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, June 28, 2007

Conference Alert: State of the Art

From H-Museum:

State of the Art: Collecting art and national formation c. 1800–2000
National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
18 - 20 July 2007

This international conference draws together a range of academics and curators from national and international institutions to consider the issues surrounding art collecting and nationhood across a variety of locations and cultures.

Since the development of the public art gallery and museum in the early 19th
century, art and the collecting of art in Britain have been closely linked
to the articulation of national identity and the construction of nationhood.
They have thus interleaved with debates on national morality, class, race
and gender, and the social and civic functions of culture. In recent years
‘cultures of collecting’ have been subjects of considerable study in art
history, museology and other forms of cultural studies. This international
conference will build on this research, drawing together a range of
academics and curators from national and international institutions, to
consider the issues surrounding art collecting and nationhood across a
variety of locations and cultures.

It will also develop these issues away from a purely Eurocentric focus upon
the history of nation formation and the role of art and collecting in the
evolution of European nationalism, to explore the significance of art
collecting within the history of empire, and for emergent nation-states
outside the European arena. It will also confront the complex and
contentious issues within those larger histories, of the role of war and
looting, and of art and its collecting as both victim and accomplice of
international conflict and conquest.

The conference will complement Art for the Nation, the recently opened
display in the Queen’s House of the various oil paintings collections that
make up the National Maritime Museum’s total holding. One of the principal
aims of the exhibition is to consider the history of these collections and
how they relate to the historical definitions of Britain’s maritime and
imperial identity.

Conference supported by the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art.

Conference Programme

Wednesday 18 July 2007

17.45-18.15 Registration

18.15-18.30 Welcome

18.30-19.30 Keynote Address:
Art collections and art histories: native, national, international
Professor Nicholas Thomas, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge

19.30-21.00 Reception, Queen’s House, and private view of Art for the Nation

Thursday 19 July 2007

09.00-09.30 Registration and coffee

09.30-10.00 Opening remarks

Session 1: Art Collecting and National Ideology

10.00-11.00 Keynote Lecture:
What art, which nation?
David Barrie, The Art Fund

11.00-11.30 Coffee

11.30-12.15 Collecting art for 'the nation' at National Museum Cardiff
Dr Rhiannon Mason, University of Newcastle

12.15-13.00 Royal collecting and modernity
Professor Brandon Taylor, University of Southampton

13.00-13.30 Discussion

13.30-14.30 Lunch

Session 2: The Imperial Sphere

'Guiltless spoliations': imperial sketching in the 1790s
Dr Douglas Fordham, University of Virginia

15.15-16.00 Ethnographic idolatry? Missionaries, museums and the desire for
iconoclasm in London and South Asia, 1800-60
Dr Natasha Eaton, University College London

16.00-16.30 Tea

16.30-17.15 Sowing new seed: Orpen, Ireland, and 'unsophisticated colonials'
in Adelaide, South Australia
Angus Trumble, Yale Center for British Art

17.15-17.45 Discussion

Friday 20 July 2007

09.00-09.30 Registration and coffee

09.30-10.30 Keynote Lecture:
Definitions of Empire in the regional art museum in Britain, 1870 - 1914?
Giles Waterfield, Courtauld Institute of Art

10.30-11.00 Coffee

Session 3: Collecting and the Emergent Nation-State

11.00-11.45 The Great Exhibition of Persian Art at the Royal Academy (1931)
and its influences
Homa Nasab, St. Catherine’s College, Oxford

11.45-12.30 When the madrasa became a museum: a history of the National
Museum in Damascus, Syria
Dr Heghnar Watenpaugh, University of California, Davis

12.30-13.00 Discussion

13.00-14.00 Lunch

Session 4: The Impact of War and Conflict

14.00-14.45 A 'contribution towards victory': the state and the visual arts
in wartime Britain, 1939-1945
Dr John Bonehill, University of Leicester

14.45-15.30 Art, politics and state in the GDR: Fritz Cremer's Buchenwald
Dr Debbie Lewer, University of Glasgow

15.30-16.00 Tea

16.00-16.45 Collections in search of a subject, objects in search of their
Professor Adrienne Kaeppler, Department of Anthropology, National Museum of
Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington

16.45-17.30 Final discussion and conclusion

Registration information

Wednesday: 17.45-18.15
Thursday: 09.00-09.30
Friday: 09.00-09.30

Registration fee
Full fee: £60.00

Early registration is advised. The conference fee covers registration,
refreshments, the evening wine reception, lunches and conference materials.
VAT at 17.5% is included in the fee.

A number of student bursaries are available supported by the Paul Mellon
Centre for Studies in British Art. Please enquire for further information.

Payment must be received in pounds sterling. Cheques should be made payable
to ‘National Maritime Museum/CONF’. Payment may be made by Mastercard or

A refund of fees (less 20% administration charge) will be given, provided
that notice of cancellation is received in writing on or before 4 July 2007.
After this date no refunds will be given. Substitutions may be made at any
time but please advise conference staff as soon as possible.

To book your place on the symposium, please download the booking form (PDF,

Mrs Janet Norton, Research Administrator, National Maritime Museum,
Greenwich LONDON SE10 9NF
Tel: 020 8312 6716
Fax: 020 8312 6592

For accommodation in the area, please contact:
Greenwich Tourist Information Centre,
Pepys House, 2 Cutty Sark Gardens, Greenwich, LONDON SE10 9LW
Tel: 0870 608 2000
Fax: 020 8853 4607

Further information about accommodation in central London can be found on
the University of London accommodation website:

STOP PRESS: Snibston celebrates its 15th anniversary

Calling all in the Leicester area...

Pippa has asked me to let you all know that Snibston Discovery Park is having a 15th anniversary celebration THIS WEEKEND, 30th June and 1st July. Admission is free all weekend. For more information check out their website.

Pippa will be there on Saturday to share a coffee and chat!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Fitzwilliam Museum: A personal reflection

The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge prides itself on its large and diverse collection of applied arts, prints and art. And -indeed - as I approached the imposing facade and entered the recently refurbished reception area yesterday afternoon, I have to confess that I was impressed and looking forward to seeing the galleries and collections they house. However, I was to be disappointed.

Clearly a lot of money has been spent on restoration and the creation of a new shop and cafe area of the museum, but the galleries and display techniques utilised within really left something to be desired. A case in point is the Far Eastern Gallery; a hotch-potch of Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Vietnamese ceramics and applied arts packed into an area which is clearly far too small. Not only is the decor a little dated and shabby, the arrangement of the display cases is hardly accessible. I had to stand on tippy-toes to view the items on the third shelf level, and and even a six-footer would probably have to strain to have a good look at the objects displayed on the fourth and highest shelf. A similar arrangement continued in the European ceramic galleries. The sheer number of objects on display was overwhelming.

Parts of the museum (especially the toilets and cloakroom area) felt a little grubby and uncared for, even though they were in the more recently refurbished areas of the building. Clearly work is continuing at the moment, which must disrupt the daily workings of the institution, but there's really no excuse for dirty loos!

However, there were highlights: The Shiba fan gallery and the current Howard Hodgkin exhibition. As my Mum said, his paintings were like jewels, and I could have very easily lived with a couple of the smaller works (could I afford them!). The museum has also displayed its fine collection of Korean celadon ceramics in a newer and more physically accessible gallery, which really sets off the collection to its best advantage, and should serve as a prototype for any future developments of the other ceramics galleries. And last, but not least, we had a very nice, reasonably priced lunch in the museum caff.

All in all, the Fitzwilliam Museum has the potential to be fantastic; impressive building, extensive collection, but at present it is a little disappointing. It's definitely worth spending a few hours there if you happen to be passing, but don't bother making a special trip.

Finally I must apologise for the lack of pictures. The Fitzwilliam does not permit photography in any part of the building, except the cafe, and I didn't think you necessarily needed to see my Mum eating her lunch (neither would she have appreciated that much!).

CFP: Small Museum Association Annual Conference

Forwarded by The Attic's Chicago-based correspondent:

Small Museum Association

2008 Annual Conference

Call for Papers

The Small Museums Association (SMA) is planning its 24th Annual Conference in Ocean City, Maryland, February 24–26, 2008. Every year, this conference brings together more than 250 museum professionals from a wide range of institutions, primarily from the Mid-Atlantic region—although our member and attendee base has been steadily expanding.

The conference aims to improve professionalism within the community of small museums by providing a unique and comfortable environment for individuals and institutions with diverse experiences to meet and learn from each other. Conference sessions typically provide practical, relevant discussions, and examples for small museums and institutions with limited budgets.

This year, the theme of Annual Conference will be the use of technology in five broad areas, including fundraising, curating, education, museum boards, and volunteers, which will allow attendees to concentrate on the area that most suits the needs of their own work and that of their museum. Technology in the world of museums is continually evolving—and is continually changing museums themselves. Technology, however your museum is currently using it, can open up a great many opportunities, from improving the efficiency of your gift shop to updating your collections records to managing the business that is your museum. The SMA wants to provide those associated with small museums (volunteers, board members, interns, or staff)with the tools needed to use technology to make their institutions even better and morerelevant than they already are.

We invite proposals for sessions based on original research. Proposal topics should in some way touch on the use of technology in all facets of museum work, but especially in the five broad categories mentioned above (fundraising, curating, education, museum boards, and volunteers). Possible session topics include:

• Planning and implementing a fundraising event

• Writing exciting exhibit labels

• Working with your community

• Starting up education programs

• Managing and working with interns

• Developing a well-run board of directors

• Ethics in museum programming

There will be sessions all day on Monday, February 25, and on the morning of Tuesday, February 26, 2008.

Individuals from the museum/historic preservation and related supporting communities who would like to present at this dynamic and friendly conference are invited to submit proposals to the address below by July 20, 2007; you will be notified by August 31, 2007.

Proposal Application
Name: _______________________________________________________________


Address: ______________________________________________________________

Phone Number: ________________________________________________________

Cell Phone Number: ____________________________________________________

Email Address: ________________________________________________________
Session Date: Mon. (Feb. 25) _____ Tues. (Feb. 26) ____ Either:

Session Length (select one): 60 min. _____ 90
min. _____
of Proposed Session:
of Proposed Session:
Contact Katherine H.
Maas, SMA Speakers Coordinator

GW Museum Studies Program with questions or completed forms

Original Message:

Monday, June 25, 2007

Conference Alert: Constructions of Conflict

From H-Museum (the historians amongst us might find this interesting):

Constructions of Conflict:
Transmitting Memories of the Past in European Historiography, Literature and Media

Swansea University
10-12 September 2007

An international and interdisciplinary conference hosted by the MEICAM(Modern European Ideologies, Conflict and Memory) research group

We are pleased to announce the final programme for our conference,'Constructions of Conflict: Transmitting Memories of the Past in European Historiography, Literature and Media', hosted by the MEICAM (Modern European Ideologies, Conflict and Memory) research group, Swansea University, 10-12 September 2007.

Hosting over fifty papers and bringing together contributors from seventeen
countries, this interdisciplinary conference examines the many ways in which
the memories of social, political and military conflicts have been
transmitted within 20th and 21st-century European culture, and are shaped by
present-day political, economic and social parameters.

As part of the conference, a new journal, Journal of War and Culture
Studies, published by Intellect Books, will be launched.

For further information and registration details, see the conference

Registration deadline: 31 July 2007

Conference Programme

Monday, September 10 2007

13.00 Registration and refreshments

13.50 Welcome

14.00-14.55 Keynote lecture

Patterns of memory
Mary Fulbrook (University College London)

15.00-16.30 Panel

Contemporary Approaches to Memory

The memory of the Holocaust and the politics of identity in contemporary
Slawomir Kapralski (Warsaw School of Social Psychology)

Is there a "shared memory"? Some critical reflections on the constitutive
conditions of a culture of commemoration in the European context
Christina Kleiser (University of Vienna)

D-Day 2004: passing the torch to history?
Patrick Finney (University of Wales Aberystwyth)

16.30-17.00 Tea

17.00-18.30 Parallel Sessions (1)

1A: Frontline Memories

Reconstructing patriotism: the German-Jewish soldiers of the First World War
and the Holocaust
Tim Grady (Portsmouth University)

The "Malgré-nous"
Nicole Thatcher (University of Middlesex)

Remembering and accounting for conflicts: the experience of UK ex-service
Neil Jenkings (Newcastle University) / Trish Winter (Sunderland University)
/ Rachel Woodward (Newcastle University)

1B: Screening Memory

Legitimating fascism through the Holocaust: the reception of the miniseries
Giorgio Perlasca in Italy
Emiliano Perra (University of Bristol)

The third way: reinterpretation of World War Two in contemporary French
Giacomo Lichtner (University of Wellington)

Redeeming the demon? The legacy of the Stasi in Das Leben des Anderen (2006)
Owen Evans (Swansea University)

1C: The Transmission of Memories in Eastern Europe

Narratives about the expulsion of Germans: a Czech-German comparison
Michaela Peroutkova (University of Life Sciences, Prague)

Enduring empires: the presence of the past in recent German-language fiction
by writers from central and eastern Europe
Brigid Haines (Swansea University

Remembering Chernobyl
Axel Goodbody (University of Bath)

18.30 Dinner (Fulton House refectory)

19.30 Drinks reception and launch of the Journal of War and Culture Studies
at the Digital Technium atrium

Tuesday, September 11 2007

9.00-10.30 Parallel Sessions (2)

2A: Crimes and Perpetrators

The variant voices of France: visual and textual representations of
perpetrator testimony
Jennifer Cazenave (Northwestern University)

Memories of conflict, conflicts of memory: representations of war in French
crime narratives of the late 1940s and 1950s
Claire Gorrara (Cardiff University)

Constructing memories of World War Two in France: Patrick Pécherot and Léo
Angela Kimyongür (University of Hull)

2B: Mediating Memory in Serbia and Croatia

"They tore down our houses, we built them up again": Croatian popular music
and representations of homeland war memory in Slavonia
Catherine Baker (UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies)

A national hero's revival: the rehabilitation of Draza Mihailovic and the
Chetniks in Serbian historical culture
Tea Sindbaek (University of Aarhus, Denmark)

Remembering Srebrenica: repression and denial of war crimes in Serbia
Jelena Obradovic (University of Birmingham)

2C: Divided Memories

World War Two, Cold War, war on terror: political usages of war memorials
Maud Bracke (University of Glasgow)

Selective memories and victimisation discourses in ethnic conflict: the case
of Cyprus
Hubert Faustmann (Intercollege, Nicosia, Cyprus)

Italian war crimes in Africa and the Balkans: a conflict of silence, memory
and amnesia
Lidia Santarelli (Columbia University)

10.30-11.00 Refreshments

11.00-12.30 Parallel Sessions (3)

3A: Reporting Conflict

Tourists with typewriters? German news reporting from Bosnia
Karoline von Oppen (University of Bath)

Private and public memories of Portugal's colonial war: the case of Antonio
Lobo Atunes' war correspondence
Alison Ribeiro de Menezes (University College Dublin)

Miss(ing) Saigon: representing women in West German writing on Vietnam
Mererid Puw Davies (University College, London)

3B: Memory Conflicts: The G8 at Genoa

Re-imaging Genova 2001: the G8 in comics and icons of Carlo Giuliani's death
Inge Lanslots (Lessius Hogeschool of Antwerp) / Monica Jansen (University of

Carlo Giuliani's square: the G8, globalization and the (re)shaping of
Genova's urban culture
Vincenzo Binetti (University of Michigan)

The relationship between the Italian crime novel and the G8 at Genoa
Stefano Magni (University of Grenoble)

3C: Aerial Warfare and Constructions of Victimhood

Aerial warfare, national identity and the "melancholy of ruins"
Neil Matheson (University of Westminster)

Gabriel Moshenka (UCL Institute of Archaelogy)

London can take it! Remembering the air war, reliving the Blitz: iconic
images of the bombed cities during World War Two and their
instrumentalisation for current conflicts in Britain and Germany
Silke Arnold-de Simine (Birkbeck College, London)

3D: Childhood Memories of Conflict

"We, the children, are missing pieces from our history". Constructing
memories in the absence of direct transmission: the case of the Algerian War
of Independence and the fils de harkis
Claire Eldridge (University of St Andrews)

Recasting the generational conflict: rupture and continuity in Christoph
Meckel's Suchbild and Stephan Wackwitz's Ein unsichtbares Land
Jennifer Cameron (Columbia University)

Conflicts between official atheism and private religion through children's
eyes: memories of Soviet childhood
Vitaliy Bezrogov (Institute of Theory and History of Education, Moscow)

12.30-14.00 Lunch (Fulton House refectory)

14.00-15.30 Parallel Sessions (4)

4A: Sites of Memory

Holocaust narrations in German memorial guided tours
Christian Gudehus (Centre for Interdisciplinary Memory Research, Essen)

World War Two memorials in Northern Greece: controversy and reconsideration
Iro Katsaridou (Museum of Byzantine Culture, Thessaloniki, Greece) / Annie
Kontogiorgi (Ephorate of Modern Monuments, Ioannina)

Remembering Cold War division: wall remnants and monuments
Anna Saunders (University of Wales, Bangor)

4B: Memories of the Spanish Civil War

History, memory, fiction: the Thirteen Roses and discourses of recovery in
contemporary Spain
Cinta Ramblado Minero (University of Limerick)

Children of the civil war? A reconstruction of the conflict in two recent
Spanish films
Anita Howard (University College Dublin)

Post-conflict reconstruction and the making of memory: a look at post-civil
war Spain
Dacia Viejo Rose (Cambridge University)

4C: Recording Memories

Recording audio visual memories from Armagh Gaol
Cahal McLaughlin (University of Ulster)

Mobile witnessing: camera phone memories of atrocities and terror
Anna Reading (London South Bank University)

Mediated messages and conflict: an investigation of the authenticating power
of archive images in contemporary European cinema
Judith Hattersley (University of Bath)

15.30-16.00 Tea

16.00-17.30 Film showing of Beautiful Dachau; keynote lecture by the
director Alan Marcus (University of Aberdeen)

19.30 Conference dinner at La Tasca restaurant, Swansea

Wednesday, September 12 2007

9.30-11.00 Parallel Sessions (5)

5A: Memory Contests: The Great War

"After Verdun it was different": Cather, Faulks, and the novelist's power to
create a personal historiography of conflict in the Great War
Stephen Woolsey (Houghton College, NY)

Commemorating the First World War in Rome
Vanda Wilcox (Oxford University)

Honour or horror? Conflicting memories of the First World War
Andrew Frayn (University of Manchester)

5B: Memories of Terrorism

The Munich Olympics and the politics of memory
Noel Cary (College of the Holy Cross, MA)

Lives of the RAF: the biographical turn
Julian Preece (Swansea University)

Beslan after Beslan
Magdalena Slastushinskaya (Russian Red Cross)

5C: Memory Objects

The erasure of the past in The Carpenter's Pencil by Manuel Rivas
Judith Meddick (Royal Holloway, University of London)

The use of the "final letter": The resistance fighter Guenther Weisenborn's
changing role as witness in East and West Germany
Helmut Peitsch (University of Potsdam)

Reading German terrorism
Clare Bielby (Edinburgh University)

11.00-11.30 Refreshments

11.30-12.30 Keynote lecture

Divided memories: history and memory in twentieth-century Italy
John Foot (University College London)

12.30 Close of conference and lunch (Fulton House refectory)

Conference Alert/Bursary: EVA London 2007

From H-Museum (for all those tech-heads out there):

*Register for EVA London 2007*

BCS / Antenna Audio bursaries

The British Computer Society / Computer Arts Society, and Antenna Audio, are offering a number of bursaries for attending the EVA London conference. The Arts & Humanities Research Council Methods Network is also, separately, offering a number of bursaries for graduate students only (see below).

You may apply for a bursary of up to £200 by emailing George Mallen, Chair
of the Computer Arts Society: Applications must be
received by 6.00pm on Wednesday 27 June 2007.

Your email should state:

* Your name and affiliation, and whether you are a student, employee, or
self employed
* Your role in the EVA conference - ie, giving a paper (with title),
presenting in the Visualisation Session or the Research Workshop, or just
wishing to attend the conference
* What other funds, if any, are available for you to apply for
* The sum you are applying for (ie, registration fees at author rate)
* About 100 words maximum describing your interest in the EVA conference and
what you hope to gain from attending.

The bursaries will be targeted primarily at those who do not have other
funds to apply to, for instance those who are self employed or sole traders
or members of very small companies, and students.

These bursaries will be to reimburse the costs of registration for EVA.
You will be able to register free of charge if your bid is successful.



The AHRC ICT Methods Network (, which exists to
promote and support the use of advanced ICT methods in arts and humanities
research, is offering a limited number of bursaries to post-graduate
students who wish to attend EVA 2007 (programme below).
The conference takes place on 9th- 13 July 2007 at The London College of
Communications, University of the Arts, London.

Applications for bursaries are sought from post-graduate students registered
at UK Universities whose research interests are grounded in areas covered by
EVA. These include visualisation for the arts and culture, including
impications, effects, and consequent strategies and policies, and the uses
of digital media for creative productions and works of art, which may be
considered to be within EVA's sphere of interest.

The bursaries are intended to help towards conference expenses.
Successful applicants will be able to claim funds up to a total of £200
toward the cost of conference fees, accommodation and travel.

If you wish to apply for a bursary please register for the EVA conference in
the first instance. The EVA conference programme, abstracts and booking form
are available on:

Following your registration for EVA, please complete the bursary application
form, available on the AHRC ICT Methods Network website:

If you have any queries about completing the form please contact Hazel
Gardiner ( using the heading - EVA Bursary
Applications – in the subject bar.

Bursary winners will be asked to submit a short report to the Methods
Network following the conference.


Please address any enquiries about the EVA conference to the appropriate

CFP: Architecture, Urbanism and Curatorship

From H-Museum:


Architectural Humanities Research Association: 4th Annual AHRA International conference


C-SCAIPE Suite, Kingston University London
16-17 November 2007

Call for Papers:

This is the fourth annual international conference to be held in the United Kingdom by the Architectural Humanities Research Association. The theme of the conference, Architecture, Urbanism and Curatorship builds on our earlier conference themes, namely The Politics of Making: Theory, practice, product(2006, Oxford), Models & Drawings: The invisible nature of architecture(2005, Nottingham), and Critical Architecture (2004, London).


Architecture, Urbanism and Curatorship engages with the issues of
collecting, housing, developing and presenting ideas, artefacts and cities
in general, and more specifically with the challenges surrounding the issue
of exhibiting architecture and the built environment. The conference is
intended to raise issues concerning the re-presentation of cities, places,
and buildings, and to discuss the histories, theories and contemporary
practices surrounding curatorship. We invite a range of proposals which
might be prompted by the following questions:

* What is the status of permanent collections of physical artefacts in a
virtual era?
* How can urbanism and architecture be curated in situ?
* What are the emergent curatorial techniques that are relevant to the built
* What have been the major shifts in the museological imagination?
* How can urban experience and ethnography be captured and presented for
* What is the curatorial locus of architectural history?
* How do the politics and economics of curating affect how exhibits are
perceived and valued?
* What has been the social impact of public displays of artefacts in the
post-war period?
* What is the role of organised tours and walks in terms of curating place?
* To what extent is the architecture of curatorship still gendered?
* Do degree shows and awards ceremonies count as examples of curating
* How have new gallery spaces informed the nature of contemporary display?
* What are the challenges facing places such as open-air museums and
historic quarters?
* How have questions of nationhood and identity been curated with reference
to architecture?
* How can conceptual and polemical approaches to display further
understanding of architecture?
* How might landscapes and landscape urbanism be curated?
* Are staged reconstructions of past places and events valid?
* How far has the present day museum moved on from its Victorian beginnings?

Please send an unnamed max 500 word abstract plus separate max 200 word
biography, giving your name and institutional affiliation, by noon on Monday
16 July 2007 to Professor Sarah Chaplin,

Strands will be configured on the basis of the response to this call.
Abstracts and papers will be blind refereed by a minimum of two academics.
You will be notified as to whether your abstract has been not later than 6
August 2007. If the abstract is accepted a full paper will be expected prior
to the conference, to facilitate prompt publication.

Abstracts due: 16 July 2007
Response to abstracts by: 6 August 2007

A selection of the refereed papers from the conference will be published in
ARQ (Architectural Research Quarterly) in 2008. A book titled Architecture,
Urbanism and Curatorship will also be published in 2008, edited in
collaboration with Kingston's Curating Contemporary Design Research Group.

Conference Committee:
Prof Sarah Chaplin, Prof Catherine McDermott, Dr David Lawrence, Dr Alex
Stara, Dr Darren Deane

The Attic gets a mention

The Attic has had another complimentary mention by the Museum Anthropology blog. Make sure you check out Selina's blog mentioned by Jason in his post.

NAMU - a personal narrative

About three months ago I wrote a comment here on the blog about the first NAMU conference, which was held in Linköping in Sweden. I was excited about the first NAMU conference in terms of the networking opportunities, the keynote speakers as well as the personal response I had on my research. However, I felt that there was stagnation or a repetition relating to the way we work with museums - that there were too many similarities, especially theoretical resemblances, which meant that the conclusions and discussions that different researches proposed pointed in a very unified direction. Bringing matters to a head, my initial (and critical) response to many of the papers and discussions that took place in Linköping seemed to be: Let’s try something different than Foucault and the perpetual exposure of the modern museum. If other perspectives and theories are used then perhaps the field would be more diverse and the discussions a bit more intense!
And in a way I got this in the second NAMU conference held in Leicester - especially though an extremely inspiring and very provocative key note speech by Donald Preziosi. This conference had the issue of Narrative as its focus point. Putting a question mark by the whole idea that objects, representation and narrative can be linked, Preziosi, as far as I can see, is debating the foundations of the museum and especially the form and mission it has today. This talk really set the frame for the idea of narrative and had a profound impact on the way I approached the rest of the conference as well as underlining and adding to my own thoughts about the unstable and dialogical museum narrative. The other key note speakers were a bit less radical in their conclusions, but still interesting - a shame that I had heard Eilean Hooper-Greenhill’s talk about the latest research at the Research Centre for Museum and Galleries before.
After keynotes we continued to the poster session. Instead of having numerous papers presented as in the first NAMU, it was decided to use the poster as a medium for communicating ones own research. Personally I found it quite interesting to structure my research as a poster for the first time, but other than that I must admit that I did not get that much out of it. I think, partly because I had been up very early that morning to arrive in Leicester by mid day, and partly because the session was held in a very small room with bad acoustics, it was just too noisy and too unstructured for me. The conversations that I did manage to have were brief and it was difficult to get valuable feedback from anyone, just as it was hard for me to grasp people’s complex projects there and then. It will be good to see them online on the NAMU website.
The second day of NAMU was devoted to group work in London’s National Museums. I must admit that I had dreaded this and it was the reason why I was a bit reluctant to apply for this NAMU conference. Often I find that practical group work without preparation ends up with very general and superficial conclusions, which are based nor on structured methodology or on theory. And in a way this was also what happened, but in addition we had some really great debates and thought provoking discussions. It was great to spend several hours talking in depth about narratives with colleagues who all had perspectives from around the world to add. The questions we were asked to engage with were brilliant and focused and structured our conversation. It was such a shame that these groups were not allowed to present their ideas together the following day. Instead we democratically were divided into new groups, where we did not have enough time to engage with the new questions, which resulted in very boring and repetitious presentations. Imagine the interesting debates we could have had if the work done in London was unfolded, debated and contested. But this is a very personal narrative of the second NAMU conference and I am sure there are many others that could be told.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

NaMu: National Museum Narratives (report from workshop 2)

Overview of NaMu workshop
June 18 to June 20

By Sally Hughes

NaMu is a series of workshops designed to provide a forum for investigating relationship between nations and museums. In a series of wide ranging workshops which bring together researchers at the start of their research career with keynote speakers and established researchers, participants discuss the topic within a framework. The Leicester meeting (second of 6) was tasked with discussing the nation as narrative. Keynote speakers Preziosi, Whitehead, van Mensch and Hooper-Greenhill provided a framework on the first afternoon which was followed by a poster session at which participants presented their posters and discussed them.
This poster session was a very successful way of providing an introduction to a wide number of research projects. It worked well to focus participants prior to arrival and to introduce everyone to the wide ranging topics that the research covers. Unfortunately, as is usually the case, the time for the posters was limited. However, they will be placed on the NaMu web site, but are only available if you register.

The second day involved visits to 8 national London museums by small groups with each group member having a specific focus as well as participating in wider discussion topics. Topics included locating the narrative in national museums, the role of objects within this narrative, the implications for future developments among others. I found the group discussions around a specific focus thought-provoking and useful in helping me understand Donald Preziosi’s points on representation in museums.

The long day in London concluded with a dinner in Leicestershire which continued the other aspect of these workshops, that of networking. From my perspective, in addition to the keynote speakers and the exposure to different theoretical frameworks being used by PhD students, it is the networking opportunities which made this workshop so useful. One other benefit is the deadline to produce a synopsis of my studies, either a paper or in this case a poster and to receive feedback on the content.

On the last morning, the groups reconvened in a different configuration and discussed specific points and then reported to the workshop as a whole.

I would urge all Leicester people and others to look at the NaMu website and consider applying for the next workshop in Oslo. If you can commit the time it is a fantastic opportunity.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Museum Crawl: In pictures (part 4)

Click on the links for parts 1, 2 and 3.

After a delicious dinner at Bobby's, we headed back towards Belgrave Hall for 'Night at the Museum' in bright sunshine. Belgrave Hall is situated down what appears to be a quiet country lane, largely untouched by the passage of time, which is extraordinary considering its location in - albeit on the outskirts - of a city. We mustered in the drive outside for a few photos, but were quickly beckoned inside by the period-dressed guides and attendants.

Inside, the house had been dressed to emulate it's previous incarnation as a nineteenth century family home. The curtains and shutters had been closed, and lamps lit, which created a fantastic, cosy ambiance (which went some way towards assuaging my fears of the paranormal - Belgrave Hall is, indeed, famous for its ghostly apparitions!). A roaring coal fire in the entry hall enhanced the overall effect.

It was clear that Belgrave Hall is as much loved by those that now work there, as its former inhabitants, some of whom may still walk its corridors and rooms: An aspect that the guides were keen - not surprisingly given the building's notoriety - to play up. Stories of a grey lady on the stairs made the hairs on the back of our necks stand up!

Disappointingly, the ghost tour of the environs of the house, was packed full of historical inaccuracies. Slightly suspect stories of executions and punishment (for example, the guide informed the assembled that the gibbet - which is, in fact, a replica - that we had previously seen that afternoon at The Guildhall - had been used as a device by which to humiliate and punish miscreants (as opposed to its more usual use as a means of displaying the bodies of executed criminals)) got several of us a tad riled, as did stories of a morgue attributed to a garage barely more than fifty years old. Though it was entertaining - and free - unlike the usual ghost tours at Belgrave Hall all the same. Best - and most unbelievable - of all was the tale of a vampire buried in the neighbouring churchyard. This assumption was made because he - or his relatives - had chosen to mark his grave with a Germanic iron cross, instead of the more usual headstone. Poor man, he was probably just trying to assert his individuality!

Next up was a slideshow presentation of history of the house, located in the old dairy across a cobbled courtyard (originally part of the stable block). While we were waiting Ceri came across YET ANOTHER MOP-WRINGER!!! Oh joy - it was quite a day for unexpected, but welcome surprises, I can tell you. ;)

Despite initial expectations the talk was very entertaining, even a little mouse came in to join us. We learnt all about the first settlements on the site, the construction of the house and the families and individuals who had resided within. As well as some of the myth and folklore which has grown up around tales of ghostly goings on. By this point Ceri was determined to see a ghost before we left. I'm not sure the rest of us were so keen! But first, a quick cuppa (free refreshments!) and a break. The others surprised me with birthday pressies (they'd be surreptitiously purchasing them all day, while I remained completely oblivious!).

Last up was the garden tour. By now the sun had set and the pathways were atmospherically illuminated and as the dew fell and temperature dropped we were lead through the small, but impeccably kept gardens. We were accompanied on the tour, by a member of staff costumed to resemble a former resident - who's name escapes me - reading from letters mentioning the garden. Looking back at the house Ceri thought she spotted something in a pane of the top floor window. A face! A woman's face. While Anna Ch and I confirmed the sighting, we saw a man's face. A ghostly imprint on the glass. A trick of the light, surely...? Of course, the staff also mischievously created their own paranormal activity to fool and delight the visitors. ;)

After a spot of dress up...

...we decided to call an end to our twelve hour day of museums. It had been an exhausting, but really fun day and we decided we must do it again soon.

Photos by Amy Barnes, Ceri Jones and Anna Woodham.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Conference Alert: Art Beyond Sight

From H-Museum:

'Tele-conference'? Not come across one of those before. Interesting idea 'though...

Art Beyond Sight: Multimodal Approaches to Learning, Creativity and

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
September 28-30, 2007

Organized by
Art Education for the Blind and The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Location: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City


Related events:

* A telephone conference with wrap-up discussions from the Art Beyond
Sight conference will be held on October 15, 2007. Participants from around
the world are encouraged to dial in. The phone number and tele-conference
schedule can be found at after July 1, 2007.

* The second part of this two-part international event is titled 'In
Touch With Art: An International Conference on Art, Museums and Visual
Impairment'. It will be held on November 28 and 29, 2007, at the Victoria &
Albert Museum in London.

Friday, September 28, 2007

10:00 - 10:20 Welcome
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Art Education for the Blind
Wahid Khan, UNESCO Assistant Director General, Information and Communication

10.20 -11:00 Keynote Speaker:
Stephen Kuusisto, Professor of Creative Writing and Disability Studies, The
University of Iowa

11:00 -1:00 The Senses in Context: Perspectives on the senses from art
history, psychology, neuroscience and art education
Speakers include Charles Spence, Oxford University, and Michael Hanson and
Judith Burton, Teachers College, Columbia University

1:00 - 2:15 Lunch Break

2:15 - 3:30 Multimodal Learning in Different Educational Settings

Concurrent Sessions

Strategies for Museums
Chair: Nina Levent, Art Education for the Blind
Panelists include Jane Samuels, British Museum, London; Waafa el-Saddik, the
Egyptian Museum, Cairo; Sandra Eastwood, Iziko South African National
Gallery, Cape Town; Leena Hannula, Sinebrychoff Art Museum, Finland; and
representatives from the Korean Arts & Culture Education Service

Strategies for Libraries
Chair: Marcus Weisen, Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, UK
Panelists include Cari Banks, Brooklyn Library; Jenny Nilsson, Swedish
Library for Talking Books and Braille; and William Reed,
Cleveland Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped

Multisensory Approaches to Peace Building and Sustainable Development in
UNESCO Sectors of Culture, Education and Communication (Panelists to be

3:30 - 4:00 Break

4:00 - 5:15 Innovative Approaches to Learning and Environments
Concurrent Sessions:

Public Spaces and Multisensory Design
Chair: Matthew Sapolin, NYC Commissioner, Mayor's Office for People with
Panelists: Michael Graves, Michael Graves Associates; Valerie Fletcher,
Adaptive Environments; John Zeisel, Hearthstone Alzheimer Care; and Joan M.
McGovern and Chinyere Oguekwe, JPMorgan Chase

Case Studies in Multimodal Approaches in Arts Access
Chair: Francesca Rosenberg, Director of Community and Access Programs,
Museum of Modern Art
Panelists: Pam Rogers, Pure Vision Arts/The Shield Institute; and Fran
Prezant, Abilities! (National Center for Disability Services)

The Science Behind the Senses and Creativity: Psychology and Neuroscience
for Educators
Speakers include: John Kennedy, University of Toronto; Linda Pring,
Goldsmith College/University of London; Charles Spence, Oxford University

5.30 - 6.00 Closing Remarks

Saturday, September 29, 2007

10:00 - 11:00 Keynote Speakers on Neuroscience Research/Theory

11:00 - 1:00 Neuroscience and Psychology: The senses and the brain
Speakers include Alvaro Pascual Leone and Lotfi Merabet, Harvard Medical
Center; Yuri Danilov, University of Wisconsin; Krish Sathian, Emory
University; Helen Neville, University of Oregon; John Kennedy, University of

1:00 - 3:30 Lunch break and Poster Sessions

3:30 - 4.45 Concurrent Sessions:

Technology and the Senses
Chair: Mandayam A. Srinivasan, MIT Touch Lab Panelists include speakers John
Gardner, ViewPlus Technology; Seven Landau, Touch Graphics; and Aimee
Arnoldunessen, Wicab/ BrainPort.

Panelists include speakers from Antenna Audio, Art Education for the Blind,
and artists and composers. Discussant: Richard Donald Smith, Musician,
Educator and African Music Scholar

Art and the Five Senses
Chair: Lisa Yayla, Moderator, accessibleimage discussion group, Norway
Panelists: Roz Driscoll, Elisabeth Goldring, Nitza Horner, and Michael A.
Naranjo, artists
Discussant: Sheri Khayami, BlindArt, UK

5.15 - 6.00 Closing Remarks: Reflections on the Day

Sunday, September 30, 2007

10:00 - 11.15 Concurrent Sessions:

Responding to Art Through Dance and Movement

Museum Panel, Part II
Chair: Nina Levent, Art Education for the Blind

Human-centered Design for the Web: Interactive and Multimodal Web Sites and
Web Resources
Chair: Art Education for the Blind
Panelists include Helen Petrie, University of York, and others

11.30 - 12:30 Optional tours at The Metropolitan Museum of Art
(registration required)

12.30 - 2.00 Break for Lunch

2:00 - 5:00 Tactile Graphics Roundtable

Touch and descriptive tours at NYC museums, including The Metropolitan
Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Lower East Side Tenement
Museum and others.

(See box on upper right corner of home page.)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Research Week Review: Wednesday, 23rd May 2007 (afternoon session)

By Theopisti Stylianou-Lambert

Jeremy Ottevanger

Jeremy can describe himself as an anatomist, an archaeologist, a museologist and a web-designer. His PhD project seems to combine all of the above.

For the past few years he has been working as a web-designer at the Museum of London. With the help of a collaborative doctoral award from the AHRC, the University of Leicester, Stimulacra and the Museum of London he is now doing a PhD in digital heritage. Jeremy’s research aims at theorising the digital asset as it relates to the museum, and investigating ways in which institutions can assess sustainability needs and implement sustainability strategies in their real-world context. In his presentation, Jeremy explained the aim of his research and defined key terms and concepts such as digital heritage, digital sustainability and preservation. Moreover, he initiated us in his methodology. Jeremy keeps a research diary in the form of a blog, uses reference management tools (XML and Zotero) and bookmarks ( His research methods will include a survey of attitudes to digital material, focus groups aiming at assessing value, analysis and classification of existing resources, the design of planning and evaluation tools, and the evaluation of iterate tools. What was especially interesting was that during the question and answer section of the presentation, under the guidance of Ross Parry, the conversation evolved to a discussion about presentation skills, which was proven to be helpful for everyone.

Alex Whitfield

Alex succeeded in making us consider some of the moral and ethical obligations of museums. She pointed out that, even on the web, we still need to make an effort to respect the museum objects as well as their physical or on-line visitors.

Alex, gave us a tour of the exemplary on-line gallery ‘Sacred’ she was working on and which is part of the British Library. The ‘Sacred’ exhibition is a cross-cultural, on-line exhibition of sacred books. With tools like ‘turning the pages’ the viewer has the opportunity to simulate the actual turning of a page in a book, hear someone reciting the text and use a magnifying glass. Also, the website includes interactive maps, a blog (blog of the month), audio podcasts and some interesting interactive activities. However, wherever we see images of devotional objects online we are faced with moral and ethical questions. Questions like: What are we not mentioning? What are we communicating? How are we going to conceptualize it? Furthermore, museums are encouraging people to use images in different contexts but Alex made us think of what might happen to images when they leave the museum site. For example, as Alex demonstrated, a yahoo image search of the word ‘holy’ presented some troubling results.

Research Week Review: Tuesday, 22nd May 2007 (morning session)

By Amy Jane Barnes

Ceri Jones kicked off the first session of the second day of PhD Research Week with a thought-provoking discussion about what we take for granted when learning theory. Using her research topic of how the medieval past is portrayed and how we gain a sense of that past through museums, Ceri took us on a whistle-stop tour of some of the theoretical perspectives that have been applied to the learning of history.

Along the way she asked us to consider whether history was now a legitimate subject for study, whether is was - in fact - 'dead'; and how postmodernist thinkers had revealed it to be a discourse, a kind of fiction which privileges different histories over others at any given time in order to construct a narrative of who 'we' are in the present. Ceri felt strongly that we pick up underlying beliefs about history in the family setting as children, before we even set foot in school, and we take as given what we are taught of history, because it is constructed to appear logical and progressive.

Ceri went on to outline her thoughts about simulations and how they can enable young people to experience and 'understand' history, and the attraction of history as portrayed by the film industry, with its human-focused narratives with an apparently 'natural' beginning, middle and end, creating coherence out of the chaos of history, but inevitably carrying with it ideologies and messages intended for the audience (Mel Gibson's Braveheart being a case in point). Crucially, history is more about us than the past.

Our newest addition to the PhD cohort, Pippa Sherriff, next described her recent MA dissertation research which came out of her placement at the V&A last summer. In an engaging and sometimes moving account, Pippa brought home of the real potential of art and museums to transcend cultural and social boundaries and make a tangible difference to individual lives.

Engaged by the V&A to create an adult learning programme, Pippa developed a cart of art materials situated in the sculpture galleries. On hand to provide encouragement and advice, Pippa's aim was to enable people to really engage with objects and the contexts of objects. Highly successful, over a six week pilot period, over 1,000 visitors participated, using the resource to borrow and supplement materials. Many enthused about the project, having never experienced anything like it - created especially with adults in mind. Some opted to leave their drawings behind, creating an informal community gallery which helped to arouse visitors' curiosity in the project, and offered inspiration to people with a breadth of techniques and abilities. In particular, Pippa singled out two of her 'regulars', Ibrahim and Tricia, whose individual stories genuinely brought a tear to my eye. The success of the project can be measured in the interest from other museums and institutions that Pippa's recent presentation at a conference of museum educators in Amsterdam engendered.

After a brief coffee break we returned for Sally Hughes' presentation on her research, which looks into aspects of museum publishing. For her focus here, she concentrated on commercially available print media which supports museums, its exhibitions and/or its collections.

Exhibition catalogues, the production of which is most usually confined to the national museums due to financial constraints, operate in support of exhibitions (often temporary), but provide an additional level of information, most notably by making 'visible' the authors of the exhibition. In addition they constitute a permanent record of the exhibition and its message, thus extending the museum's communication through time and across space. With this goes the authority of the museum, enhanced by international collaborations, association with high status institutions/sponsors and high production values. Sally asked if the authoritative nature of these productions actually freeze out diversity of view, and cancel debate.

Additionally the purchase of these texts can say something about us, the consumers. As well as operating as souvenirs, they advertise to the world an image we have of ourselves. They are, as Sally suggested, the physical equivalent of the snapshot with an iconic image. Museum books and catalogues enable us to possess the unpossessible.

The final presentation of the morning session was by Theopisti Stylianou-Lambert, who was - being as she is, so close to completion - able to offer a brief overview of the outcomes of her PhD research (giving those of us who are unable to imagine ever getting to the end, some much needed inspiration and reassurance!).

Theopisti's research into the different ways people in Cyprus perceive of art museums and galleries, offered real insight into people's relationships with cultural institutions. Without giving the game away (I'm aware that Theopisti might wish to keep her conclusions under wraps until her thesis is submitted!), she has identified several categories of visitors - or 'perceptual filters', based on the feelings they attach to a museum visit, ranging from very frequent to non-visitors.

All in all, this brief snapshot of the morning's presentations shows - I think - the very real diversity of high-quality and, crucially, exciting and inspirational research being undertaken by PhD students in the Department of Museum Studies. Well done all and keep up the good work!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

CFP: Museum Studies in the 21st century

From H-Museum:

Call for Papers

Museum studies in the 21th century: the Problems of research and teaching
St. Petersburg State University
14-15 May 2008

Saint-Petersburg State University invites you to take part in the
international scientific conference "Museum studies in the 21th century: the
Problems of research and teaching".

The themes of topics are:

- Museum as a phenomenon of modern culture;
- tasks of modern museum studies;
- scientific investigations in the museums;
- ascription and examination in the museums;
- protection of the museums;
- Museums and tourism.

The Conference will be held in St.-Petersburg in May, 14-16, 2008.

Please, send requests to the e-mail: (Dr. Alexander

Deadline: November 1, 2007

Conference Alert/CFP: Natural History Museums and Institutions in the 21st century

From H-Museum:

Natural History Museums and Institutions in the 21st century: impact on our
common future

Paris, France
18-19 October 2007

Under the Patronage of the French Academy and in partnership with ICOM

This symposium will take place at the French Muséum National d’Histoire
Naturelle, in the Jardin des Plantes. This garden, created by King Louis
XIII, was directed by Buffon from 1739 up to his death in 1788, and
transformed by him into a National Museum of Natural History.
The main objective of this event is to stress the specific actions that
natural history museums and similar institutions can take, to underscore
their major role in the discovery and understanding of biodiversity and
their contribution to policy development in environmental issues. It also
aims to
reinforce co-operation between natural history institutions from all parts
of the world. Areas emphasised will include research and scientific
communication for raising ecological awareness in society.
Along with this second announcement, we include the programme of the
symposium, the Call for abstracts for the Poster session and the practical
information needed for registration. You can register on the symposium
website ( which also provides information on
the programme and satellite events.

(version 7 June 2007)

(Grand Amphithéâtre)

10.00-12.00 Welcome addresses
Bertrand-Pierre GALEY, Director General of the French Muséum National
d’Histoire Naturelle (MNHN)
City of Paris: Mayor or representative
Ile-de-France region: representative of the Regional Council
Inaugural address: French Minister of Higher Education and Research

12.00-13.00 Inaugural session

Tribute to Buffon and Linné
Prof. Philippe TAQUET, MNHN, Member of the French Academy of Sciences

The natural history institutions and sustainable development
Prof. Patrick BLANDIN, MNHN

Speech by the Chairman of the Buffon Symposium Steering Committee
Sir Peter CRANE

12.00-13.00 Poster session (Galerie de Minéralogie)

13.00 Lunch (Galerie de Minéralogie)

15.00-16.30 Round Table 1: Natural History institutions and Science 1
Chairman: Dr. Cristián SAMPER, Smithsonian Institution, Acting Secretary,
former Director of the National Museum of Natural History, Washington (USA)

Theme a - Biodiversity patterns and how they change, how they are related to
ecological, climatic or human processes.
Dr. John WIENS, Dept. of Ecology and Evolution, State University of New
York, Stony Brook, NY (USA)

Theme b - The role of Natural History institutions in the age of genomics.
Can they help promote a "biodiversity-omics" type of science?
Dr. Richard LANE, Director of Science, Natural History Museum, London (UK)

Theme c - How the immense number of data points available in Natural History
institutions could be used for understanding biodiversity dynamics in space
(changes in geographical ranges of species) and time (rates of change) as
well as genetic changes in space and time, and thereby help documenting
trends in the present extinction context. How this information can be used
for policymaking decisions?
Dr. Jorge SOBERON, Dept. Ecology of Biodiversity, Institute of Ecology,

16.30 Coffee break

17.00 – 18.30 Round Table 2: Natural History institutions and nature
Chairman: Prof. Stephen D. HOPPER, Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens,
Kew (UK)

Theme a – How far should or can the Natural History institutions engage with
nature today, in terms of conservation, and how should they do that? What is
the contribution of Natural History institutions to conservation, not only
as research centres but also as expertise centres for governments?
Prof. Nancy KNOWLTON, Director of Centre for Marine Biodiversity &
Conservation, University of California, San Diego (USA)

Theme b – What are the main drivers of biodiversity crisis? What Natural
History institutions have to say about these causes (climate change being
one of them)?
Prof. Georgina MACE, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Division of Biology,
Imperial College, London (UK)

Theme c – The challenges raised by the biodiversity crisis, which requires
inventories in situ for conservation purposes, i.e. free access to the
field, and the simultaneous increased awareness of indigenous people about
the economic value of natural resources: how to preserve both the freedom
needed by the researchers and the rights of these indigenous people? How
should the specificities of the Southern developing countries be taken int
account (whatever their richness in natural diversity)?
Prof. Brian HUNTLEY, ex-CEO of SANBI (South-African National Biodiversity
Institute), Dept. Environmental Affairs & Tourism, Kirtenbosch, Cape Town
19.30 Gala dinner (Grande Galerie de l’Evolution)

(Grand Amphithéâtre)

9.00 – 10.30 Round Table 3: Natural History institutions and Society
Chairman: Dr. Michael DIXON, Director of the Natural History Museum, London

Theme a – Much of our need to address issues of environment, conservation
and sustainable development is underpinned by the foundation understanding
implicit in Evolution science (evolutionary biology). The need to raise
awareness and the level of literacy around this axiom, at a time of both a
resurgence of controversy and critical concern over monumental environmental
change is unprecedented. How can Natural History institutions most
effectively engage?
Prof. CHEN Jin, Director of Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese
Academy of Sciences, Kunming, Yunnan (P.R. China)

Theme b – The place of the Natural History institutions and of their
collections at the digital age / the public value of real objects / museum
specimens, how should they be contextualized?...
Prof. Michel VAN PRAET, Conservateur général du patrimoine, Direction des
Musées de France, former Director of the Galleries, MNHN (France)

Theme c – How do other actors in the field of raising public awareness about
biodiversity and global change, for instance the director of an African
nature reserve, look at our natural history museums? How can we cooperate,
locally and internationally?
Dr. Helida OYIEKE, Director of Science, National Museums of Kenya, Nairobi

10.30 – 11.00 Coffee break

11.00 – 12.30 Final session: Synthesis of the 3 round-table discussions’
(by the three Chairmen)


Final message / Declaration

Conclusion address: Speech by Ahmed DJOGHLAF, Executive Secretary of the
Convention on Biological Diversity (to be confirmed)

Afternoon Optional excursion to Burgundy for visiting the places where
Buffon was born and lived part-time: Montbard, a small town near Dijon (TGV
train Paris - Montbard, 1h).

For more details, go to Satellite events on the symposium website.

Chairman: Professor Sir Peter CRANE, FRS, former Director of the Royal
Botanic Gardens, Kew,
presently Professor at the University of Chicago (USA)
Dr. Michael DIXON, Director of the Natural History Museum, London (UK)
Dr. Richard LANE, Director of Science, Natural History Museum, London (UK)
Prof. Stephen D. HOPPER, Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (UK)
Dr. Eimear NIC LUGHADHA, Head of Science Operations, Royal Botanic Gardens,
Kew (UK)
Dr. Cristián SAMPER, Acting Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, former
Director of the National Museum of Natural History, Washington (USA)
Dr. Hans SUES, Associate Director for Research and Collections, National
Museum of Natural History, Washington (USA)
Dr. André MENEZ, President of the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle,
Paris (France)
Bertrand-Pierre GALEY, Director general of the Muséum National d’Histoire
Naturelle, Paris (France)

Themes of communication
The poster presentations must relate to the programme of the symposium. They
should emphasize the specificity of the contribution made by the natural
history institutions to the understanding and the management of
biodiversity. The research work presented can be based on collections and/or
field studies. The results obtained can have already been published or be
under submission. Participating natural history institutions can also
present themselves through posters. In this case, the poster presentation
should emphasize the specificities of the institution and the
biodiversity-related programs developed by it.
The poster presentations will be on display in the 'Galerie de Minéralogie'
throughout the symposium. Time will be specifically devoted to the poster
session on Thursday 18th October from 12.00 to 1.00pm.

All abstracts will be reviewed by a scientific committee. The innovative
character of the methodological approach and/or of the used technologies,
the pluridisciplinarity of the research project will be taken into account
for selection. Presentations by young researchers will be favoured.
Contributions by young female researchers are particularly encouraged.
Information confirming acceptance of the abstract will be sent to the
corresponding author at the latest on 20th September 2007.

Submission of abstracts
An abstract must be submitted for all presentations.
Abstracts must not exceed 250 words, excluding the names and addresses of
authors, and the title.
The first line should contain the abstract title. The second line should
contain the names of authors(the name of the presenting author should be
marked with an asterisk). This line should be followed by a list of author
affiliations and current addresses. Each author and their corresponding
address should
be identified with numbered superscripts.

Abstracts should be submitted by mail to in Word format,
with 'Buffon symposium / poster' indicated as subject of the mail. The name
of the file should be based on the following model: name first author.doc

Deadline for abstract submission: 27th July 2007.

The organizers plan to accept up to 40 abstracts for poster presentations.
The selected scientific abstracts will be published after the symposium on
the symposium website. If you do not want your abstract to be edited in this
way, please indicate so when submitting it.

Participants must register and pay the conference fee to ensure a place in
the symposium.

Conference fees:
Full price: 55 euros
Students (proof of status required): 30 euros
Conference fees will cover attendance to all scientific sessions, coffee
breaks, lunches and the gala dinner.
The access will be limited to the first 315 registrations. Please inform us
of any cancellation.

Payment: by credit card (see Registration form on line on the symposium

How to register:
Download and complete the registration form which is on line on the
symposium website and send it by fax or email to the following contact
Annabelle DUVAL,
Relations Internationales
Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle
Fax : + 33 1 40 79 57 59

Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle
Grand Amphithéâtre
Jardin des Plantes,
57 rue Cuvier,
Paris 5ème
(A map is available on line on the symposium website)

By train or RER (Line C): Stop to « Gare d'Austerlitz ».
By subway:
- Line 5: stop to « Gare d'Austerlitz » or « Quai de la Rapée »
- Line 7: stop to « Jussieu ».

A list is provided on line on the symposium website.

Conference Alert: Collecting and the Princely Apartment

From H-Museum:

Collecting and the Princely Apartment
Conference on Collecting and Display, 100 BC to AD 1700
Ottobeuren (Germany), Abbey of Ottobeuren
July 13-17, 2007

The history of collecting is becoming an increasingly important field of
cultural history, attracting specialists from a wide range of disciplines,
such as art historians, archaeologists, court and book historians. Thus it
functions as a forum for interdisciplinary discussion unparalleled in most
other fields of research.

Interesting though the building of collections, the hunt for specific
objects, and the fate of the successful or ruined collector are in their own
right, the issue of display must not be forgotten. In fact, a specific form
of display was often seen as vital for the enjoyment and understanding of
the exhibits. In some cases the same importance was given to developing an
appropriate form of display as to gaining ownership of desirable objects.

Convenors: Dr Andrea Gáldy, Susan Bracken, Adriana Turpin


Friday 13 July 2007

Ca 6pm coach from Munich airport arrives at Ottobeuren (map)
See list of hotels at end of programme, please make your own arrangements

7 - 9 pm Reception and registration at the Benedictine monastery Ottobeuren

Saturday 14 July 2007

9.30 - 10am Registration

10 - 11am Introduction and guided tour
Prof Dr Ulrich Faust OSB

11 - 11.30 Coffee break

11.30 - 1pm
Collecting & Display in the Apartments of the Medici Ducal Palace in the
Sixteenth Century
Andrea Gáldy

OH and S at Neuburg
Lisa Kirch

The Green Closet/(Long Gallery) at Ham to its 'Lost' Equivalents Abroad
Christopher Rowell

1 - 2.30 Lunch

2.30 - 4
Melchior de Hondecoeter, Jan Weenix, and Royal Taste and Patronage
Joy Kearney

Les collections d'objets d'art du chancelier Séguier et de son épouse (1672,
1683). Le goût de deux grands amateurs du règne de Louis XIV.
Stéphane Castelluccio

4 - 4.15 Break

4.15 - 5
Thomas Coke’s European Tour: the Princely Apartments of Rome, 1712 – 1718
Andrew Moore

General discussion

7.30 - 10.00 Concert 'Nachwuchskünstlerpodium International' in the
Emperor's Hall for those who wish to attend (price of ticket not included)
See list of restaurants at the end of programme

Sunday 15 July 2007

High Mass in the Basilica for those who wish to attend

11 - 12.30 pm
Achieving Comfort and Privacy without Sacrificing Status. The Decoration and
Pictures in Apartements Privées versus Apartements d'Apparat
Alden Gordon

Art's Emancipation from the Ceremonial. The Development of Spatial
Seperation of Art Collections from the Princely Apartments: The Wittelsbach
Residences in Düsseldorf and Mannheim
Angela M. Opel

12.30 - 2pm Lunch

2 - 3.30
Schwerin Castle and its Collections around the Middle of the Eighteenth
Gero Seelig

Painting and Sculpture Galleries in the German State Apartments at the
Beginning of the Eighteenth Century
Virginie Spenle

The Erbach Collection of Vases and Antiquities
Volker Heenes

3.30 - 4 Tea break

4 - 5 Respondent(s) and general discussion

Conference dinner in beer garden with Bavarian food and beer brewed on the

Monday 16 July: morning free, afternoon excursion to the Fugger castle in
Kirchheim and Baroque museum Ochsenhausen.
Tuesday 17 July: Excursion to the Munich Residence; conference finishes at
lunchtime, lunch not included.

Booking fee (including refreshments and lunches, reception on Friday
evening, transfer from Munich airport to Ottobeuren on Friday afternoon*)
for the academic sessions on Sat & Sun: £60

Booking fee (bus transfer and entries, excluding refreshments and lunches)
for the visits on Monday and Tuesday: £40
Booking fee for the academic sessions and visits (as above) on all four
days: £95
We have four places reserved for students (for all four days): £50
Conference dinner on Sunday evening: £15

* This depends on numbers of delegates arriving on Friday afternoon. If you
wish to take advantage of the bus transfer from the airport, please make
sure that your flight arrives at Munich airport by 2pm.

If you wish to attend the conference, please fill in the Booking Form
(, and send it by return of
post with payment (by cheque payable to The University of London), to

Collecting & Display
Institute of Historical Research
University of London
Senate House
Malet Street
London WC1E 7HU

If you book from abroad or have any other query connected with the
conference, please contact Andrea Gáldy at

Sponsored by the Henry Moore Foundation.

Friday, June 15, 2007


GEM One Day Conference
Monday 9 July 2007

Bishopsgate Institute, London

This one-day conference will give you an opportunity to find out more about the implementation of the Learning Outside the Classroom Manifesto across the heritage sector, and to debate and influence its development.

The aim of the Learning Outside the Classroom Manifesto is to ensure that all young people have a variety of high quality learning experiences outside the classroom environment, and to “make a difference” to the amount and quality of learning outside the classroom.

The heritage sector is defined here to include museums, libraries and archives; historic houses, sites and environment; local history; science and discovery centres; and zoos and aquaria. John Stevenson (Director, GEM) has been asked by the DfES to represent the heritage sector on a national advisory group, and is developing a heritage sector partnership to encourage full participation, ownership and involvement in the drawing up of a manifesto action plan.

Who should attend from the heritage sector?
Providers: senior learning & access professionals; managers with responsibility for education
Specialist Advisors: subject associations; special interest groups
Users: head teachers, teachers, directors of children’s services, governors, parents with a particular interest in using the heritage sector to enhance teaching and learning
Learn more about:
“Out & About” package of training and guidance for teachers
plans for a new family of safety and quality badges
evaluating quality provision
“making the case” communications strategy
Join in discussions on:
involving all stakeholders in the heritage sector partnership; the development and delivery of the Manifesto Action Plan; and the communications campaign
what should be the key elements of the “out & about package”
how to develop a simple but effective safety/quality badge scheme
how best to “make the case”
actively involving users in ensuring their needs are met


09.30 Registration & refreshments
10.00 Welcome to Bishopsgate InstituteAnna Salaman, Director of Public Programmes
10.05 Introduction to the aims and objectives of the conference, and the role of the Heritage Sector Partnership in encouraging full participation, ownership and involvement in the drawing up of a manifesto action plan.Dr John Stevenson, Director, GEM
10.20 “Out & About” PackageHow this package (which has been put out to tender) will address the key barriers to high-quality learning outside the classroom opportunities for children and young people.Peter Carne, LOtC Learning Champion, DfES
10.40 Evaluating Quality ProvisionAn insight into quality provision and its contribution to raising achievement in schools. The possible impact on monitoring and evaluation in schools, including Ofsted and the new SEF (Self Evaluation Form).Mike Tones, LOtC Learning Champion, DfES
11.00 Breakout Sessions 1 How should the heritage sector work with schools and the successful bidder in (a) mapping existing advice, guidance and training opportunities; and (b) developing a continuing professional development framework for teachers and support staff, headteachers, governors, providers and local authority staff?
11.30 Feedback from Breakout Sessions 1
11.40 Health & Safety: The HSE perspective, and the factors to be considered in developing the revised Health & Safety for Pupils on Educational Visits (HASPEV) guidanceIan Park, Outdoor Education Advisers Panel
12.00 Breakout Sessions 2Discussion of the desired contents of the planned “light touch helpful guidance” – in particular that to do with risk management – and what should be mandatory.
12.30 Feedback from Breakout Sessions 2
12.45 Lunch & Networking
13.45 Safety & Quality BadgesAn overview of existing accreditation schemes and those in development, and the factors to be considered in developing a universal scheme.speaker to be confirmed
14.05 Breakout Sessions 3How can we bring together existing safety and quality badges/accreditation schemes – or develop a new one – to form one easily recognised and understood system for schools and other users?
14.35 Feedback from Breakout Sessions 3
14.45 Making the CaseThe essentials of the campaign to “make the case” for learning outside the classroom.Beth Longcroft, Band & Brown
15.05 Breakout Sessions 4Discussions of ways we can help to develop the key messages; provide the evidence and assist Band & Brown in their communications campaign.
15.35 Feedback from Breakout Sessions 4
15.45 Refreshments & Speed Manifesto DatingAn opportunity to meet and network with members of the LOtCM Heritage Sector Partnership; form partnerships to help implement the Manifesto; find ways of participating in the development of the Manifesto
16.30 Conference ends
Speakers and members of the LOtCM Heritage Sector Partnership will lead the breakout session discussions.
Delegates will be able to fill in a contact sheet enabling them to be kept informed of news and further developments, and to pledge their support for the Manifesto in whatever way they think is appropriate.
Full notes of the conference and breakout sessions will be collected together and distributed to delegates.
This conference is being subsidised by the DfES and so the total cost for delegates, including refreshments and lunch, is only £10.
It is essential to book, using the attached booking form, by 2 July 2007.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Museum Crawl: In pictures (part 3)

Okay, so it's rather a long time now since the Museum Crawl. I'm going to have to trawl my memory for part 3. I'm hoping the other intrepid 'crawlers' will be able to point out any omissions!

At the end of part 2, we'd visited New Walk Museum, the City Gallery, Guildhall and Cathedral. After getting caught in the rain, and a spot of shopping, we set out to discover Roman Leicester at Jewry Wall Museum.

Without beating around the bush, I think it's far to say that Jewry Wall is a little shabby and showing its age. Apart from the uninspiring brutalist architecture of the building itself, a palpable sense of neglect pervades the building and displays within, some of which appear to have changed little since the museum opened some thirty years ago. The museum is currently only open to the public during the weekends.

Jewry Wall perhaps prompted the most debate of the day. The archaeologist in our party was disappointed with the poor interpretative techniques employed, the medieval historian, with the sweeping assumptions made about the homogeneity of British society during the Anglo-Saxon era, and I was rather - as always - disturbed by the human remains on display (which I feel is unnecessary and disrespectful, though I recognise that's a fairly minority view). Indeed, what fascinated both Ceri and I the most were the positively ancient tableaux depicting Anglo-Saxon daily life originally made for the Festival of Britain in 1951, historical museum exhibits in their own right. While the labels accepted that several aspects of their presentation were now thought to be inaccurate, by their inclusion - though be it in a peripheral way - in the main narrative, they reinforced outdated misconceptions. Apparently everyone was terribly blond in those days. ;)

Not only that, we all felt that the museum wasn't making the most of its proximity to Jewry Wall itself, the ruins of a Roman bathhouse, which could have been the focus of a really exciting and inspiring exhibition given a bit of time, energy and thought (not to mention money, of course).

Although, it was fun to be able to ramble over the ruins during a brief spell of sunshine after we'd been chucked out of the museum itself (closing time!).

Temporarily all-museumed-out it was time to head in the direction of our next and final location, Belgrave Hall and a date with 'Night at the Museum'; one of a series of similarly-named events taking place across Europe to celebrate International Museum Day. But first, victuals! On aching feet, slowly we made our way to Belgrave Road and an early dinner at Bobby's, the well-known vegetarian Indian restaurant. lassi *drool*.

To be concluded in part 4 (uploading photos by way of a dial-up Internet connection is positively painful!)...

CFP: Commonplace Yet Extraordinary

From H-Museum:

Call for Papers

Commonplace Yet Extraordinary: Design Histories of Everyday Objects
Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington
May 16, 2008

Sponsored by the Center for the History of Business, Technology, and Society at the Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, Delaware

Biographies of everyday objects are a burgeoning area of study in design history, and are well supported by Hagley's growing collection of designers' papers including those of Raymond Loewy, Marc Harrison, Thomas Lamb and Richard Hollerith.

We invite scholars pursuing innovative research in this area to submit paper
proposals for a symposium on Friday May 16, 2008. The symposium's theme is
the histories of design processes that created everyday objects, such as
appliances, tools, equipment, and miscellaneous things commonly used in
homes, offices, factories, and public spaces. We discourage proposals on
motor vehicles, clothing, furniture, or buildings. Papers should be
historically grounded and analyze the interactions between designers,
producers, and users. Perspectives from history, art history, design
history, sociology, material culture studies as well as other disciplines
are welcome.

Paper proposals are due by December 1, 2007 and should consist of a short cv
and an abstract of no more than 500 words.

Presenters' travel expenses will be covered by Hagley.

Send proposals to

Carol Lockman,
fax 302-655-3188


Hagley Museum and Library
PO Box 3630
Wilmington DE

Conference Alert: Portable Antiquities in Europe and the Wider World

From H-Museum:


University of Pecs, Hungary
12-13 July 2007

An international expert meeting organised jointly by the Institute of Art and Law and the Faculty of Law at the University of Pecs, to be held at the University of Pecs, Hungary, 12-13 July 2007.

The meeting will examine, inter alia, the ways in which the national laws of
EU Member States and other countries operate to prevent the illicit
excavation of antiquities within the national territories; the effectiveness
of these laws as a defence against pillaging; the ethical aspects of dealing
and collecting; loan and other agreements as a diplomatic solution to
international disputes; the fate of obviously looted objects with no
identifiable national origin; harmonising the protection of excavated
national treasures with modern policies of enhanced mobility for works of
art. Speakers include Judge Shoshana Berman (Israel), Dr Mario Bondioli Osio
(Italy), Professor Guido Carducci (UNESCO), Richard de Lacy QC (UK), Dr
Monica Jackson (Australia), Professor Norman Palmer (UK), Jeremy Scott (UK),
Dr Kurt Siehr (Germany), Dr Marja van Heese (Netherlands), Professor
Matthias Weller (Germany).
The cost of this two-day seminar is £200 and the full programme will be
available shortly.

More information is available here:

In order to reserve a place a booking form may be downloaded here Download
booking form, or for all enquiries, please email us:

INSTITUTE OF ART AND LAW, Pentre Moel, Crickadarn, Nr Builth Wells, Powys,
LD2 3BX, United Kingdom Tel +44 (0)1982 560 666; Fax +44 (0)1982 560 604;

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Normal service will resume shortly...

Dear all,

Apologies for my continued lack of attention with regards to The Attic. Nasty shock + delicate nerves = complete meltdown. But I'm on the mend now and hope to be blogging like a good'un again soon. To come are more reviews of Research Week and the rest of the Museum Crawl report. I'm using a dial-up connection, so posts may appear a little slowly. Please bear with me.

Thanks to Ceri for keeping the blog going in my absence and Afshan and Pippa for their recent comments.

Lots of love,

Amy x

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

International Journal of Intangible Heritage

Call for Papers

International Journal of Intangible Heritage, Vol.3

Theme for Volume 3: all possible discourses on Intangible Heritage
Deadline: 31 July, 2007

The International Journal of Intangible Heritage is a refereed academic and professional journal for the intangible heritage sector. First published in May 2006, the Journal embraces theory and practice in relation to the study, preservation, interpretation and promotion of the intangible heritage. Over recent years, academics, researchers and professionals in many different parts of the cultural sector have increasingly been collecting, systematising, documenting and communicating the intangible heritage and in particular supporting its traditional cultural expressions.

The need for such an international publication was one of the fruitful outcomes of the 2004 Triennial General Conference of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) held in Seoul, Republic of Korea, on the theme of `Museums and Intangible Heritage`. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Republic of Korea agreed to provided support for this Journal through the National Folk Museum of Korea, and following the establishment of a Journal Secretariat in the Museum and the convening of an international Editorial Board and Editorial Advisory Committee in late 2005, the first volume was published in May 2006 and its second one is due to come out in May 2007. The printed editions are supplemented by an electronic edition in PDF format at

The Journal welcomes offers of contributors covering all areas of intangible heritage studies and practice.

>From Volume 2 the Journal will carry three categories of contributions
as follows:(1) Main articles (refereed), normally between 4,000 and 6,000 words, excluding notes, bibliography and illustrations. An A4 size page of plain text averages around 800 words, and the printed paper will normally be allocated six, eight or ten journal pages according to length and illustrations. Prospective authors should consult the Editorial Board through the Editor-in-Chief if a longer contribution is proposed. (2) Short communications (refereed), of up to 2,000 words (two to four journal pages).(3) News and reviews items of up to 1,000 words on conferences, publications or projects (which will be subject to normal editing by not formal refereeing.)

For Volume 3 and subsequent annual volumes we are now seeking suitable contributions of all three categories: main papers, short communications,and news and reviews, on any aspect of the intangible.
Manuscripts submitted should not be under consideration by any other journal or publisher, nor should they have been previously published elsewhere. If a manuscript is based on a lecture, conference paper or talk, specific details should accompany the submission. There are detailed Instructions to Contributors on the preparation of manuscripts and illustrations in previous volumes of the Journal (in both the printed and electronic editions) and these are available on the Journal website.

Paper proposals for the Journal can be submitted to the Journal
(postal address below) at any time. However, to be considered for the next volume (2008) contributions must be received by 31st July, 2007 so that they can be considered by the Editorial Board at its next meeting. Papers should be in electronic format, wherever possible should be submitted via e-mail. The submitted text (including an Abstract except for News and Reviews items), should be sent as an attachment to your e-mail message. Texts should then be saved and submitted in unjustified text alignment in Rich Text Format (RTF).

Illustrations should not be `embedded` in the text. Electronic images of the required quality (see the Instructions to Contributors), should be submitted as separate files. Original photographs should not be submitted at this stage, but a list summarising these should be included.

Please provide the full postal address of each author and of any institutional affiliation where applicable, including the country name, and an e-mail address contact address for each Author. Include at the end of the manuscript a short biography (80 words) for each Author.
For manuscript submission contact:
Publication Secretariat
International Journal of Intangible Heritage
The National Folk Museum of Korea
Sejongno 1-1, Jongno-gu
Seoul, Republic of Korea
Emails: ,
Tel: +82-(0)2-3704-3106, 3704-3109
Fax: +82-(0)2-3704-3149
For editorial policy etc. enquiries contact:Editor-in-Chief, Professor Patrick J Boylan, Email:
Sunhee RHO
Curatorial Assistant, Publication Secretariat International Journal of Intangible Heritage Cultural Exchange & Education Division National Folk Museum of Korea Ministry of Culture and Tourism
Address: 1-1, Sejongno, Jongno-gu, Seoul 110-820, Republic of Korea
Tel: +82-(0)2-3704-3106 (Direct) Fax: +82-(0)2-3704-3149
E-mails: ,