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, January 31, 2007

Merging museum services

Just a quick, off-the-cuff, probably not very well thought through response to this bit of news.

My local museums service has merged, not just with that of another town, but a whole other county! Anyone heard of anything like this happening before? Before Ipswich Borough Council lost registration, the museums service was one of the best funded provincial services in the country, with its own marketing and conservation department. Just shows what a negative affect complacency at the top can have. Some are trying to put a positive spin on this move, but what will happen to 'our' local, distinct East Anglian 'voice'? Ipswich and Colchester are chalk and cheese, with entirely different histories (for a start, one's Anglo-Saxon, one's Roman) and an entirely different cultural identity.

These things really bother me!

Citizens against Global Warming!

Recieved this today via the GEM list, it's not really museum related (sorry)...

Please pass this around. It's a French initiative that is gathering momentum in North America:

The 1st of February 2007:

Participate in the biggest mobilization of Citizens Against Global Warming!

The Alliance for the Planet [a group of environmental associations] is calling on all citizens to create 5 minutes of electrical rest for the planet. Http://

People all over the world should turn off their lights and electrical appliances on the first of February 2007, between 1.55 pm and 2.00 pm in New York, 18.55 for London, and 19.55 for Paris, Bruxelles, and Italy. 1.55pm in Ottawa, 10.55am on the Pacific Coast of North America.
This is not just about saving 5 minutes worth of electricity; this is about getting the attention of the media, politicians, and ourselves.

Five minutes of electrical down time for the planet: this does not take long, and costs nothing, and will show all political leaders that global warming is an issue that needs to come first and foremost in political debate.

Why February 1? This is the day when the new UN report on global climate change will come out in Paris.

This event affects us all, involves us all, and provides an occasion to show how important an issue global warming is to us. If we all participate, this action can have real media and political weight.

Please circulate this call to your utmost ability to your network.
Forwarded by Chris Castle . Apologies for any cross-posting!

What is heritage?

This was originally posted on the 28th January - but we've been having such a good discussion I thought I should move it back to the 'top', so that it doesn't get lost in the list of conference alerts and other notices! Come on, let us know what you think...

I was lucky enough to be selected to attend the Heritage of the Recent Past colloquium at the University of Leicester last Friday. Organised by Dr Lisanne Gibson, from the Department of Museum Studies and John Pendlebury (School of Architecture Planning and Landscape, University of Newcastle), the colloquium was the first of a series of three exploring the preservation of historical environments.

The day raised more questions than answers all revolving around the concept of heritage and particularly what to validate now as important or significant, to preserve for the future.

So, here are some things to ponder:

What is, and how does something become 'heritage'?
How and by whom is it identified?
Who is it for?
What does it mean?
And how is heritage used?

Answers on a postcard to... :) No, not really. But let us know what you think by leaving a comment or two.

I should also point out that the colloquia are supported by a publically-accessible discussion board if you would like to get involved in the research cluster. Oh, and I'd urge you to apply to attend the remaining two colloquia in March and June - the day was, for me, characterised by a really productive, inclusive and jovial atmosphere. There was none of the standoffish and, frankly intimidating, academic posturing you sometimes get at these sort of events. Everyone was prepared to really get stuck in and contribute. All in all it was a really positive, thought-provoking and inspiring day.

Workshop: A Race Against Time - Preserving Our Audiovisual Media

From H-Museum:

A Race Against Time: Preserving Our Audiovisual Media

Washington, DC
April 24 & 25, 2007

Cleveland, OH
October 24 & 25, 2007

Presented by:
The Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts (CCAHA)

Cosponsored by PALINET

About the program

Many of the machine-readable audiovisual collections held by our cultural
institutions are in peril. Therefore, it is crucial to have knowledge about
the life expectancy and unique needs of our legacy media in order to make
good preservation decisions. From videotapes and audiotapes to motion
picture film, film strips, LPs, 78s, magnetic tape, wax cylinders, and
audiocassettes, each of these formats has a critical point at which
information will begin to be lost.

The challenge of long-term preservation for these formats is that they often
require intervention, including cleaning and reformatting. To maximize the
life of these materials, one must understand the nature of the media, causes
of deterioration, storage and handling practices, and the various types of
playback equipment. Through lectures, discussion, and hands-on experiences,
participants in this two-day program will learn the basic principles for
managing audiovisual collections that contain historic formats. Contracting
with vendors and funding strategies will also be discussed.

This program is intended for curators, librarians, archivists, collection
managers, and other staff who are involved in managing machine-based media
collections in cultural institutions.


Washington, DC
April 24 & 25, 2007
Catholic University of America
Pryzbyla Center
620 Michigan Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20064

Cleveland, OH
October 24 & 25, 2007
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
One Key Plaza
Cleveland, OH 44114

Lead Speaker, Washington, DC and Cleveland, OH Alan Lewis, Audiovisual
Archives Consultant, Washington, DC An audiovisual preservation expert, Alan
has worked in the special Motion Picture, Sound and Video branch of the
National Archives and Records Administration and has administered AV
archival programs at PBS and CBS News. He now provides consulting and
training in audio/video preservation and preservation management.

Washington, DC:
Anji Kalita Cornette, Division Director, Sound Preservation Laboratory, The
Cutting Corporations, Bethesda, MD Sarah Stauderman, Preservation Manager
and Archives Conservator, Smithsonian Institution Archives, Washington, DC
Riccardo Ferrante, Information Technology Archivist, Smithsonian Institution
Archives, Washington, DC

Cleveland, OH:
George Blood, President, Safe Sound Archive, Philadelphia, PA Lisa R.
Carter, Director of Archives, University of Kentucky Libraries' Special
Collections and Digital Programs, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY John
Walko, Media Archive Manager, Scene Savers, Cincinnati, OH

Local Cosponsors
OCLC CAPCON, Washington, DC
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Cleveland, OH


CCAHA is pleased to offer a limited number of stipends of up to $750 to help
defray travel, lodging, and registration costs associated with attending A
Race Against Time: Preserving Our Audiovisual Media. To be eligible,
individuals must work in a non-profit institution that is open to the public
with an annual operating budget of less than $500,000. In awarding the
stipends, preference will be given to those applicants who are directly
responsible for the care of the audiovisual materials collected by their

Stipend applications must be postmarked by:
March 13, 2007 for the Washington, DC program September 10, 2007 for the
Cleveland, OH program

Applicants must submit:
* A one-page letter of interest that addresses their institution's
need for staff training in this area and their commitment to preserving
audiovisual materials

* A brief institutional profile or brochure
* A brief description of audiovisual materials held by the institution
* Proof of tax exempt status
* A letter of support from Director or President of Board of Trustees
* Applicant's resume

Applicants will be notified of the status of their application four weeks
prior to the program. For additional details on the application process,
please call the Preservation Services Office at 215-545-0613.


A Race Against Time: Preserving our Audiovisual Media

Program Location and Date:

- Washington, DC Tuesday, April 24 & Wednesday, April 25, 2007

- Cleveland, OH Wednesday, October 24 & Thursday, October 25, 2007

Registrations must be postmarked by 2 weeks prior to the program date.

Registration fee for two-day program:

Lunch is not provided. Information about local eateries will be included in
registration packets.

Refunds will be given until two weeks prior to workshop date.

If you have special needs, please contact CCAHA three weeks prior to the
program so that accommodations can be made.

Please send completed registration form and fee to:
Preservation Services Office
Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts (CCAHA)
264 South 23rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Please check our website periodically for information about additional
venues for this program in 2008 and 2009.

Kelly Ferguson
Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts
264 South 23rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
P: 215.545.0613
F: 215.735.9313

Conference Alert: The Acquisition and Exhibition of Classical Antiquities

From H-Museum:

The Acquisition and Exhibition of Classical Antiquities: Professional,
Legal, and Ethical

Snite Museum of Art, University of Notre Dame, IN
February 24, 2007

Cultural property and its stewardship has long been a concern of museums,
archaeologists, art historians and nations, but recently the laws, policies,
and consequences of collecting and exhibiting antiquities have also
attracted the broader interest of the media and the public. This has been
the result, in part, of several high profile trials, and various foreign
governments are now demanding the return of specific antiquities to their
countries of origin.

These new circumstances provide the interest and opportunity to open the
question further, to move beyond the rather clear-cut moral response to
looting, and on to the consideration of the more subtle implications of
buying, selling, and exhibiting antiquities. To whom should antiquities
belong? What constitutes legal ownership of antiquities? What laws govern
the importation of antiquities into the US? What circumstances, if any,
demand the return of those antiquities to their nation of origin? Should all
antiquities be returned to their place of origin if they can be properly
cared for and displayed there? Is there a consensus among archaeologists
about these issues? Among museum directors? Do archaeologists and museum
directors share the same opinions?

This symposium will address many sides of the question, including legal and
ethical issues, through presentations by art museum directors,
archaeologists, art historians, and scholars of international law:

Sponsored by the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, the Snite Museum,
The Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts (ISLA), the College of
Arts and Letters, and the Office of Research.


Friday, February 23, 2007

7:00 pm Pre-Conference Dinner for speakers, Morris Inn

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Morning Session

9:30-9:35 am Welcome
Jean Ann Linney, Vice President and Associate Provost, University of Notre

9:35-9:50 am Introduction
Robin F. Rhodes, Associate Professor of Art History, University of Notre
Dame and Director, Greek Architecture Project, Corinth Excavations

9:50-10:00 am Art Museum Director Perspective
James Cuno, President and Eloise W. Martin Director, The Art Institute of

10:10-10:15 am Respondent

10:15-10:35 am Archaeologist's Perspective
Malcolm Bell, Professor of Greek Art and Archaeology, University of Virginia
and Director of the University of Virginia Excavations at Morgantina, Sicily

10:35-10:40 am Respondent

10:40-11:00 am Legal Perspective
Patty Girstenblith, Professor of Law, DePaul University

11:00-11:05 am Respondent

11:05-11:15 am Coffee Break

11:15-11:35 am University Museum Director (tba)

11:35-11:40 am Respondent

11:40-12:00 Audience Questions

12:15-1:30 pm Lunch Break

Afternoon Session

Case Studies

1:30-1:50 pm Perspective of the Italian Government
Stefano Vassalo, (Archeologist of the Head Office of the Ministry of
Cultural Heritage and Environment of the city of Palermo)

1:50-1:55 pm Respondent

2:00-2:20 pm International Legal Perspectives
Mary Ellen O'Connell, Robert and Marion Short Chair in Law, University of
Notre Dame

2:25-2:40 Break

2:40-3:00 pm The Corinth Theft
Nancy Bookidis, Co-Director, Corinth Demeter Sanctuary Excavations, American
School of Classical Studies at Athens

3:00-3:05 pm Respondent

3:05-3:25 pm Education of Army Personnel
Brian Rose, James B. Pritchard Professor of Archaeology, University of
Pennsylvania and President of the Archaeological Institute of America

3:25-3:30 pm Respondent

3:30-4:30 pm Open Discussion chaired by Robin Rhodes

Close of symposium followed by reception at the Snite Museum

Registration Fee
Full registration is $40 and student registration is $20. For Notre Dame
faculty and students, there is no registration fee. All registration fees
include meeting materials, refreshments and reception.

Hotel Accommodations
Rooms are held for the nights of February 23 and 24 at the Morris Inn.
The deadline for all hotel reservations on-line has passed. Requests should
be made directly with the hotel (574-631-2000) and will be honored on a
space available basis at full rate.

Payment Options
Your registration and credit card information will be transmitted through
secure and encrypted channels.
If you would prefer not to use your credit card online, you may pay by check
or separately call or fax your credit card number to the registration
center. To do so, please continue this registration online and select "Fax
Order In" when prompted for payment method. Print the fax form, complete it,
and fax it to the number listed.

Eleanor Butterwick
Nanovic Institute


Robin Rhodes
Snite Museum

Monday, January 29, 2007

SHOWCASE: The Manchester Museum Research Seminar

Please see below for what sounds like an interesting collection of seminars at the Manchester Museum, including one by Richard Sandell on the 7 February...


SHOWCASE: The Manchester Museum Research Seminar
A forum for innovative collection and museum-based research in museology, the humanities and the natural sciences.

All seminars Wednesdays 3.00-5.00pm, at the Manchester Museum.

Wednesday 7 February, 3.00-5.00pm, at the Manchester Museum Dr Richard Sandell, University of Leicester "Museums and the reframing of difference"

Wednesday 28 March, 3.00-5.00pm, at the Manchester Museum Dr Maria Kostoglou, University of Manchester "Old things, new ideas: rethinking Classical antiquity in the museum"

Wednesday 25 April, 3.00-5.00pm, at the Manchester Museum.
Dr Paul Davis, Natural History Museum, "Research in a national museum"

SHOWCASE is run by the Museum-Academic Joint Appointments: contact[humanities], [natural sciences], or [museology].

Dr Sam Alberti
Lecturer in Art Gallery and Museum Studies at the University of Manchester Centre for Museology Research Fellow at the Manchester Museum Manchester Museum, Oxford Road, MANCHESTER M13 9PL
0161 275 8779 / 0161 275 7751

Sunday, January 28, 2007

CFP: The Politics of Cultural Programming

From H-Museum:

Call For Papers

The Politics of Cultural Programming
George Mason University, Arlington
September 28 & 29 2007

The first annual Cultural Studies Graduate Student Conference at George Mason University will interrogate the politics of cultural programming in public spaces:

Institutions within the conference purview include: museums, festivals, the performing arts, sporting events, multicultural and/or ethnically specific celebrations, gigs and club nights, and tourist spectacles. Of special interest is the menu of activities available in specific localities at any given moment:

Of what is this menu comprised? To whom is it offered? And at what cost? Questions to be considered may include but are not limited to:

How is the knowledge of cultural programming produced in and through institutions?
How does cultural programming produce knowledge?
How do cultural institutions interpellate performative identities of race, class, gender and sexuality?
How do we understand labor in the context of cultural events?
What are the ideological stakes of cultural programming and what is its political economy?
What kind of subject and desire does cultural programming produce?
Graduate students from relevant disiciplines are invited to submit abstracts of no more than 300 words addressing these and related topics to Vicki Watts ( ) by March 15th 2007. Please include your institutional affiliation and any technical requirements.

Conference Alert: The Studio in the Gallery?

From H-ArtHist:

The Studio in the Gallery?
Organised by The Henry Moore Institute and the Akademie der Kuenste
Akademie der Kuenste
Hanseatenweg 1010557 Berlin-Tiergarten
Tel: 030-200 57-2000, Fax: 030-200 57-2175
Saturday 24 March 2007 10.30am - 4.30pm

This one day conference, designed to accompany the Raum exhibition, looks at the ways that studios have been exhibited in the art gallery and museum. In the morning there will be presentations by representatives of the reconstructed studios of Brancusi, Bacon and Paolozzi, that will open up discussion of 'studio reconstruction' today through the particular issues -spatial, architectural, archaeological, biographical and site-related -faced by each of these case studies. In the afternoon, there will papers given by three curators who have all organised exhibitions that have examined the studio as a subject for enquiry for both art history and for contemporary practice. Together these conference papers will ask what a studio is today, looking at why and how it has been variously restaged, installed and reframed within the walls of the art gallery and museum.

Introduced and chaired by Jon Wood (Henry Moore Institute) and Angela Lammert (Akademie der Kuenste)

Marielle Tabart (ex-curator of L'Atelier Brancusi, Centre Georges Pompidou,Paris)
'Brancusi studio memories'

Margarita Cappock (curator of Francis Bacon studio, Hugh Lane Gallery,Dublin)
'Organised chaos: Francis Bacon at the Hugh Lane'

Daniel Herrmann (assistant curator of Eduardo Paolozzi studio, Dean Gallery, Edinburgh)
'On Transplants: A Frame Analysis of Artists' Studios in Art Galleries'

Suzanna Héman (curator, Stedelijk, Amsterdam)
'Mapping the Studio: the making of an exhibition'

Christina Kennedy (curator, Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin)
'The Studio: exhibiting the contemporary studio'

Angela Lammert (curator, Akademie der Kuenste)
'Raum: an exhibition about and beyond the studio'

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Reminder: Representing Difficult Histories - Disability and the Holocaust

And leading on from our recent discussion:

Reminder - The Museum Studies Research Seminar Series 2006/7
Monday 29th January 2007 at 1pm in the Dept of Museum Studies
Lecture room 1
Heather Hollins (University of Leicester PhD candidate)
Representing Difficult Histories: Disability and the Holocaust

An estimated 11 million people were killed by the Nazi regime during the Holocaust. Of these 11 million an estimated 200, 000 were disabled people, and a further estimated 700, 000 disabled people were sterilised as part of the Nazi eugenics programme.Within 6 months of the Nazi's coming to power the regime had introduced its first law to legalise the sterilisation of disabled people, and the Third Reich began to issue propaganda labelling them as 'useless eaters' and as a burden on society. This led to the development of the T4 programme where disabled people were killed using lethal injection, in gas vans and later in 6 purpose built killing centres. These centres were the first step towards the development of the larger industrialised death camps.

This paper will aim to explore the factors behind why disabled people experiences of the Holocaust have large gone untold. It will also focus the consultation that I am currently involved in at the Holocaust Centre with disabled young people which aims to explore their views of their marginalisation within current interpretations of the holocaust. It will explore the issues behind representing difficult histories and the consequences when museums shy away from these difficult issues.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Museum Mile

Just a quick post to let you all know about an online portal to some of the lesser known museums in London. I can definitely recommend the Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art, and not just cos I used to work there. ;)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Notebooks of Curatorship

From Cristina Lleras:

The production of museological literature, on museum studies or even on collections, is very small in some Latin-American countries such as Colombia. For those interested (and fluent in Spanish) please check the address below. This digital publication started a couple of years ago with the intention of providing the public with more specialized information on the collections of the Museo Nacional de Colombia (the place where I currently work as curator for the art and history collections). I apologize for the language barrier but hopefully we will be able to have this publication in English in the not so distant future. Please feel free to critique or comment this section.


Asia House Programme: January and February Events

Asia House Programme

Booking is now open for our January/February Programme.

Lecture by Jeong-Hwa Choi
As part of a lecture series coinciding with the Asia House¹s gallery exhibition, Through the Looking Glass: Korean Contemporary Art, Korean artist Jeong-Hwa Choi will discuss the relationship between art and design in his work, and how their convergence is affecting our understanding of them and their practioners.
Monday 22nd January at Asia House, Doors 6.30pm, Lecture 6.45-7.45
Asia House Members and Concessions £4/ Non-members £7

European Decoration on Oriental Porcelain 1700 - 1830
Lecture by Helen Espir
Most Chinese and Japanese porcelain was decorated in its place of manufacture. However, Helen Espir will discuss the oriental porcelain from the 1690s ¬ 1830s, upon which European enamellers added further decoration after its arrival in Europe.
Presented in association with the China Society
Thursday 25th January at Asia House, Light lunch 12.30 followed by lecture 1.15-2.15
All tickets £6 Ticket price includes a light sandwich lunch

My Korea, My Korean Contemporary Art
Lecture by Doryun Chong
As part of a lecture series coinciding with the Asia House's gallery exhibition, Through the Looking Glass: Korean Contemporary Art, Doryun Chung, Curator of the Visual Art Department at the Walker Art Centre in Minneapolis, will discuss the challenges of presenting Korean contemporary art in European and American institutions.
Monday 29th January at Asia House, Doors 6.30pm, Lecture 6.45-7.45
Asia House members and concessions £4/ Non-members £7

Through the Looking Glass
Enjoy Asia House's current exhibition and learn about Korean culture with the whole family. Work alongside a Korean artist and take part in various activities such as creating visual dream-scapes and soap sculptures!
Saturday 3rd February at Asia House, 10.30 ¬ 3.30pm
Adults £4, children £2 (concessions available for large groups)

The Peacock Throne
Sujit Saraf in conversation with Adrienne Loftus Parkins
The Peacock Throne charts the fortunes of a tea seller as he becomes embroiled in the political machinations of scheming politicians and businessmen. Taking in politics, race, religious violence and a rapidly changing economy, the novel presents a bewitching and often shocking portrait of India today.
Monday 12th February at Asia House, Doors 6.30pm, Lecture 6.45-7.45
followed by wine and Indian street food
Asia House members and concessions £ 4, Non-members £ 7

The Secrets of the Gobi
Lecture by John Hare
John Hare, the founder and Chairman of the Wild Camel Protection Foundation, will recount two expeditions made to search for the wild Bactrian camel in the Gobi desert which led to two unexpected discoveries: several mummies from the 1500 BC in a remarkable state of preservation and 84 drums of potassium cyanide brought into toe desert by illegal miners in their search for gold.
Tuesday 13 February at Asia House, Doors 6.30pm, Lecture 6.45-7.45
Asia House members and concessions £ 4, Non-members £ 7

Creating a New Model for Artists Working with Museums
Lecture by James Putnam
Independent curator and writer James Putnam discusses Œartist interventions' in museums, which involve a successful dialogue between artists and museum curators.
Thursday 15th February at Asia House, Doors 6.30pm, Lecture 6.45-7.45
Asia House members and concessions £ 4, Non-members £ 7

The Complete Taj Mahal
Lecture by Ebba Koch
Ebba Koch, architectural adviser to the Taj Mahal Conservation Collaborative, will discuss not only the famous white marble mausoleum but the entire complex of the Taj Mahal including the mosque and the guest house that flank it, the garden, the great gate, the forecourt, the quarters of the tomb attendants and the now almost completely lost bazaar and caravanserai complex.
Wednesday 21 February at Asia House, Doors 6.30pm, Lecture 6.45-7.45
Asia House members and concessions £ 4, Non-members £ 7

Traditions and New Technologies
Lecture by Mark Dytham
As part of a lecture series coinciding with the Asia House's gallery exhibition, Through the Looking Glass: Korean Contemporary Art, architect Mark Dytham of Klein Dytham Architecture, Tokyo will talk about projects that go beyond architechture and design.
Thursday 22nd February at Asia House, Doors 6.30pm, Lecture 6.45-7.45
Asia House members and concessions £ 4, Non-members £ 7

New Research into the Evolution of Horse Husbandry in Central Eurasia and China
Lecture by Dr Marsha Levine
Dr Marsha Levine, Senior Research Associate at the McDonald Institute for Archeological Research, University of Cambridge, will explore the origins of horse domestication in the central Eurasian steppe-lands and China from the Eneolithic to the Early Iron Age (c. 4th ¬ 1st millennia BC).
Tuesday 27th February at Asia House, Doors 6.30pm Lecture 6.45-7.45
Asia House members and concessions £ 4, Non-members £ 7

ASIA HOUSE GALLERY: Through the Looking Glass: Korean Contemporary Art
Features work by emerging and established contemporary artists from Korea in an exhibition that will weave through the Asia House building. The exhibition encompasses video, installation, sculpture, photography and painting.
22 November - 3 March 2007. Open Mon-Sat 10am-6pm.
Admission £2. Asia House members and under 18s free.

Full details are available on our website:

Why not become an Asia House Member? This winter our benefits include 50% dinner discount at Mango Tree ¬ Thai Restaurant and 2 for 1 lunch main courses, 20% discount at Tamarai Restaurant ¬ Bar ¬ Gallery & Sitaaray, 15% discount at Kaya ¬ Korean Restaurant. Members also enjoy discounted ticket prices and priority booking on all events, permanent free entry to our gallery and a 15% discount in Café T at Asia House, open Monday ¬ Saturday 10am-5pm.

For all ticket and membership enquiries, please contact
Asia House, 63 New Cavendish Street, London W1G 7LP
Tel: 020 7307 5454

To unsubscribe from this e-bulletin, please hit reply and put 'unsubscribe' in the subject field.

Fiona Smith
Programme Manager
Asia House
63 New Cavendish Street
London W1J 7LP
020 7307 5433 (direct)
020 7307 5454

Through the Looking Glass: Korean Contemporary Art
Curated by Jiyoon Lee
Kyuchul Ahn, Duck-Hyun Cho, Jeong-Hwa Choi, Yeondoo Jung, Beom Kim, Jiwon Kim, Sora Kim, Youngjin Kim, Yong-Baek Lee & Meekyoung Shin
Asia House Gallery, 22 November 2006 ¬ 3 March 2007
Monday ¬ Saturday, 10am ¬ 6pm
Admission £2 (Asia House members and under 18s free)

Holocaust Memorial Day

This Saturday 27 January is Holocaust Memorial Day.

According to the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust 41% of people believe that a Holocaust could happen in Britain:

"Holocaust Memorial Day is an issue for everyone. The lessons of the Holocaust are of universal relevance and have implications for us all. Holocaust Memorial Day offers an opportunity for people in the UK in the 21st century to reflect upon, consider and discuss how those events still have relevance for all members of today's society."

There are events going on around the East Midlands region and the rest of the UK.

The East Midlands also had the first dedicated Holocaust Memorial and Education Centre in Britain, on the edge of Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire. See their website for more details.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

'Londoc': PhD magazine

My London-based spy has forwarded me some info about Londoc, a fairly new magazine aimed at postgraduate researchers predominantly in London, but next issue they are going national and are looking for contributors (£50 a pop!), see following text for more details.

* * *

"LonDoc" is a magazine by and for postgraduate researchers (PhD students) based in and around London. All articles are written by current or recently graduated PhD students and cover topics like the stresses of the PhD process, as well as tips they've identified to help them along the road. There's also some more light-hearted stuff to cheer you up when your brain is starting to hurt from re-doing your literature review for the eighth time.

The second issue of LonDoc is available at

A preview of the latest edition:

* Turn "Google stalking" to your advantage!
* Top 10 things not to say in your viva
* Getting around for less
* Isolation squared - doing a PhD from home
* Tame the bibliographic beasties
* Life as a PhD couple
* Have an honorific, will travel
* PG Tips: Mosquitos of knowledge encased in amber so you can clone the best ideas and then populate a theme park with them. Or something.

Whilst LonDoc is currently aimed at an audience nestled within the confines of the M25, this spring we're going national! We aim to keep the same scope and target audience, but will broaden our remit out from being solely London-focused out to the rest of the UK. We will remain "by and for postgraduate researchers". In order to help with the increased workload we are putting together an editorial team from a variety of different backgrounds who will provide guidance and also keep things ticking over if I disappear off the face of the earth (have you ever been to Camberwell???). And now the £50 question: What are we going to call this new national version of the magazine??? Answers by email please (not on a postcard), the winner will get £50, plus a warm satisfied glow.

Paul Wicks
Editor-in-chief, LonDoc

Dr. Paul Wicks
MRC Centre for Neurodegeneration Research
King's College London Institute of Psychiatry
PO 77, Psychology
De Crespigny Park
London SE5 8AF

Tel: 020 7848 0715
Fax: 020 7848 5006

A magazine for and by PhD students in London:

Saturday, January 20, 2007

CFP: Celebrating Memories & Visual Cultures

From H-Museum:

Call for Papers
Celebrating Memories & Visual Cultures
ZIFF Conference, Zanzibar, Tanzania
July 2-4, 2007

ZIFF will be celebrating its tenth anniversary with another grand cultural festival from 30th June to 8th July, 2007, under the overall theme of"Celebration of Waters and Dreams." It is a moment of reflection on where we have come from, where we are at, and where we are going.As part of what has become a tradition, ZIFF will organise another conference to celebrate the occasion on the conference theme focusing specifically on "Celebrating Memories & Visual Cultures."As in previous conferences, we are looking for short thought papers that will excite debates and cross-fertilisation of ideas between scholars and artists, story-tellers, documentary and film makers, rather than highly scholastic or technical papers.

The theme has been elaborated under the following sub-themes and topics:

1. Histories & Memories:
- Histories Past: heritage & narrative, identity & self-awareness, and home & away;
- Family narratives, oral history, construction of the past, local, regional & global histories;
- Remembrance: subjectivity, philosophy of mind, travel & tourism;
- Absence & memory: honoured places & events, place & space, emotive locations, loss & trauma.
- Film and/against other historical texts, cinema as medium of nostalgia;
- Found film: lost memories, forgotten places & people.

2. Film & Video
- Filmic mediums, filmic representations, remembering film, filmic diaries;
- Technological change, industrial structures & practices;
- Local and non-local film-making;
- Relationship with other media and cultural practices, especially music & oral story-telling, others featured at ZIFF;
- Film archives;
- The film festival as cultural festival.

3. Space and Place- Cinema and East Africa;
- Transnational cinema;
- Architecture: house & home, structures of significance;
- Museums: representation of culture, history & memory, heritage;
- Cinema and public space: filmic placement, meeting places, historical intervention;
- Cinema & the public sphere: cinema & social change, film & media literacy,democratic & alternative media, media consumption.

Those interested in participating in the conference should send abstract of their paper by 1st April, and final paper by 15th June, 2007 at the latest. An attempt will be made to raise funds to support a limited number of contributors from the Dhow Countries who need such assistance for travel and accommodation. Those intending to apply for such assistance should write an application and send an abstract and their CV by 1st March, 2007 at the very latest.

Please write to:
P. O. Box 3032

Conference Alert: The Feminist Art Project

From H-ArtHist:

TheFeministArtProject: CAA 2007

Contact: Anne Swartz (

In conjunction with the upcoming 2007 annual conference of the College Art Association, there will be a series of events sponsored by TheFeministArtProject, co-organized by the late internationally-renowned artcritic Arlene Raven and art historian Anne Swartz. The College Art Association is the membership organization that promotes excellence in scholarship and teaching in the history and criticism of the visual arts and in creativity and technical skill in the teaching and practices of art. TheFeministArtProject is a national initiative recognizing the aesthetic and intellectual impact of women on the visual arts and culture.

On Saturday, February 17 from 9:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m., a series of panel presentations, interviews, performances, and other panel formats will beheld. They will provoke, intrigue, and engage audience members with the developments and topics surrounding Feminist Art and women's involvement inc ultural production.

The schedule of panels is as follows:

Are We There Yet? The Status and Impact of Second- and Third-Wave Feminism,Women's Art, the Women's Art Movement, and "Feminist Art"
Anne Swartz, Savannah College of Art and Design

Feminism, Women, and Museums
Elizabeth Mansfield, The University of the South

American Art and Sexual Trauma
Vivien Green Fryd, Professor of the History of Art, Vanderbilt University

Back to the Front
Helena Reckitt, Toronto-based independent critic/curator

Occupying Our Hearts: Performing Self-Transformation through Feminist Art
Joanna Frueh, Distinguished Professor, School of Art, University of Arizona and Professor Emerita of Art History, University of Nevada, Reno

"Life of the Mind, Life of the Market": A Reevaluation of the Contribution of Theory to Feminist Art from 1980 to 2006
Mira Schor, Faculty, Parsons The New School for Design

Re-gendering Public Practice
Suzanne Lacy, Chair of Fine Arts, Otis College of Art and Design, LosAngeles

In addition to panels featuring renowned and emerging visual arts professionals, there will be receptions at Chelsea galleries, which will host Feminist art exhibitions. The first reception will be held on Thursday,February 15 from 5:30-7:00 p.m. at A.I.R. Gallery, West 25th Street, Suite301, Chelsea, in conjunction with the exhibition, "The Changing Room: Object and Metaphor," new work by Daria Dorosh and "One True Thing," a group show of work by A.I.R. Gallery Artists curated by Dena Muller. The second reception will be held on Friday, February 16 from 5:30-8:00 p.m. at Ceres Gallery for ³Agents of CHANGE: Women, Art, and Intellect,² curated by Dr.Leslie King-Hammond, Maryland Institute College of Art, at Ceres Gallery,547 West 27th Street, Suite 201, in Chelsea. THESE EVENTS ARE FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

For information on TheFeministArtProject:
For information on CAA 2007:
Anne Swartz, Ph.D.
Professor of Art History
Savannah College of Art and Design
Post Office Box 3146
Savannah, Georgia 31402-3146

Friday, January 19, 2007

Share your research

Ongoing research into museum education practice? Evaluation project?
Visitor study? Audience investigatation?
MUSEUM EDUCATION MONITOR (MEM), the e-newsletter, is now compiling a list of ongoing research and evaluation projects related to museum/gallery education and interpretation for our upcoming February
2007 issue.

We define research in the broadest sense - "methodical investigation
into a subject in order to discover facts, to establish or revise a theory, or to develop a plan of action based on the facts discovered." Projects undertaken by practitioners (paid and volunteer), students, and academics are all equally welcome. If you wish to share your research or evaluation with others around the world, please send an e-mail to that includes:

- name of project
- research or evaluation question(s) [no more than 50 words, please]
- how the data will be presented/used [report, article, dissertation,
program, training event, workshop, curriculum, plan for change, etc.]
- principal researcher(s)/ evaluator(s)
- site(s) where research is being conducted
- time span
- contact information
- key words to describe the project [no more than 4 or 5, please]

Deadline for this issue is *Friday, February 9, 2007.*
Listings are, of course, free of charge. Submissions are included in the current MEM and catalogued afterwards in our archives, which now contains over 1,100 entries. Full access to the MEM Archives is available only to subscribers. However, time-limited guest passes are available to students and interested others by contacting MEM at . A complimentary copy of the December 2006 issue of Museum Education Monitor noted above is available upon request to . Please get in touch for more information about these listings, this call or to discuss your own research.I look forward to hearing from you!
M. Christine Castle, Editor,
Museum Education Monitor Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

For more information about Museum Education Monitor, please go to

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Black Body - Research Seminar 15 January 2007 with Dr. Joan Anim-Addo

One of the issues museum professionals and academics in the museum field continuously need be aware of, is the production and reproduction of the ‘real’, which happens inside the museum walls. With the task of selecting, persevering and displaying objects, the museum is placed in a role where ideology, representation and power are concepts, which need to be taken seriously. Joan Anim-Addo has devoted most of her carrier to engage with these subjects, and at the research seminar she presented her ideas about the black body in museums. Joan has been working intensively on especially the black Caribbean body and how it is represented in museums.

As an entrance to the topic, Joan asked us to produce a museum label for an African object continuing to discuss how these objects often are seen as representing something primitive or naive, essentially understanding African culture as lower and less complex than the Western culture. This is a very racist understanding and by sustaining this categorisation the museum is in fact a place for racial oppression. Well aware of these implications, as the good museum researchers we are, none in the seminar actually produced labels implying this, however perhaps it was significant that most of us had great difficultly in actually saying anything about the object, relying instead on open questions such as ‘what do you think it is?’, leaving the museum guest with the dilemma of creating the representation herself. Are we in a stage where we afraid of making misrepresentation and therefore shy way from making any at all? Or perhaps this exercise just showed the newer approach within museum learning to engage the visitor in meaning making?

Joan continued discussing the need for (quoting Jeanne Cannizzo, guest curator at the Royal Ontario Museum’s exhibit Into the heart of Africa) ‘studying the museum as an artifact, reading collections as cultural texts, and discovering life histories of objects’. When investigating what the museums do and what narratives are told, it becomes clear that many museums only make meaning for specific people. The perspective from which culture and history is seen belong to the European white male, often other people and races cannot recognize the representation they see displayed in the museum. First of all what is need is an understanding of the bias and racism of many museum collections and the ideologies and perspectives that they represent. Secondly an investigation of the complexities of cross-cultural encounters and how they can be displayed in the museum. Joan presented her own work in the research group ‘The Black body in Europe’ explaining the fact that the black body is viewed very differently across Europe.

The seminar was very interesting and it is clear that even though the museum has been subject to a lot of deconstruction and discourse analysis the past 20 years the issues of race and also gender is still important and need to be addressed.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Funding: AAH Voluntary Work Fund

From H-ArtHist (there's nothing to suggest this is only for undergraduates, though I would imagine you would have be an AAH student member to apply):

The Voluntary-Work Fund is a sum of money set aside by the AAH to support students on work placements or internships at museums, galleries, heritage sites or other visual art environments in the UK. The fund provides financial support for selected students on voluntary work placements/internships that take place after June and last for a duration of up to 4 weeks on a full-time basis (Monday - Friday) or up to 25 days within one year on a part-time basis. Legitimate expenses covered by the fund include: daily travel, meals and accommodation, childcare, training and materials. The intention of the fund is to support unpaid volunteers for expenses that would not otherwise be reimbursed by their host institution, or indeed by any other source. It should not replace existing institutional funding policies.The maximum amount available per student is £20 per day (£100 per week) and the maximum available to any one student is £500.

For full details and application form for the 2007 Student Fund for Voluntary Work, visit the AAH website for the full guidelines and an application form.

Deadline: 31 May 2007.

Chrissie Bradstreet and Claire Walsh

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Workshops: Touch and Object Handling in the Context of Museums

UCL Museums & Collections is running a series of workshops exploring touch and object handling in the context of museums. I only saw the notice on Material World this afternoon, so unfortunately, the first workshop of the year has been and gone, but there are others planned for February, March and May 2007. For more info see the UCL website.

P.S. I know I've mentioned it before, but the Material World blog is really worth a read, especially if you're into material culture studies and anthropology. And you can find other exciting stuff like Mary Stevens' Weblog there, to which there has been a link in the right-hand sidebar for a week or so (heartening to know that there really are other Museum Studies PhD students out there!). Plus they gave The Attic its first 'plug' online, so they must be all round lovely people. ;)

Monday, January 15, 2007

CFP: Things that Move: The Material Worls of Tourism and Travel

From Ethnomuseums:

Things that Move:
The Material Worlds of Tourism and Travel

19 - 23 July 2007, Leeds, United Kingdom

Whatever the prophecies of 'virtual' reality, we inhabit and move
through the 'real' world of objects. Though tourism and travel are
bound to concepts of time and space, they are also rooted in the
material world - a tangible world of places, things, edifices,
buildings, monuments and 'stuff'. The relationships we develop and
share with these things varies from the remote to the intimate, from
the transient to the lasting and from the passive to the passionate.
Within the practices of tourism and its use (and non-use) of the
material world, and, through the act of travel, objects are given
meaning, status, and are endowed with symbolism and power. Objects
construct, represent and even define the tourist experience. Our
journeys through the world of objects generate a plethora of emotions
- pleasure, attachment, belonging, angst, envy, exclusion, loathing
and fear - and feed on-going discourse and narratives. Moreover,
through tourism, and our touristic encounters, the material world itself is challenged and changed.


In this, our fifth annual international research conference, we seek
to explore the multi-faceted relationships between tourism and
material culture - the built environment, infrastructures, consumer
and household goods, art, souvenirs, ephemera and landscapes. As in
previous events, the conference aims to provoke critical dialogue
beyond disciplinary boundaries and epistemologies and thus we welcome
papers from the following disciplines: aesthetics, anthropology,
archaeology, architecture, art and design history, cultural geography,
cultural studies, ethnology and folklore, history, heritage studies,
landscape studies, linguistics, museum studies, philosophy, political
sciences, sociology, tourism studies and urban/spatial planning.

Key themes of interest to the conference include:

* Histories, mobilities, and the symbolic/political economies
of tourism objects
* The dialectics of tourism objects and places / spaces
* Structures / infrastructures of international tourism -
building / architecture / design for tourism and tourists
* Tourism in the museum
* Tourist art and art for tourists
* The performance of material culture in the tourism realm
* Language and the translation of objects in tourism
* The tourist souvenir - commodity fetishism and religious
* The tourist object as metaphor and memory
* Ownership, display and interpretation - contested pasts and
* Curating for tourism - collecting the worlds of the tourist
* Overcoming the material through the virtual - future realms
of tourist experience

Please submit your 300 word abstract including a title and full
contact details as an electronic file to Professor Mike Robinson
( ) as soon as possible but no later than March 23rd

Abeti Ilofo
Centre for Tourism and Cultural Change Faculty of Arts & Society Leeds
Metropolitan University The Old School Board Calverley Street Leeds

phone: +44(0)113- 283 2600 Ext: 29022

CFP: 28th American Indian Workshop

From Ethnomuseums:

Call for Papers

28th American Indian Workshop

Organized in conjunction with the exhibition
Premières Nations, Collections Royales
at the
Musée du quai Branly, Paris
10–12 May 2007

"Premières Nations, Collections Royales" showcases a selection from the world's single largest group of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Native American artifacts from eastern North America. Originally part of the collections of the kings of France and of the nobility, they reflect the French colonial interest in Canada and Louisiana and provide a rare view of early styles of skin painting, quillwork, and textile arts as well as of other aspects of the ethnography of the North American Woodlands, Subarctic, and Plains.

Related to the subject matter of the exhibition, the 28th American Indian Workshop will be devoted to the discussion of the following themes:

1. Collections and Artifacts from eastern North America prior to 1800
Early ethnographic material from eastern North America remains a vastly understudied field of research. Widely scattered in European and American museums and often insufficiently documented, these precious documents not only present serious problems of interpretation, but also offer often surprising insights into stylistic change and cultural adaptation. Contributions of 30 minutes are invited, which relate either to individual collections or collectors, regional traditions of early collecting, or artifact types of early, historically collected material from North America east of the Rocky Mountains.

2. Native Americans and Museums
The European and Euro-American collecting and display of Native American material cultural documents has a long history reflecting changing attitudes and modes of representation of Otherness. The more recent interest of Native American communities in self-representation through the adaptation of the Western model of the museum poses interesting questions regarding the role of objects in the constitution of cultural memory and the reflection about the past. Papers of 30 minutes are invited that deal with either Native American or Western concerns and practices in relation to archaeological and ethnographic material as well as works of art from indigenous North America, including the reflection of these issues in literature and the arts.

3. Current Research
The Workshop's traditional Current Research session provides a forum for brief presentations (20 minutes) of recent research in all fields relating to Native American history, languages, literature, arts, and culture

Proposals for presentations, including a title and abstract of up to 100 words, may be submitted to Christian Feest ( ) before 15 March 2007.

Amazon vouchers to be won!

From Art-Line:

How easy is it for you to identify resources for your research? If you use library catalogues to identify or find resources for your research, the Research Information Network would like to hear about your use of catalogues and your views about their availability.

Go to to complete a short questionnaire for a chance to win one of six £50 Amazon vouchers.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Journal: New issue of 'Museums and Social Issues' available free online

From H-Museum:

I'm writing to let you know about the newest issue of "Museums and Social Issues" (MSI) journal. The focus of the issue is "A Culture of Sustainability", which seems increasingly timely given the current and expanding concern for such issues as climate change, local/global violence, economic inequity and so on. How are museums responding to these forces? could they be responding?... why should museums care? Each of these questions are discussed in the "A Culture of Sustainability" issue of the MSI journal. Until the end of January, Left Coast Press , the publisher of MSI, is making the journal available for FREE, as pdf downloads. This is an introductory offer to celebrate the launch of the new electronic download feature on their website. So, if you want to check out what some of your colleagues from Canada, the USA, Europe and Australia have to say about the challenges and opportunities of engaging the 'sustainability agenda' by museums , then go to and select "Number 2 /Fall 2006". If you check out the journal, you'll get a good feeling for the distinct character of MSI and hopefully think of it as a place for engaging in discussion about the cultural issues of our times and their potential meaningfulness for the museum profession.

Best wishes for 2007!

Douglas Worts
Culture and Sustainability Specialist (Interpretive Planner, Canadian Art, Art Gallery of Ontario) Toronto, Ontario, Canada
personal website:

For budding Hercule Poirots and Miss Marples...

From H-Museum:

Thieves beware: museum curators are after you

Faced with the prospect of dissolution, the Art and Antiques Unit of the Metropolitan Police has come up with a new idea—to recruit curators and art historians as special constables. The scheme, dubbed Art Beat, is set to start in April. This is the first time the police has attempted to recruit such specialist volunteers. For full story click here.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Forthcoming research seminar: Monday, 15th January 2007

Reminder - The Museum Studies Research Seminar Series 2006/7
Monday 15th January 2007 at 1pm in the Dept of Museum Studies

Dr Joan Anim-Addo will make the first presentation of the Museum Studies Research Seminar Series 2007, on 15th January 2007 at 1.00pm. Museum Studies is an interdisciplinary field and all are welcome to this ‘Brown Bag’ (bring a sandwich) lunchtime event. Refreshments are served.

Please note this meeting and all meetings of the 2007 programme will be held in the Lecture Room, Dept of Museum Studies, 105 Princess Rd East.

For further details, or to join the email list, contact Viv Golding .

15 January 2007
Dr Joan Anim-Addo (Goldsmiths College, University of London)
Venue: Lecture Room, Dept of Museum Studies, 105 Princess Rd East

The Black Body: Representation and the Museum??

We are delighted to welcome Dr Joan Anim-Addo to start the 2007 programme at Leicester. Dr Anim-Addo’s presentation will begin with a reading of Marlene Nourbese Philip’s short paper ‘Museum could have avoided culture clash’, copies of which will be provided for all participants. Then Dr Anim-Addo will provide information about the ‘Black Body in Europe’ project. This project involves an interdisciplinary and international group of academics interested in raising awareness of cultural diversity within the museum and increasing intercultural understanding in the wider world. Next Dr Anim-Addo will move her discussion to the ‘Visible Inside the Museum’ project hosted at the Horniman Museum in London during the 1990s and out of which the 21st century Black Body network grew. This will offer a unique insider view of the extra-museum interpretations, which Dr Viv Golding outlined at the Seminar Series last term. Finally Dr Anim-Addo will direct the use of a museum handling collection to inspire creative writing and there will be some ‘mini-writing time’ for participants to make their own interpretations before Joan presents excerpts from a range of CWWA (The Caribbean Women Writers Alliance) publications.

Dr Anim-Addo is Director of the Caribbean Centre and a lecturer in the Dept of English at Goldsmiths College, University of London. She is a co-founder, with Diana Birch, of the Mango Publishing house, which disseminates literature with a focus on the Black experience ( Her doctoral work was in the field of Caribbean Women’s writing. Dr Anim-Addo has published widely in this area and speaks regularly at conference around the world. Her recent publications include: Touching the Body: African Caribbean Women’s Writing, which draws on her doctoral thesis and Haunted by History a collection of poetry. A full list is available at the Goldsmiths and Mango print websites.

The new Attic!

You will have noticed a few aesthetic changes to The Attic today. This is because the blog has finally been migrated to the new version of Blogger (the publishing software we use), which - apart from making it easier to manage behind the scenes - enables a few little extras designed to enhance the useability (if that's a word!) of the blog. For example, we can now add labels to each post, allowing for keyword searches. The current list of labels (which I'm sure will be expanded over the coming days and weeks) now appear in the right-hand column. Clicking on any of the labels will return a list of the posts related to that subject. Please note, I've only just started to attach labels to old posts, and it's going to take a little while to complete the task. Please bear with me.

One or two other things to note are that the 'recent comments' box which appeared in the right-hand column of the old version of the blog has, unfortunately, disappeared. I'm working on retrieving this. And finally, although only my profile is currently appearing on the front page, the Attic is still a collaborative blog: the other team members' profiles will reappear (hopefully!) on the front page when they have completed the necessary changes to their blogger accounts prompted by the new version of Blogger (fingers crossed!).


I saw an interesting little programme on BBC1 this morning, on just after the Breakfast News: 'What I'd really like to do'. Each day, the presenter Adrian Chiles has tried his hand at one of ten dream jobs compiled from a poll commissioned by the BBC, from being a doctor to a professional footballer. Today's featured career was writing. In his task to write a picture book for children, he took advice from a diverse range of publishing professionals, illustrators, journalists and authors (though Jeffrey Archer was at pains to say that he was, in fact, a 'storyteller' - yeah, that's one way of putting it mate!).

It was reassuring to find out that most of the novelists and journalists interviewed had problems getting started on a piece of writing and needed the motivation of deadlines to get anything done. Frederick Forsyth, apparently, types at least ten pages of A4 everyday before his leaves his desk. That sounds like an awful lot, though I guess writing fiction is a very different kettle of fish to producing a PhD thesis. But I like the idea of setting targets, or at the very least getting into some sort of routine when I'm trying to write. But there are just so many distractions! I think I'm doing well if I manage about three-four hours work a day. Is that too little? Or, just about normal?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Calls for papers received 9th Jan 07

From H-Museum

Call for Papers
Spring Cleaning: Rediscovering and Revitalizing the Artifact
University of Calgary Free Exchange Graduate Conference
16-18 March 2007

For more information, please visit Free Exchange at

"History is of the essence, true, but she can also be a bully."
Noah Richler
This is my Country, What's Yours?

"The Mole had been working very hard all the morning, spring-cleaning his little home..Spring was moving in the air above and in the earth below and around him, penetrating even his dark and lowly little house with its spirit of divine discontent and longing."
Kenneth Grahame
The Wind in the Willows

The study of the artifact should not remain inextricably linked to history.We are asking potential participants to search in familiar as well as newlocations for objects previously lost or forgotten. Search in Jacques Derrida's archive or Robert Kroetsch's Canada. Items may be found between the layers of Michel Foucault's archaeology or Peggy Phelan's cultural memory. We can't remember where or how we left them; they could be anywhere, doing anything. We only ask that you re-envision these relics and breathe new life into them.

Suggested topics for panels or papers include, but are not limited to, the following:
- artifact as metaphor/metonym
- the rhetoric of artifact
- embodying the artifact
- the absence of the artifact
- object(ing) to the artifact
- the digital artifact
- the manuscript or text as artifact
- the history or theory of artifact/the artifact as history or theory
- the (en)graven artifact
- variations on "artifact" (art(i)fact; art/fact; the art of fact)

Deadline for general submissions: 2 February 2007

Please submit 500 word proposals (for papers approx. 15 minutes in length) to conference organizers Robyn Read ( ) or Owen Percy ( ). Attachments should be in Rich Text or Word format only, and please include your name, professional affiliation, and contact information in the body of your email:

Owen Percy
PhD Student
Department of English
University of Calgary

Robyn Read
PhD Student
Department of English
University of Calgary


Call For Papers
Inaugural Science Communication Postgraduate Conference
Science & the Public Conference: interdisciplinary approaches

Imperial College
19th May 2007

Science studies research tends to focus on "the lab", being chiefly concerned with the internal workings of the scientific community. This conference aims to bring together the strands of academia that consider science as it intersects with non-scientific cultures.The conference title's dichotomy between "science" and "the public"consciously references the approach often taken by the scientific community.We are aware of the variety of problems of referring to the "the public";research problematising the term may form part of the conference programme.Other topics covered may include:

* Science and the arts (including science fiction)
* Innovation studies and science policy research
* Popular science
* NGOs, science and development
* The continuing application of the "deficit model"
* Public programmes aiming at "Engagement with Science"
* Boundary work
* Specific media: films, the internet, museums, radio and others
* Science and education: young vs. old, formal vs. informal

There is no especially contemporary focus and historical work on any of these areas would be most welcome. Neither do we limit submission to those within the science studies community, or only from the UK. We hope to attract delegates from a wide variety of disciplines; bringing together researchers from science and technology studies, science communication,history, cultural studies, psychology, anthropology, literary criticism,education, museum studies, sociology, media studies, policy studies, geography and others.We would particularly like to encourage those who take a critical approachto the topics described above to submit abstracts. Moreover we should stressthis is an academic - rather than practitioner-focussed - conference.

Abstracts (no longer than 300 words) for a 20-minute presentation should be emailed to by 1st March 2007. Enquires also to this address.The conference fee is £10 and there may be travel grants available to those giving papers (details will follow).

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Cold War Expo Symposium, V&A, Friday 5th January 2007

While the museum world seems quiet and there's little news to report (apart from the frankly stunning revelation that the BBC is in talks with Morrissey to pen the UK's 2007 Eurovision entry - not that that has ANYTHING to do with museums, it just excites me intensely!), I thought I'd write briefly about a symposium I went to last Friday.

The V&A are planning an exhibition of Cold War design in 2008 (by all accounts, it looks like it's going to be great), and the two day symposium (I only went to the second day) marked the start of the planning process. The first paper (Creative America: The US Pavilion at Expo '67, by Rebecca Dalvesco, The Art Institute of Chicago) of the day focused on the Expo held in Montreal at the height of the Space Race and the frantic oneupmanship displayed by the designers of the American pavilion in response to leaked information about an anti-gravity simulator at the focul point of the Soviet presentation. This was followed by Irina Murray's (British Architectural Library, RIBA) paper, Culture and Conflict Among the Caribou: Geopolitics and the Czechoslovak Pavilion at Expo '67, which focused on the Czechoslovakian pavilion at the same Expo, which was notable for its state of the art multimedia presentations and the conscious decision on the part of the designers to challenge perceptions of communist society in the West, and thus, for the complete absence of socialist realist themes or iconography.

Harriet Atkinson's (Royal College of Art) paper, Domesticating the Atom? Detecting the Cold War in the 1951 Festival of Britain Exhibitions, appealed to me most, with her main argument being that while virtually no explicit reference was made to the contemporary geopolitical situation in the textual material accompanying the exhibitions and events that made up the festival, the Festival of Britain by design had EVERYTHING to do with the Cold War, the promotion of atomic power/weaponry and the ideological promotion of the nation as family. Her paper was followed, after lunch, by Conway Lloyd Morgan's (University of Wales, Newport) presentation, Pleasure Domes with Caves of ? Bucky in Kabul, which focused on a World's Fair hosted by the King of Afghanistan in 1956, and which witnessed the eleventh hour participation of the US when the strategic significance of Afghanistan was recognised. The final paper for which I was present for its entirety (had to leave early to catch the train!) was Jonathan Sweet's (Deakin University, Melbourne) Cold War Exhibition Intrigue in Indo-China: Laos' That Luang Fair in the 1960s, which presented research in progress into an obscure and barely documented exposition which took place in - at that time - the 'epicentre of Cold War tension'.

What was fascinating, and which all the papers revealed, was the propagandist potential of exhibition and display, tied up with ideas about architecture as performance and locked into visions and conceptions of the Other (here, the communist Other). By continually emphasising its own openness and transparency and providing public access to the 'real thing (e.g. genuine artefacts of the Apollo missions supplied by NASA), the West (and particularly America) sought to manipulate, promote and consolidate its self image amongst its own citizens, potential allies and those beyond the Iron Curtain, for whom any tangible contact with the West would otherwise have been highly unlikely and problematic, to say the least. Of course this public relations exercise in self-promotion worked both ways, with communist regimes seeking to assert their identity and validity by employing similar methods. If I had one criticism of the programme, it would be that there was not enough material giving the alternate, non-Western perspective of the Expo phenomenon. Photographic glimpses of the pavilions of Cultural Revolution-era People's Republic of China and the USSR at the fair held in Laos in the late 60s, left me wanting to see more. From a personal perspective, not only did the symposium provide some contextual material for my own research, it offered the opportunity to spend a day listening to papers produced, for the most part, by non-museum studies researchers, providing exciting new perspectives on issues relating to exhibition and display.

As a final point, I would like to draw your attention to the new Cold War exhibit to open at the RAF Museum in February. After years of neglect it would appear that the political context of the post-war period is, at long last, finally deemed suitable for interpretation and presentation in the museum environment. A period of time which, afterall, will have affected all of our lives (except the very young amongst us!) to a greater or lesser extent on a daily basis until the thawing of relations between the East and West (yuck - problematic terms at the best of times!) in the late 1980s.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Teaching vacancies

The Open University currently has vacancies for Associate Lecturers. Might be worth considering if your CV could do with a little extra teaching experience...

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Procrastination and second-hand books

Just a quick post. I should be doing work, specifically reading 'Orientalism' (for the third time), but I decided on a spot of retail therapy to cheer myself up and just ordered a couple of books (research-related no less!) from It occurred to me that not all of you will know about Abebooks (an online second-hand bookshop/exchange site), and so thought I should blog it! The site is particularly good for tracking down copies of out-of-print and academic books and, for the most part, the American suppliers are cheaper than those based in the UK. I've ordered loads of books through the site in the last couple of years and have never had any cause to complain or be less than satisfied with the service provided (touch wood!). And they're not even paying me to say that! ;)

Other than that exciting interlude, as far as work goes I'm pretty under-motivated being at home. In fact this just about sums my lifestyle up at the moment!

Calls for papers...

These two are both from H-ArtHist and although, strictly speaking, neither are directly about museological issues, it sounds like there would be some scope for museum-based papers.

Panel n°33 "Visualizing Africa, from there to here, between now and then".
This panel will take place during the 2nd European Conference of African Studies, organized by the Aegis, in Leyden (Nederlands), July 11th-14th 2007.

The panel will focus on the visual representation of Africa, African visual arts & artists, and art markets, both in Africa and in the Western world.

Deadline for submission: January the 21st, 2007.

Panel precise description:
Information on the AEGIS conference in Leyden:
All abstracts must be submitted through:

University of York, 5-8 July 2007

Proposals for twenty-minute presentations or panels of three to four presenters are invited for a conference entitled \"Real Things: Matter,Materiality, Representation, 1880 to the present,\" to be held at theUniversity of York, England and co-sponsored by the University of Sussex.

Keynote speakers:
Bill Brown
Mary Ann Doane
Hal Foster
Patrick Keiller
Hermione Lee
Edmund White

This conference proposes a re-engagement with representational realism and its objects and effects across a wide range of aesthetic, critical and theoretical practices, from 1880 to the present day. We seek to engage cutting-edge work that raises new questions about the status of the object of representation; representations as archives of material history; the shifts in representational practices associated with modernism and postmodernism; the changing status of real bodies and lives (as opposed to their representations) as objects of analysis in the humanities; and the politics of these transitions.

Topics of interest include but are notlimited to the following:-
-Realism as modernism/modernism as realism
--Rethinking photographic indexicality; cinema and/as archive
--Paintings, documents, realism: literary and visual representation
--The turn to science
--Postmodernism, realism and the real
--Representation and the psychoanalytic Real
--Evidence, document and representation
--New philosophies of nature
--Documentary film practices
--Biopolitics, biopower, bodies
--Forensics, indices and popular culture
--Performance, theatricality and materiality
--Success and/or failure of representation
--Presentation vs. representation
--New technologies, representation and embodiment
--Anti-sublimation and resistance to metaphor

Please send 250-word paper abstracts and 1000-word panel abstracts to by 1 Febraury 2007. For more information, please contact

Victoria Coulson, University of York
Jane Elliott, University of York
John David Rhodes, University of Sussex

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Review on Jeanette's Seminar (11th Dec. 06)

Review on Jeanette Atkinson’s Research Seminar (11th December 2006)
By Lena Lee

Jeanette’s seminar on holistic review of her research methodology was a very interesting seminar which keeps me awake and focus on the main subject. It was the last seminar series of the year and the finale of 2006 was an academic essential of all PhD research.
Incredibly there are loads of written materials on research plan and methodologies in every disciplines but it is also interesting to point out that these books are many but we have to pick exactly what we need to read and apply onto our research for the museum sake. What the most useful thing for museum studies students (presumably the student are all of us who are studying under the discipline of MS) can be the seminar like Jeanette gave us. Pragmatic, MS driven, and of course vigorously made by MS researcher.
As a PhD student in the multi-disciplines of humanities, social sciences and etcetera, the rigorous research mythology is a very requisite item that we need to equip and so Jeanette’s methodology on her field work in New Zealand seems to provide a very good opportunity to review their own projects for PhDs.
Jeanette reviewed the entire process of the research from the very beginning and so, I assume, it would give all first and second year phds an appropriate advice for preparing their fieldworks. Not only for those whose first and second year up for the planning their research, but also for me (or someone who is at the last stage of their PhD), the seminar gives a timely chance to review my own research design.
Particularly the part that Jeanette plans to contact with the interviewees after the completion of the research reminds me exactly what I have to do right now. Researchers who want to keep the contacts or intellectual networks with those key informants identified during the research definitely need to take more action after the fieldwork, and so the idea Jeanette posed is just right on time!

I, personally, really enjoyed the entire seminar alongside with the fabulous photos of New Zealand. As a PhD student, I hope to see more seminars like Jeanette’s one next term as well, and I strongly believe that the more phd students’ research (or fieldwork) experiences shared with other students, the stronger research design and plan can be made by each one of us as post graduate researchers!

I would like to give you a big thanks to Jeanette and also to those who contribute themselves to organise this series of seminars.
Thank you to all!