and how we really enjoy the process of writing a blog. Well, I enjoy it so much that I've started a research blog. It's already proving to be an invaluable means of gathering together all the different links and resources that I've collected over the past eighteen months. And I'm trying out Wordpress' free online blogging software where I increasingly feel The Attic's future might lie.

I can imagine that blogs will lead to all sorts of new ways of disseminating and publishing our research, but at the same time, I can also envisage lots of issues to do with copyright and plagiarism - and for those reasons I will be using my blog to talk about the research process, rather than as a vehicle to present my research findings.

We already know about Mary's and Lynn's research blogs. Are there anymore out there? Perhaps we have some secret research bloggers in our midst who need outing! ;) Either way, if you're a research blogger, or know of a good research blog, then c'mon, spread the word!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

CFP: Hunting and Gathering - Practices of Collecting

From Art-Line:

World Art Postgraduate Symposium
Call for Papers

Hunting and Gathering:Practices of Collecting

Sixth Annual World Art Postgraduate Symposium
School of World Art Studies and Museology

University of East Anglia
Saturday 26th May 2007

This sixth symposium in the School of World Art and Museology series will focus on collecting as a human behaviour and artistic practice. The action has the possibility of shaping both what is collected as well as defining the character of the collector. Topics could include: collecting cultures, collecting as an art, cabinets of curiosities, found objects or the psychology of collecting. This annual symposium is a multidisciplinary event, where postgraduate students working on relevant topics in the fields of art history, anthropology, archaeology, cultural heritage and museology can present their work in a friendly and non-confrontational atmosphere.

The symposium is open to all but will be of particular interest to postgraduates and advanced undergraduates. Please contact Beverley Youngman to register, via email;

An abstract of no more than 250 words for a twenty-minute paper should be submitted by Friday 30th of March 2007 to Kajsa Berg or Lisa Binder by email or Regular mail submissions should be sent to School of World Art and Museology, University of East Anglia, Norwich, NR4 7TJ.

Webcasts, the Internet and new technologies

I finally got around to watching the two and a half (or whatever) hours of the Memory and Universality webcast. To be honest, I didn't take a lot of it in - I was trying to do other stuff at the same time - but it did remind me how great these new technologies are and how a thing like the Internet has revolutionised the research process. I cannot even begin to imagine how I would write my thesis without it.

Here's the link to a conference held in March 2003, 'Collecting Now', which including video recordings of each of the papers presented. It's fantastic. I didn't attend the conference, I didn't even know anything about it at the time. But this record allows me to access the information presented there four years on, crucially in my own time, without any financial expense, as and when I need it.

And in this era of renewed awareness of environmental issues, imagine how creative developments like this could revolutionise how we access conferences. We need more of this sort of thing!

Has anybody got anymore examples they'd like to share? Perhaps we could build up a 'database' of online webcasts? Would the 'digital heritage' people in the Department care to comment?

The Vital Spark: An international conference about heritage interpretation

The Vital Spark is a major international event looking at interpretation – the art of communicating with visitors at places such as museums, nature reserves, historic buildings and national parks.

Aviemore, in the Scottish Highlands, 30 September to 3 October 2007

We are inviting proposals for presentations and workshops at this exciting event, based on the conference’s four themes:·
  • The Vital Spark: interpretation as the driver for cultural regeneration
  • Creativity and innovation: interpreting remote and fragile areas
  • Voices in interpretation: languages, cultures and communities
  • Authenticity and re-interpretation: traditional icons in the 21st century
The closing date for proposals is Friday 9 March 2007.

For more information about the conference, and to make a proposal for a presentation or a workshop, visit the website

‘Early bird’ bookings, with discounts on the conference fee, are available until the end of March.

The Vital Spark is a joint venture between Interpret Scotland, a consortium of Scottish agencies interested in interpretation, and the Association for Heritage Interpretation, the United Kingdom body representing the field. It is running as part of Highland 2007, a year-long celebration of Highland culture.

CFP/Submissions: SPECIAL ISSUE ON Things That Move: The Material World of Tourism and

From H-Material Culture:


SPECIAL ISSUE ON Things That Move: The Material World of Tourism and Travel
/seconds - - is an online publishing and curation project reflecting contemporary art and its research. Initiated and edited by Derek Horton and Peter Lewis, /seconds is designed by Graham Hibbert, has an international editorial and advisory board of academics, artists and curators.

/seconds is published every three months and comprises text (including creative as well as academic writing), visual material (including moving image) and sound-based work. The content, format and style of /seconds locates it in a hybrid territory between academic research, curatorial strategies and contemporary art practices.

Issue 06, to be published in July 2007, will be a collaboration with The Centre for Tourism and Cultural Change to mark the international conference: Things That Move: The Material World of Tourism and Travel(Leeds, UK, on the 19th to 23rd July) - go to:

We welcome submissions in visual form, text and sound which critique and challenge the relationships between tourism, travel and objects. Themes in which we are interested include:

* Desire and envy in the world of tourist souvenirs;
* Emphemerality of tourist sites;
* Conjectures of place / dislocation through hotel lobbies and airports;
* Angst and ambiguity in the objects of travel;
* Fear of deckchairs;
* Travelling without things;
* Worlds through sunglasses;
* Indulgence in the materials of the foreign;
* Textures of and in travel.

PLEASE SEND ANY MATERIAL TO BE CONSIDERED FOR SUBMISSION, OR ANY OTHER QUERIES, BY EMAIL TO (NOT to the submissions address found on the '/seconds' site).

Seminar: Enabling Access: Heritage and Communities

From H-Museum:

Enabling Access: Heritage and Communities
Heritage Futures, Glasgow Caledonian University
26th and 27th March, 2007

Following on from the success of the 'Questions of Access: Research and Practice' seminar hosted at Newcastle University, the second in the 'Access to Heritage' series which is supported by the ESRC will focus on communities. This two day seminar will bring together academics and professionals to share and debate current research and heritage sector practice both within the UK and abroad. The aim is to focus on the community dimension of heritage access and to consider ways of enabling community access to heritage.

Confirmed speakers:

Andrea Witcomb
Deakin University, Australia

Bella Dicks
University of Cardiff

Jocelyn Dodd
University of Leicester

Miriam Levin
English Heritage

Zoe Brown
Tyne and Wear Museums Service

Gordon Urquhart

Mary-Catherine Garden
Glasgow Caledonian University

This seminar is free to attend but numbers will be limited so please book your place now by e-mailing Professor Fiona McLean at Once you have booked you will be forwarded the programme and details on accommodation.

Funding is available for 12 postgraduate / early career researchers. If you wish to be considered for this funding, please contact Fiona McLean with a brief introduction of your current research and institution information.

Deadline: 26.03.07

Professor Fiona McLean
Glasgow Caledonian University
Cowcaddens Road
Glasgow G4 0BA

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Films about or with museums

There was an idea floating around to watch some films that were about museums or had museums in them as a central part of the action. It might be helpful to extend this to archaeology as well! Anyway I am trying to put together an informal list so if anyone has any ideas or favourites please list them here! If you want to put a review as well that could be helpful. Ones I can think from the top of my head include:

The Da Vinci Code - one word review = abysmal
Night at the Museum
Indiana Jones trilogy
The Mummy Parts 1 & 2

Of course there is Friends with Ross working in the museum as well so maybe we need to extend it to TV as well as film?

Night at the Museum - film review

Um okay I confess it has been a while since I went to see this film but it struck me how silly I had been not to write a review for the Attic! I went in the full expectation that this would be a child-friendly, perhaps sentimental Hollywood film that would represent museums in a cliched and unsophisticated manner and I cannot say that I was totally disappointed. However I was surprised to find that I really enjoyed the premise of the film and even if the execution was sometimes poor I was very fond of the result.

The basic story is that a divorced dad, Ben Stiller, is floundering in life with little direction. Life is a succession of pipe dreams and hilariously unsuitable inventions for which he has gained no credit. In order to impress his son, who like any other 8 year old in Hollywood pictures is suitably precocious and embarrassed by his father, he takes on a job as a security guard at the local Natural History Museum in New York. Thinking it will be an easy job, our hero is a little unsettled when the three mischeavous old men who were former security guards leave him with a list of instructions which, in time-honoured fashion, he neglects to read. So when the ancient dinosaur skeleton in the entrance hall comes to life once the sun goes down of course he is little prepared and does not realise that he should be using the rib bone in a game of fetch to keep the dinosaur amused. Not something that would spring to my mind either! This is just the beginning of a bizarre night when everything in the museum comes to life, including the wax models of cave men, Atilla the Hun and a bronze statue of Christopher Columbus. There are some hilarious antics with these characters but of course they act as stereotypes, Atilla for example runs around screaming at the top of his lungs for no reason other than because he 'is' Atilla the Hun who obviously acted like a savage. However I do think the writers were aware of the sterotypes they were using and play on them. There is a funny scene when Atilla clashes with 21st century sensibilities and we find out why he is running around and screaming all the time. Other little scenes play on our expectations; a native American is seen listening to the ground and comes up with a typically insightful comment about how she knows a car has crashed in the distance. All around her are amazed until she shows them that the car is in fact visible, only they were so intent looking at her they neglected to see it. Another (less amusing?) stereotype are the museum staff who populate the museum. The curator is not surprisingly English (played by 'David Brent', Ricky Gervais which says it all really), fussy, dressed up to the nines in tweed and clearly hates anyone touching 'his' museum objects. Despite the size of the museum he seems to be the only person running it, except for one very pretty docent who makes friends with our hero.

In an interesting premise, one of the wax models of Teddy Roosevelt makes it clear that he knows he is not Roosevelt, only a model of him which opens up a lot of identity issues to be explored. However this is more of a throw-away comment which seems quickly forgotten as the action takes over. Although this was diverting, I was interested in the various types of model that populate the museum from the anatomically correct 'savages' to the disturbingly faceless Civil War soldiers. Perhaps these reflect a 'history' of how humans of different historical periods have been represented in museums, or how some persons of history are allowed to be represented as 'more' human? For example the 'faceless' soldiers was perhaps a comment on the faceless and dehumanizing aspects of war? Maybe I am reading too much into something which on many levels was a 'kid's film' but with the success of cartoons such as the Simpsons I am not so sure.

The plot becomes slightly more silly towards the middle of the film but I will not spoil it in case you are desperate to go and see it as a result of this review :). Still the film succumbs to a sentimental ending which always makes me squirm but overall I was pleasantly surprised and pleased to see museums presented as fun and interesting places. Unfortunately I feel that a great many children will be enormously disappointed that dinosaurs do not really come to life when the museum closes but I know if I was 8 years old I would look at the skeletons in the London Natural History Museum in a new light, and wonder if maybe...

CFP: The Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change

From H-Material Culture

The Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change (JTCC) now into its fourth successful year continues to welcome submissions on all aspects of the tourism—culture(s) relationships including papers which deal with the following areas:

* Tourism and Spatial Relations (landscape, borders, peripherality,sense of place etc);

* The Shaping of Identities through Travel (narrative histories/heritage, displacement, exclusion, dependency, hybridity);

* Material Culture and Tourism Practice (souvenirs, art and crafts, design and architecture, museums);

* Tangible and Intangible Heritage (heritage policy, World Heritage Sites, folk cultures, festivals, custom and ritual);

* Cultural Politics (diasporic tourism, gender roles, post-colonial legacies);

* Travel/Tourism and Tourist Histories (collective memory, travel writings, oral histories);

* Tourist Behaviour and Experiences (aesthetic production/consumption, embodiment, performance, linguistics, translation).

All papers are peer reviewed by a minimum of two experts

Articles may be submitted electronically. Text should be saved in the author's normal word processor format (please give the name of the program used). Any Figures or Tables should be saved in separate files from the rest of the text.

Electronic submissions should be sent by e-mail attachment to: , with the covering
message clearly stating the name of the journal concerned, on CD-ROM, or on disc (IBM-PC compatible or high-density AppleMac) to:

The Editor, Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change, c/o Channel View
Publications, Frankfurt Lodge, Clevedon Hall, Victoria Road, Clevedon BS21
7HH, England.

For further information, guidelines and library / institutional subscriptions please visit:

Editors: Prof. Mike Robinson (Centre for Tourism and Cultural Change, Leeds
Metropolitan University)

Flight 247, you are clear to land

Kouros - that gave me a much needed laugh this morning. Thanks. :)

(Thanks to everyone who's signed up to the Frappr map so far - but, we get over 400 'hits' per week, so let's be seeing the rest of you!)

Monday, February 19, 2007

Webcast: Memory and Universality (part 2)

What follows is some information about a webcast of the recent UNESCO debate held on the topic of Memory and Universality, which Mary Stevens attended and wrote a review of for her blog. I haven't had a chance to watch it yet, but from Mary's post it sounds like it was really interesting and threw up lots of differences of opinions and approaches to the idea of museums and their audiences.

From H-Museum:

Memory and Universality: New Challenges Facing Museums
Public debate, Monday 5 February 2007, UNESCO Headquarters

The webcast of the public debate, which was held at UNESCO concerning the
universality of museums with the participation of a distinguished panel of
speakers is now available!

Watch the webcast.

The public debate Memory and Universality: New Challenges Facing Museums addressed the confrontation between the universal mission of museums and the massive transfers of cultural property over the course of history.

As a follow-up to an initiative launched in 2005, the journal MUSEUM International organized this second public debate on a topical museum-related issue. These events intend to engage a constructive dialogue among museum professionals, academics and representatives from UNESCO Member States.

UNESCO wishes to associate with all actors in order to complement legal considerations with philosophical, historical and international perspectives.

A panel of professionals representing different approaches to the issues of memory and universality were present at the debate:

Universal Museums
* Henri Loyrette, President Director, Musée du Louvre

* Neil MacGregor, Director, British Museum

* Mikhail Piotrovsky, Director, State Hermitage Museum

International Council of Museums
* Alissandra Cummins, President, ICOM
* Bernice Murphy, President, Ethics Committee, ICOM

Museum Community and Source Countries
* Alain Godonou, Director, Ecole du Patrimoine Africain, Benin

* Richard West, Director, National Museum of the American Indian, USA

* Juan Antonio Valdés, Professor of Archaeology, San Carlos University

Academic Community
* Krysztof Pomian, Philosopher, Historian, Emeritus Director of Research,
French Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS )

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Conference Alert: Museums and Universal Heritage

From H-Museum:

Fairly timely, this conference alert, given recent discussions about the Burrup.


ICOM / ICMAH Vienna 2007

Museums and Universal Heritage.
History in the area of conflict between interpretation and manipulation
Vienna, Austria, 20 - 22 August 2007

"ICOM / ICMAH Vienna 2007" is the independent three-day conference of ICMAH, ICOM's International Committee for Museums and Collections of Archaeology and History. It will take place in the context of the ICOM General Conference Vienna 2007. As one of ICOM's oldest and largest committees, ICMAH in recent years has taken on the particular mission of examining the public and political status of museums in present times ( ). ICMAH is delighted to be organising the 2007 Vienna Conference in cooperation with the Wien Museum ( ). This metropolitan museum, with its extensive historical collections, always strives to incorporate topical issues into its sophisticated exhibition programmes.

ICMAH Vienna 2007 will be dedicated to the issues involved in working in historical and archaeological museums today, under presentation of the theme "History in the area of conflict between interpretation and manipulation" - with a programme that addresses the current issues and awareness of the international ICOM audience.

Where, in the conception of permanent exhibitions or special projects, does the power of interpretation in historical representation lie? What role can museums play as active participants or initiators of social and cultural processes? Which areas of conflict can arise between the guidelines of political backers and the autonomy of museums in terms of content?

To what extent do museum professionals react to volatile issues and conflicts, to what extent do they evade them? Do they also give in to majority opinion from time to time? Where do they stand in the area of conflict between homogenisation of memory and its many voices? In what form can and should they collaborate in the revision of established historical interpretations?

What part can museums and exhibitions actually play in current fields of discussion and conflict? How far do the responsibilities of museums extend and where do they end? Does society possibly shift the responsibility for the solution of problems on to museums? Is it possible for a museum to be not only a mirror of society but also a "diagnostic" site, where reflections are made about future developments in society?

Against the backdrop of current political conflicts and the social, cultural and religious differences in society, the ICOM / ICMAH Vienna 2007 Conference aims to discuss these challenging and at times volatile issues with openness and sensitivity.

We invite you to support our ICOM / ICMAH Vienna 2007 Conference with suggestions of how we, as museum professionals, do and should carry out the professional responsibilities placed upon us.

The challenges and problems outlined above will be studied by means of keynotes, panel contributions and case studies from actual museum and exhibition work of recent years.

Marie-Paule Jungblut, President of ICMAH, Rosmarie Beier-de Haan, Secretary General of ICMAH, and ICOM / ICMAH Vienna 2007, Project Coordinator Dr Monika Sommer (Wien Museum) invite all ICOM members to attend and actively participate in three days of professional exchange and discussion.

Please submit any suggestions for talks and presentations of case studies by 31 March 2007 to: and

The length of abstracts should not exceed 250 words.

Please also ensure that you indicate your role in the submitted project and include your contact address and all professional details (name, position, address, telephone and fax numbers, email).

Rosmarie Beier-de Haan
ICMAH Secretary General
c/o Deutsches Historisches Museum
Unter den Linden 2
D - 10117 Berlin
Tel: +49 30 20304270
Fax: +49 30 20304543

Monika Sommer
Wien Museum
A - 1040 Wien
Tel: +43 1 5058747 84017
Mobile: +43 664 8526977

CFP: Electronic Visualisation and the Arts

From H-Museum:


Electronic Visualisation and the Arts
9-13 July

The EVA London conference is a forum for communicating the uses and implications of electronic visualisation in the arts and culture. Held annually, it is for groups and organisations from a wide range of disciplines to share and promulgate results. The scope includes an inspirational range of perspectives, from policy and strategy to technology and visual and other creative arts. It is a venue for practitioners, researchers, managers, policy makers and suppliers.

Call for Papers: deadline 28 February 2007

We invite offers of papers, which should be submitted electronically to by 28th February 2007. We require a summary of the paper on not more than one page. The title, authors' name, affiliation and contact details should be shown at the top of the page.

Subject coverage
Papers may be on any aspect of EVA London's focus on visualisation for the arts and culture, broadly interpreted, including technology, use and users, creative, visual and performing arts and music, strategy, organisational implications and policy.

Acceptance and deadlines
Authors will be notified by the end of March whether their paper is accepted. Papers will be fully refereed and are published as conference preprints and will also be online. Full papers are up to ten A4 pages in length including images and references. The deadline for submitting a full paper will be 14th May.

There will be a discounted rate for speakers' registration for the conference.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Blog alert: The History Lab

Also passed onto me by my London spy, is this blog, The History Lab, which is written by research students based at the Institute of Historical Research. It's kind of a bit Attic-y, which is cool. Though it's not been updated for a few weeks it's worth a look.

Careers Day

My London-based spy has passed onto me details of a Careers Day organised by the Institute of Historical Research, to be held at Senate House on the 15th March.

The workshop will address working in:
• archiving and records, publishing, academia,researching, TV and historical journalism

Participants include:

• Tristram Hunt, Queen Mary, University of London
• Greg Neale, BBC
• Michael Wood, Independent Journalist
• representatives from Yale University Press and early career historians from Birmingham and Warwick

Both MA and PhD students welcome

Workshop fee: £15.00, includes lunch and refreshments

Venue: Wolfson & Pollard Room, Institute of Historical Research, Senate House
For a full programme and registration form, please visit the IHR Website: or contact Wendy Birch, tel 020 7862 8755,

A limited number of travel bursaries are available. For further details please contact

Friday, February 16, 2007

Frappr Map

Have you noticed the fancy new Frappr map at the bottom of the blog? If you're an Attic contributor, student of the Department of Museum Studies, guest blogger, or loyal reader, why not add your pin to the map?

Colloquium: Heritage, Housing and Home

'Valuing the Historic Environment' is a new, cross disciplinary research cluster for the discussion of frameworks of value in relation to the preservation of historic environments. The cluster will meet at three one day colloquia to take place between January and July 2007 and on an online discussion board, available from the cluster www Detailed notes documenting the discussion at each colloquium will also be available from the cluster www. We aim for the activities of this cluster to lead to further research connections, collaborations, opportunities and outputs, with the potential to influence academic debate and policy formulation.The second colloquium associated with this cluster takes place on the 20th April 2007. The main focus of the colloquium is 'Heritage, Housing and Home'.

There are a limited number of places available, there is no cost to attend but we are not normally able to pay expenses. It would be usefu lif expressions of interest in attending could briefly describe how the person's experience will enable them to make a significant contribution to debate in the colloquia. The closing date for expressions of interest in attendance for Colloquium 2 is 23/03/07.

There are a limited number of places available, there is no cost to attend but we are not normally able to pay expenses. It would be useful if expressions of interest in attending could briefly describe how the persons experience will enable them to make a significant contribution to debate in the colloquia. The closing date for expressions of interest in attendance for Colloquium 2 is 23/03/07.

Colloquia details are as follows:
20th April 2007- Heritage, Housing and Home

Keynotes: Professor Peter Malpass, School of Housing & Urban Studies:
'Your house, my home, whose heritage?'

Other Speakers: John Pendlebury, Tim Townshend and Rose Gilroy: 'Social
Housing as Heritage, a case-study of Byker'

David Adshead, Head Curator & Architectural Historian, National Trust,
to speak on the 'modest domestic environments of the Trust', title to be

Location: University of Newcastle

You can find further details about the research cluster at

Gearing up for Museums and Galleries Month 2007

Plans for this year’s Museums and Galleries Month, supported by Renaissance, are now under way. Promising to be the biggest ever celebration of its kind, the programme planned for May features a wide range of activities in museums, galleries and heritage attractions. Some key events are:

The ‘Welcome Weekend’ coincides with the May Bank Holiday weekend, 4 – 7 May
European ‘Night of the Museum’- Nuit des Musees - on Saturday 19 May has really caught museums’ imaginations this year with torch lit tours, late night music and even a “cultural tapas”

MGM debates will take place at the National Portrait Gallery, Tate Britain and National Museum Liverpool

Family history workshops are being held in association with the Archive Awareness Campaign, exploring personal and regional heritage

Online initiatives with the 24 Hour Museum and VisitBritain and a programme of arts activities are still to be announced

Events will relate to this year’s theme: ‘People : Who are we’, exploring the relationship between museums and identity

For more information contact Ylva French at the Campaign for Museums on 020 7233 9796 or log onto: for the latest information

Museums Association’s Diversify scheme offers more training opportunities in museums and galleries

The Museums Association’s Diversify scheme offers more training opportunities in museums and galleries

The Museums Association’s Diversify scheme, funded by Renaissance, is increasing the accessibility of museum careers to people from ethnic minorities. The scheme is successfully training people of African, Caribbean, Asian or Chinese descent for work in museums and galleries, with 70 individuals having participated in the scheme so far.

The MA is now pleased to offer:
Five one-year bursaries to take a postgraduate museum studies course, with a five months work placement in a leading regional museum service
An MA in Applied Museology with an additional 5-month Diversify placement with the Education and Research team at the Sainsbury Centre at UEA (this is in partnership with the University of East Anglia).

To find out more please visit

Diversify is a strategic initiative delivered under Section 37(1) of the Race Relations Act 1976.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Research Seminar: Jenny Gregory, Stand Up for the Burrup: the movement to save Aboriginal rock art in the world’s largest open air museum

Research Seminar: Jenny Gregory, Stand Up for the Burrup: the movement to save Aboriginal rock art in the world’s largest open air museum (12/02/2007)

By Amy Jane Barnes

For this fortnight’s research seminar, the Department welcomed Jenny Gregory, Associate Professor of History at the University of Western Australia and President of the National Trust in Western Australia. Her presentation focused on the tension between heritage and industry, an issue currently being played out at the Burrup peninsula, in the Dampier region of the north-west Pilbara coast of Western Australia.

The Burrup ‘houses’ the largest concentration of rock art in the world, featuring an estimated 1,000,000 petroglyphs and a minimum of 1,000 plus motifs per square kilometre. The incised images include representations of bird and marine life, mixed animal and human motifs, geometric designs and stylised figures, notably ‘climbing men’ and archaic faces, which number among the oldest representations of people in the world. Carvings of extinct flora and fauna suggest that the earliest of the Burrup petroglyphs could date from 20,000 years ago and provides evidence for the antiquity of human presence in that region and suggests the existence of ancient trade routes or, at the very least, contact between Western and Central Australia (where similar carvings of faces have also been found). In addition to the petroglyphs, are a high density of (largely unsurveyed) standing stones associated with ceremonies and markers of sites of traditional significance and seasonal natural resources.

Undoubtedly, the site is immeasurably important to the study of the development of human creativity and to the history and culture of the indigenous population of Australia. However, the region is also the site of significant oil, gas and iron ore deposits. The ensuing clash between heritage and industry has brought to the surface long-standing prejudices and tensions, as well as highlighting the various problems inherent in the preservation and interpretation of heritage landscapes.

Despite concern expressed by heritage organisations, construction has recently begun on a new gas plant in the vicinity of the Burrup petroglyphs and standing stones, and last month the developers, Woodside, began to relocate – possibly in not the most sensitive way - some of the standing stones in order to clear the site for development. At State level, this is seen to be an adequate solution. However, the National Trust is concerned – not least because a proper survey of the area has not been completed and, with the relocation, important contextual information will be lost.

Jenny outlined the reasons why she felt this situation had arisen in the Burrup: there is a strong sense that because the stones and petroglyphs relate to indigenous heritage, they are not valued in the same way as they might if they had been evidence of early European settlers, for example. Added to this, is the remoteness of the region and the lack of political will to preserve heritage sites against the advance of industry. However, it is hoped that in the future, the site might achieve national heritage or even world heritage listing, which would go someway to ensuring its survival.

These issues generated a lively debate, with discussions focusing on revisionist history in Australia, and the attendant loss of interest in Aboriginal history and culture, the role of the media in exerting political pressure and the perceived benefits, or not, of World Heritage listing.

For more information, see the following websites:

So, what do PhD students listen to?

I'm kind of embarrassed about sharing my musical taste with you all, but Ceri insists I must! So, if you've ever wondered what museum studies PhD students listen to for inspiration then head over to the right-hand sidebar tout suite. Over to you Ceri... ;)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day...

...or Conspiracy Against Singles Day, as one of my housemates described it this morning! To celebrate, why not tell us all about the museum which you most love. When and how did it capture your heart?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Architecture, art and archaeology: interdisciplinary seminar

'Architecture, art and archaeology' is a termly interdisciplinary seminar providing opportunities for researchers within the Bartlett School of Architecture - both staff and students - to initiate research conversations at various interdisciplinary crossings. This is the second in the series and will explore the intersection of architecture, archaeology and art focusing on particular questions, processes, contexts and products that are currently preoccupying ten theorists and practitioners - whose work engages the journey from one discipline into another.

John Barrett (Archaeology, University of Sheffield)
Victor Buchli (Anthropology, UCL)
Ben Campkin (Bartlett School of Architecture)
Alberto Duman (Artist)
Janet Hodgson (Artist)
Lesley McFadyen (Archaeology & Ancient History, University of Leicester)
Hilary Powell (Artist)
Jane Rendell (Bartlett School of Architecture)
SmoutAllen (Bartlett School of Architecture)
Simon Unwin (Architecture, University of Dundee)

Event Organisers: Ben Campkin, Lesley McFadyen, Jane Rendell

10 am - 6 pm, Tue 13 March 2007

This event is free but please RSVP
Rm G02, Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL
Wates House, 22 Gordon Street,
London, WC1H 0QB

For further information visit,

Conference Alert/CFP: Up from the Ashes: Creativity and conservatism in rebuilding after disasters

From H-ArtHist:


Up from the Ashes: Creativity and conservatism in rebuilding after disasters

Wars, earthquakes, and other calamities can destroy homes and public buildings instantaneously, but in many cases, the inhabitants survive.Whether in Late Bronze Age Greece, Nero's Rome, or 19th century Chicago,the choices made concerning rebuilding can reflect not only the immediate physical and psychological effects of the fire, but can also illuminate ways in which survivors identify themselves in relation to their past and future, as well as how they view themselves within political and ideological spheres of the community. Thus, the shape ofthe new city often reflects aspects of the old, in a way that is influenced by many factors, including the rate of survival from the disaster, the nature of authority, the desire to prevent future disasters, and the community's reaction to the traumatic event or events which destroyed their environment. Cities that remain derelict also present an opportunity to clarify the relationship of survivors to their former homes. Whether a site is left in ruins or relocated to amore secure place, we can still learn much about the community's perception of the town and of the disaster. This colloquium invites student papers from all time periods, addressing the archaeology of rebuilding urban and village environments after natural and manmade disasters. We welcome papers examining the effects of memory, trauma, and ideology in establishing the post-disaster shape of cities, as well as studies of the archaeological evidence for the changing topography of urban environments.

This colloquium will be the fifth annual paper session organized by the
Student Affairs Interest Group (SAIG) of the Archaeological Institute of
America. It is intended not only to provide expanded opportunities for
student presentations at the Annual Meeting but also to showcase
innovative, interdisciplinary scholarship. Under the title "Up from the
Ashes: Creativity and conservatism in rebuilding after disasters" the
organizers will submit the selected papers as a colloquium session to
the next annual meeting of the AIA (January 3-6, 2008, Chicago). All
papers in the colloquium will be subject to acceptance by the AIA
Program for the Annual Meeting Committee, in accordance with standard

The SAIG would like to remind all interested students that it is
possible for an individual to submit papers for both a colloquium
session and an open paper session at the AIA annual meetings. The
latter is automatically withdrawn from consideration if the former is

Please send a CV and an abstract of no more than 250 words by February
21, 2007 to both session organizers, Lyra Monteiro ( )
and Natalie Abell ( ). In keeping with the
regulations of the AIA, we will accept only electronic submissions. All
abstracts must conform to AIA guidelines (see the American Journal of
Archaeology style guidelines, published in AJA 104:3-24, or the Annual
Meeting Section of the AIA website; esp. §§3.1-8, 6.5., ). If the colloquium is accepted by the Program
for the Annual Meeting Committee all whose papers are included must be
members of the AIA in good standing by the time of the meeting.

Conference Alert/CFP: Art & the Holocaust

From H-ArtHist:

Pacific Ancient & Modern Language Association Annual Conference
Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA
November 2-3, 2007

Call for Papers

"Art & the Holocaust"

This panel seeks to address how the Holocaust has been and continues to be represented in art (architecture, autobiography, dance, fiction, film, painting, poetry, photography, music, sculpture, theater).Presentations are welcomed that reflect on the relationship between art and atrocity and focus on the creation and reception of art within national contexts.

Please submit paper title, a 500-word proposal and a 50-word abstract by March 1, 2007 via email attachment (Word) to: Address print submissions to:Sandra Alfers, Department of German, Dickinson College, Bosler Hall,P.O. Box 1773, Carlisle, PA 17013. Panelists will be notified by April 7, 2007 and must renew PAMLA membership or join by April 15, 2007. For more information, please see the PAMLA website at

Seminar/Conference Alert: Best and Worst Practices in Deaccessioning

From H-Museum:

Best and Worst Practices in Deaccessioning
A One-Day Seminar in Legal, Ethical and Professional Guidelines for Collections Stewardship
College of Physicians of Philadelphia
Tuesday, March 13, 2007, 10 am - 4:30 pm

Organized by the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries
Co-sponsored by the College of Physicians of Philadelphia<>

What factors contribute to "good" or "bad" deaccessioning? What are the legal, ethical, and professional standards? Do they vary for each institution, or each case? Deaccessioning is the permanent removal (by sale, gift, trade or even destruction) of collections items from museums,archives, libraries and similar institutions. Done properly, it can be an important part of a comprehensive collections management program and strengthen an institution. Done poorly, it can bring an institution negative publicity, diminished interpretive capacity, financial problems and even lawsuits. Surveys of collecting institutions in the greater Philadelphia area reveal that many of them are deaccessioning materials, or plan to do so in the near future. As they and their boards consider these steps and their ramifications, they often lack resources to help them with their decisions.Additionally, there is no consensus among practitioners within individual fields, let alone among different fields.

The Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries (PACSCL) has organized a one-day conference to set forth some of the challenges and questions that an institution might confront when considering deaccessioning-and the resources it might tap. The conference is open to the general public, but is particularly recommended for staff and board members of collecting institutions, as well as for attorneys interested ethics and governance questions. (Pennsylvania CLE credits, including an ethics credit,will be available.)


* LEGAL STANDARDS: deeds of trust, deeds of gift, donor contracts, due diligence for boards of trustees, accounting standards for the proceeds from collections sales
* ETHICAL STANDARDS: How should you reach your decision? Should you try to find a local repository? Is a private sale acceptable? What role does mission play? What do donors of collections and funders think? What will the press say?
* PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS: What policies do relevant umbrella organizations promulgate? What other resources are there for best practices? Does it matter what kind of governance structure you have? What other options exist?

SPEAKERS will include

* Ralph Lerner, Esq. (Sidley Austin)
* Stephen Urice, Esq. (University of Miami Law School)
* Julie Hart (Assistant Director for Accreditation, American Association ofMuseums)
* Carl Nold (Historic New England)
* Alexandra Peers (Columbia University, freelance journalist)
* Michael Zinman (collector)
* Alice Beamesderfer (Philadelphia Museum of Art)
* David Moltke-Hansen (Historical Society of Pennsylvania)
* Barbara W. Silberman (Heritage Philadelphia Program of The Pew Charitable Trusts)
* Margery Sly (Presbyterian Historical Society)
* Derick Dreher (Rosenbach Museum & Library)

SCHEDULE overview

9 am - 10 am Registration; continental breakfast will be provided

10 am - Noon Session One: Ethical Standards

Noon - 1 pm Lunch break; box lunches will be provided

1 pm - 2:45 pm Session Two: Professional Standards

2:45 pm - 4:30 pm Session Three: New approaches to Deaccessioning

4:30 pm - 5:30pm After the conference, feel free to visit the Mütter Museum during these extended hours.

TO REGISTER please visit byMarch 8, 2007.Attendance is limited and advance registration is required. Registration fees include conference participation as well as continental breakfast and box lunches. (Please note that registration fees will not be refunded afterMarch 8, 2007.)$40 Staff and board of PACSCL member institutions $60 General public $100 Attorneys desiring Pennsylvania CLE credits


The conference will be held at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia at 19 S. 22nd Street (between Chestnut and Market Streets) in Center City Philadelphia. The College is a short walk from Amtrak's 30th Street Station,and a wide variety of public transportation is also available. Nearby parking is available at 22 S. 21st St, 2128 Market St, 2300 Market St, and28 S. 21st St. (note that parking fees are not included in the conference registration). The college is accessible to persons with disabilities. To find out more about the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, please contact Sofie Sereda at 215-563-3737 ext. 232 or For more information about this conference please contact Valerie Linhart, Rosenbach Museum & Library 215-732-1600 ext. 111 or

This conference was organized by the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries ( ) with the assistance of Derick Dreher, Rosenbach Museum & Library; Danial Elliott, Philadelphia Museum of Art;Andrea Kenyon, College of Physicians of Philadelphia; Valerie Linhart,Rosenbach Museum & Library; Margery Sly, Presbyterian Historical Society;and Sofie Sereda, College of Physicians of Philadelphia. The PACSCL conference on deaccessioning takes place one day before the"Legal Issues in Museum Administration" seminar, presented March 14-16 in Philadelphia by the American Law Institute-American Bar Association(ALI-ABA), and co-sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution with the cooperation of the American Association of Museums. These conferences complement each other logically, but separate registration is required. For more information about the ALI-ABA seminar, please visit:

Monday, February 12, 2007

Knowledge transfer in object handling - UCL Workshop

Details below of the UCL Museums & Collections fifth in a series of free workshops exploring touch and object handling in the context of museums: "Knowledge Transfer in Object handling: with specific reference to disadvantaged or underrepresented groups." Held at the British Museum on Friday 2 March - to book a place and/or for further information contact Devorah Romanek on email:

UCL Museums & Collections warmly invite you to the fifth in a series of workshops exploring touch and object handling in the context of museums.
This series is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
Please feel free to distribute these details as widely as possible. All are welcome.

Workshop 5: "Knowledge transfer in object handling:
with specific reference to disadvantaged or underrepresented groups."

Friday 2 March 2007, The British Museum, Stephenson Lecture Theatre, 10 am -
4 pm

10am - 10.30am Registration and Tea/Coffee. The British Museum
10.30 - 10.45am Introduction and Welcome: Dr Helen Chatterjee, Deputy Director, UCL Museums & Collections and AHRC Touch Workshop leader.
10.45 - 11.25 Caro Howell, Head of Education & Public Events, Whitechapel Art Gallery
11.25 - 12.05 Robert Zimmer, co-Director, Digital Studios and Head of the Department of Computing, Goldsmiths, University of London
12.05 - 1.30 pm Lunch
1:30 - 2:10 Marcus Weisen, Policy Adviser: Inclusion and Communities, Museums, Libraries and Archives Council
2.10 - 2:50 pm Barry Ginley, Disability and Access, the Victoria & Albert Museum
2.50pm - 3.20pm Tea/Coffee. The British Museum
3.20pm - 4pm Jane Samuels, Access Manager, Department of Learning & Information, The British Museum

To book a place and/or for further information contact Devorah Romanek on
This workshop is FREE; Tea/Coffee will be provided.

This programme is generously funded by the AHRC Research Workshops scheme.

End of project conference: Touch and the value of object handling Friday
4 May 2007, University College London, Anatomy JZ Young Lecture Theatre.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

The Attic Stats

This might be of interest to those of you who like getting your teeth into facts and figures.

Last week The Attic received 466 visitors and, on average, we get 67 hits per day. According to Technorati, we are linked to by 16 other blogs (to see which they are, click on the link at the very bottom of the page) and are - as of today - ranked (in terms of traffic) within the top 250,000 of registered blogs.

43% of our visitors are from Europe, closely followed by North America (40%). Asia makes up 9% of traffic, with Africa and unknown locales making up 3% of visitors each. 2% hail from Oceania.

The majority of our visitors (38%) come from the United States, followed by the United Kingdom with 29%. India and visitors from 'unknown' countries make up 3% each, with Australia, Canada, Greece, Italy, Malaysia and Norway attracting 2% respectively. 1% of visitors come from Turkey, Ukraine, Belgium, Taiwan, Germany, Denmark, Iran, France, Nigeria, Sweden, Hungary, Pakistan and South Africa, with the remaining 2% of visitors logging on from 'miscellaneous' countries. Phew - we really have gone international!

This is all very exciting! It feels like The Attic is building momentum, and with contributions from research students outside the Department of Museum Studies at Leicester, we're really starting to make some headway with our mission to make The Attic an important resource for, and a virtual community of, museum studies researchers. Many thanks to everyone who contributes and reads The Attic regularly. Please be assured that your support and input is gratefully received and highly valued. :)

So, if you are one of our growing band of regular readers, why not let us know a little bit about yourselves (no obligation and you can, of course, remain anonymous if you wish)? Tell us:
  • where you're from;
  • how you found The Attic;
  • what you're researching (if you're a student/researcher); and finally
  • any comments you have about how we could make The Attic even better!

Just click the 'comments' link at the bottom of this post, or - if you would prefer - send us an email.

Right to Reply!

Museum Madness has posted a response to guest blogger Carrie's review of his weblog.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Notorious slum becomes an art gallery

Notorious slum becomes an art gallery - good idea or publicity stunt?

It would be interesting to see what people think about this article that in Rio de Janeiro one of the most notorious shantytowns in the city, Vila Cruzeiro, has been transformed into an open-air art gallery. Dutch artists have used what the author calls "crumbling shacks" to work with residents to create giant murals. Much is made about the area's history of crime and local drug warfare juxtaposed against the 'civilising' effects of the art, will it act as an inspiration for local teenagers?,,2009351,00.html

CFP: Art and Power

From H-Art-Hist:

Title: Art and Power
Eighth Student Summer Symposium
University of St Andrews
5-7 July 2007

The relationship between art and power has, throughout history, continuously shifted between the creative expressions of artists and their response to the various frameworks and networks of exchange. This interaction has in many ways determined the patterns of development within the arts, particularly with regard to the formulations of style and subject.

It has been over 10 years since the exhibition"Art and Power: Europe under the dictators 1930-1945". This exhibition prompted the exploration of image making under totalitarianism in Europe and the plight of the individual artist under the control of these political bodies. In public, the arts were politicized to serve and disperse the ideological messages of the state.This conference aims to open up this schema. It provides an opportunity to expand upon these themes of art and power to the manner in which artists responded to the innumerable constructs of power dispersed throughout the social system. It also aims to diversify the scope of this exhibition by enlarging the historical parameters to all geographical and ideological realms.

This year's AAH Student Summer Symposium intends to contextualize how the persistent and diverse dialogue between art and power has persevered through the history of art to the present. Papers may consider but not be limited to:

* The politics of identity: race, class, gender, sexuality and nationality
* The politics of display, viewership and ownership
* The power of institutions (the academy, patronage networks, courts)
* Colonial and post-colonial ideology
* Urban planning and architecture
* The power of the art market
* The collaborative creativity of artists
* The nation/state
* Encrypted and underground art

For the opportunity to present a 20-minute paper in an informal atmosphere with other postgraduate students, send a 300 - word abstract by 7 April 2007 to Maria Halkias AAH membership is necessary.


Here's an interesting thing which I found via the Material World blog. The Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Cambridge have just launched their new collections database called BLOBJECTS.

From the website:

BLOBGECTS is an innovative access system to the collections of the Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology at the University of Cambridge. BLOBGECTS is based on a weblog where the blog entries are objects in the Museum's collections. This allows the visitor to search, comment, link via tags or RSS to any object or any search.

You can search for objects, photographs and documents - and it looks like the museum has also provided archive material on its own development via the database as well.