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, July 30, 2008

Publication: Museums & Social Issues, 3 (1)

From H-Museum:

Museums & Social Issues: A Journal of Reflective Discourse
Vol. 3, N. 1, Spring 2008

Where is Queer?
Edited by John Fraser and Joe E. Heimlich


As museum practitioners, we work hard to acknowledge and embrace our visitors' unique backgrounds and experiences, which significantly impact their museum experiences. But in our discourse about visitor diversity, have we considered the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer community enough? This important volume addresses this long-neglected topic through insightful essays that investigate the relationship between sexuality and museums, that present practical ideas for effectively engaging museum visitors who identify as GLBTQ, and that compel museum professionals to be more reflective about our practice and our biases.

Table of Contents

Editor's Note
Kris Morrissey

Where Are We?
John Fraser and Joe E. Heimlich

The Museum's Silent Sexual Performance
James H. Sanders, III

Secret Museums: Hidden Histories of Sex and Sexuality
Stuart Frost

Theorizing the Queer Museum
Robert Mills

Embracing our Erotic Intelligence
Paul Gabriel

So, Where Is Queer? A Critical Geography of Queer Exhibitions in Australia
Andrew Gorman-Murray

M or F? Gender, Identity and the Transformative Research Paradigm
Donna M. Mertens, John Fraser, and Joe E. Heimlich

Gay and Lesbian Visitors and Cultural Institutions: Do They Come? Do They
Care? A Pilot Study
Joe E. Heimlich and Judy Koke

Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals: The Curator's View
Edward J. Phillips

Queer Collections Appear
Anne W. Clark and Geoffrey B. Wexler

Gay Ohio History Initiative as a Model for Collecting Institutions
Stacia Kuceyeski

REVIEW: The National Museum of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender History
Kathleen Condon

REVIEW: Experiencing the Work of Jeff Wall
lore m. dickey

REVIEW: National Constitution Center
Jenny Sayre Ramberg

Resources for Where is Queer?
Emily Meyer


To order this issue, visit our website at

Journal ISSN: 1559-6893
Issue ISBN: 978-1-59874-993-9

Individuals: $25
Museums: $45
Institutions: $75

To subscribe to the Museum & Social Issues semi-annual journal, visit our
website at

For more information, contact Stefania Van Dyke at

Stefania R. Van Dyke
Museum Studies and Practice
Left Coast Press, Inc.
Journal orders: 925-935-3380 phone/fax
Book orders: 800-426-3979 phone/fax
1630 N. Main Street #400
Walnut Creek, CA 94596

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Conference Alert: The Changing Role of Marketing in Museums

From H-Museum:

The Changing Role of Marketing in Museums
Science Museum London
Wednesday 3 September

The 2008 Museum Marketing Conference looks at the changing role of marketing in museums.
Come and network with museum marketing professionals from all over the UK and overseas. This one-day conference examines how museum marketing professionals need to respond to the new challenges and opportunities now open to them.

With greater influence and responsibility, the role of marketing professionals in museums, galleries and heritage sites has never before been so vital or exciting. Come and discover the possibilities.

Conference Contributors include:
Tracey McGeagh
Director of Marketing & Communications, National Museums Liverpool

Bruno Bahunek
Marketing Manager, Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb

Rachel Collins
Communications Manager, Wellcome Collection

Adam Lumb
Head of Marketing & Communications, Museums Sheffield

Dagmar Smeed
Head of Communications, Brunel's ss Great Britain

Jim Richardson
Creative Director, SUMO Museum Branding

Lindsey Moore
Client Services Manager, liquid

Greg Chamberlain
Norfolk House
499 Silbury Boulevard
Milton Keynes

Publication: Journal of Museum Education, 33 (1)

From H-Museum:

Journal of Museum Education
A Publication of the Museum Education Roundtable
Vol. 33, N. 1, Spring 2008

Adult Learning in Museums
Guest Editor: Robin S. Grenier


Many museums' missions emphasize visitor-centeredness, but relatively little research in the field has been dedicated to one of museums' most numerous constituents: the adult museum visitor. This issue of the Journal of Museum Education examines this important audience. As guest editor Robin S. Grenier states in her introduction to this volume, "Although each article looks at adult education in museums in a slightly different way and from the perspective of different adult populations, each challenges us as scholars and practitioners to broaden our own understanding of adult education and hopefully fosters a dialogue about museums as sites of adult learning."

Table of Contents

From the Guest Editor
Robin S. Grenier

Nonformal and Informal Adult Learning in Museums: A Literature Review
Dana Dudzinska-Przesmitzki and Robin S. Grenier

Museum Education: A Nonformal Education Perspective
Edward W. Taylor and Amanda C. Neill

New Directions in Adult Education
Lynn McRainey

Self-Directed Learning: Implications for Museums
Richard Banz

Rethinking Museums' Adult Education for K-12 Teachers
Alan S. Marcus

Out on the Floor: Experiential Learning and the Implications for the
Preparation of Docents
Robin S. Grenier and Barry Sheckley

From the Editor
Monica M. Smith

To order this issue, visit our website at
Journal ISSN: 1059-8650
Issue ISBN: 978-1-59874-804-8

Individuals: $25
Museums: $40
Institutions: $70

To subscribe to the Journal of Museum Education, published every Spring,
Summer, and Fall, visit our website at Members of the Museum Education
Roundtable (MER) receive a subscription to the journal and a discount on
back issues as part of their membership. To join MER, go to

For more information, contact Stefania Van Dyke at

Stefania R. Van Dyke
Museum Studies and Practice
Left Coast Press, Inc.
Journal orders: 925-935-3380 phone/fax
Book orders: 800-426-3979 phone/fax
1630 N. Main Street #400
Walnut Creek, CA 94596

Monday, July 28, 2008

Calling all knitters!

Knitted knickers by the queen of subtle

Some of you will already know about my current knitting obsession. Really, it could jeopardise my PhD. ;) Seriously I find it a great way to turn off my frazzled brain and relax. So, imagine my delight to find, not only a Ravelry group devoted to 'Museum Knitters', but a 'PhD Procrastination' group too! (For the uninitiated Ravelry is rather like a Facebook for knitters - but rather more exclusive. You have apply to join.)

Knitters of the world unite!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Publication/CFP: Material Culture Review

From H-Material Culture:

Material Culture Review / Revue de la culture materielle (MCR) is Canada’s leading journal for the study of material culture. MCR seeks to provide a venue for refereed articles and reports encompassing a range of approaches to interpret culture through an analysis of people’s relationships with their material world. It is our intention to expand the journal to a global audience. Graduate students and scholars at any phase of their professional career, professionals and historians from the art and museum world, and independent scholars with an interest in material culture are encouraged to submit. The scope of the publication is wide and includes new research from many fields of material culture including, cultural history, art history, archaeology, anthropology and architecture. More specifically, current editors are interested in developing themes around:

- labour and material culture
- religious material culture
- agricultural material culture
- intangible cultural heritage
- First Nations material culture
- cultural tourism
- inventorying culture
- virtual museums
- vernacular architecture

Managed by the Center for Cape Breton Studies at Cape Breton University, manuscripts are published in either of Canada’s official languages—French or English—with abstracts in both languages.

MCR is distributed to over 250 universities, libraries, research institutions, and museums in fifteen countries.

For more information, please visit or contact:

Marie MacSween
Material Culture Review
Revue de la culture matérielle
Cape Breton University
PO Box 5300, 1250 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, Nova Scotia, B1P 6L2
Telephone 902.563.1990
Fax 902.563.1910

Thursday, July 24, 2008

And now for some positive news...

Photo of the William Morris Gallery, by Chailey
Continuing the theme of the previous post, I read in the current issue of Art Quarterly that a Heritage Lottery Fund bid has been entered on behalf of the William Morris Gallery, the future of which has been in doubt for some time. In addition, Waltham Forest Council has committed additional funds to the budget, installed an extra member of staff and extended opening hours. All good news.

You can read more on the 'Keep Our Museums Open' campaign blog.

Bletchley Park: Under Threat

A group of 'leading computer scientists' have today called for Government investment in Bletchley Park, the site of war time code-breaking.

Photo of an 'Enigma' machine on display at Bletchley Park, by Tim Gage

Read more here and here. And, if you are so inclined, you have the opportunity to sign the petition on the PM's website, and buy a piece of Bletchley history to aid the fundraising campaign.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

CFP: World Heritage and National Registers in Perspective

From H-Material Culture:

Expanded Call for Papers:

6th Savannah Symposium: World Heritage and National Registers in Perspective

Due to requests to include sites and issues related to National Registries and the receipt of a Georgia Humanities Council grant, the Department of Architectural History at the Savannah College of Art and Design has expanded its paper requests for its 6th biennial symposium, February 19-21, 2009. The Savannah Symposia were conceived as a forum for scholarly discourse about themes related to architecture and urbanism across historical periods, cultures and disciplines. The theme for the 2009 symposium is World Heritage and National Registers in Perspective.

The Sixth biennial Savannah Symposium invites papers that explore the architectural and spatial elements of cultural properties on the World Heritage and National Register lists and the many issues related to the creation, development and maintenance of these lists. Paper sessions will focus on the broader context of heritage designation as a significant factor in furthering the study of the built environment globally, nationally and locally. Potential questions that papers might take as their focus include: How are the criteria for designation made manifest in a building, site or city? How have contemporary or past national or international politics bolstered or interfered with a given site's application? How does National or World Heritage designation affect a site's growth and change over time? What are the positive and negative consequences of World Heritage or National Register designation for the study and preservation of the built environment? How are the national rights of sovereign states balanced against those of the international community in the context of World Heritage sites, and how is this balance negotiated within the differing member states? Likewise, how are the rights of individuals balanced against those of the national community in the context of National Registers, and how is this balance negotiated at the National, state/provincial and local levels? What is the impact of global tourism on World Heritage and National Register sites?

The symposium will be highlighted by three keynote speakers: Zahi Hawass, renowned Egyptologist and Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt; Ronald Lewcock, international conservator and professor at the University of Queensland; and Harold Kalman, prominent Canadian architectural historian and member of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. Papers are invited from scholars and practitioners in, but not limited to, architecture, architectural history, urban history, planning, historic preservation, landscape design, art history, geography, archaeology, cultural history, sociology, political science and anthropology.

How to Participate: Send one-page abstracts and curriculum vitae to Thomas Gensheimer ( ) or Celeste Lovette Guichard ( ), Department of Architectural History, Savannah College of Art and Design, P.O. Box 3146, Savannah, GA 31402-3146. Electronic submissions are preferred.

Extended Deadline for Submissions: August 31, 2008

Conference Alert: Exhibiting Antiquity

From the museum & society listserv:


18th/19th September 2008
Birkbeck, University of London

What place does the exhibited object have in the reception of classical antiquity?

What is at stake in acquiring such objects, in displaying them, in viewing them, in the museum and beyond? This two-day international conference (generously supported by the British Academy) will bring together those working on classical reception studies and English literature, as well as art historians, museologists, curators, archaeologists and intellectual historians to discuss the part played by the display of objects in the reception of the classical world from the eighteenth century to the present.

Confirmed speakers include: Elizabeth Prettejohn, Kenneth Lapatin, Caroline Vout, Athena Leoussi, Stefano-Maria Evangelista, Debbie Challis, Michael Hatt, Katherine Harloe, Alain Schnapp.

For further details and to make a booking, please see the conference website:

Organisers: Catharine Edwards, Kate Nichols, Luisa Calè

More NaMu news...

The conference proceedings of workshop III in Oslo, 19-21 November 2007, are now available online. The publication contains 12 articles including Saphinaz-Amal Naguib’s keynote.

You can easily access the publication through the following link:

You can also follow the link from the website of Linkoping University Electronic Press, where, among other conference proceedings, you will also find the proceedings of NaMu I, and NaMu IV.

All articles are searchable in the EP database which you will find through the following address:

Best wishes from

Arne Bugge Amundsen & Andreas Nyblom

CFP: NaMu (Workshop 6)

This call reminds me that I'm yet to finish off the series of blog posts reviewing the last NaMu workshop - oops!

Call for papers

Making National Museums (NaMu)

Inspired by both the original framework for the NaMu network project, the contributions to the five first NaMu workshops and the very impressive variety of approaches and discussions the organizers have decided to dedicate the sixth and last NaMu workshop to

1) concluding discussions of scopes and perspectives in scholarly investigations of national museums, and
2) presentations and discussions of suggested contributions to a concluding book project on current national museum research.

University of Oslo, Norway, 17-19 November 2008

Old and new participants are welcomed. For the complete call see

Arne Bugge Amundsen
Peter Aronsson
Simon Knell

CFP: Intersections

From H-ArtHist:



2 ­ 4 APRIL 2009

Manchester Metropolitan University, MIRIAD
Call for Papers

The 35th Association of Art Historians conference will focus on the intersections (connections, linkages, overlaps) of art history with different disciplinary, methodological, political and historical spaces.

It is hoped that the sessions will attract participants from across disciplines and art practices to open up fully debates and explorations of art history as a discipline of intersections.

If you would like to offer a paper, please visit the list of sessions and the 'Call for Papers' for the individual sessions which are posted on the websites of both the AAH and MIRIAD

Paper abstracts need to be submitted directly to the session convenor(s), not to the conference convenor. You will find a Paper Submission Form on the websites.

Deadline for submission of paper abstracts: 10 November 2008.

Conference Convenor: Patricia Allmer,
Conference and Bookfair Administrator: Cheryl Platt,
MIRIAD, Manchester Metropolitan University, Righton Building, Cavendish Street, Manchester, M 15 6BG

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

CFP/Publications: Material Culture Review

From H-Material Culture:

Call for Submissions:

Material Culture Review invites submission of new research from the field of material culture including, cultural history, public history, art history, geography, archaeology, anthropology, architecture and intangible cultural heritage. The editors encourage submissions from graduate students and scholars at any phase of their professional career, professionals and historians from the art and museum world and from independent scholars with an interest in material culture.

The editors are currently interested in developing theme issues around the following topics:

Labour and Material Culture
Religious Material Culture
Needle Work: Knitting, Embroidery and Crocheting
Material Culture of Agriculture
First Nations Material Culture
Intangible Cultural Heritage
Inventorying Culture
Cultural Tourism
The Virtual Museum
Vernacular Architecture

We would welcome expressions of interest in guest editing an issue relating to any of the aforementioned themes.

MCR is distributed to more than 250 universities, research institutes, museums and libraries, in thirty countries. Submission information and guidelines can be found on-line at

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

First date in a museum?

Just a quick post - I heard on the radio yesterday that 9% of women said that a museum was the ideal place for a first date. What do people think about that? I'm not sure it would be my first choice to be honest!

CFP: Conference on the Historical Use of Images

Forwarded by The Attic's Belgian correspondent:

C-HIM: Conference on the Historical Use of Images
An International Workshop Organised by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Free University
of Brussels) and FARO – Vlaams Steunpunt voor Cultureel Erfgoed, Belgium
Date: March 11, 2009
Location: FARO – Vlaams Steunpunt voor Cultureel Erfgoed
Priemstraat 51
1000 Brussels

Call for Papers
This international workshop addresses the importance, significance and value of images
for contemporary historical and archaeological research and the study of cultural heritage
(1880-1980), focusing both on the positive insights that might be garnered from visual
material as well as on the possible difficulties.

Photographs, posters, drawings, comic book illustrations et cetera will be examined on
different levels: the author and his/her intentions, the representation of a reality, the
construction of identities, rights and inequalities and the reception of images.
The workshop aims at debating and evaluating various methodological and theoretical
approaches to using images as historical sources and interpret the images as valuable
historical evidence that is equal to and supplements other sources available to historians,
archaeologists and researchers in the field of cultural heritage.

The morning session consists of a masterclass, conducted by dr. Anne Cronin
(Department of Sociology, University of Lancaster, UK), and a lecture by dr. Marga
Altena (Working group Visual Culture) (under reserve). In the afternoon, dr. Kees
Ribbens (historian, The Netherlands Institute for War Documentation) will talk about his
experience in the field of popular culture and cultural heritage and about how visual
sources determine our vision of the past. Thereafter, PhD and Master students and other
researchers are invited to present their research.

We invite paper submissions on a range of topics related to the use of images as historical evidence and encourage papers on the following themes:

• aspects of everyday life (e.g. housing)
• material culture and the cultural life of objects
• advertising
• the impact of visual sources on our vision of the past
• cultural and representational issues (gender, ethnicity, sexuality, power)
• consumer culture
• methodological approaches to visual sources
• images as cultural heritage

The format is a 20 minute paper presentation followed by 10 minutes of questions and
discussion. PhD and Master students and other young researchers are particularly
encouraged to respond. The language of communication is English.
A selection of the papers will be published (in English) in a special issue of the Revue
Belge de Philologie et d’Histoire.

Abstracts and papers
Interested students and researchers are expected to submit a short curriculum and an
abstract in English of approximately 300 words in electronic form to:
by 20 October 2008.

Submission should inlcude the author’s name, affiliation, address, phone number and email.
Succesful applicants will be notified by 25 October 2008 and are asked to submit a paper
of approximately 6000 words in electronic form to the same address by 4 March 2009.

Registration and lunch: 15 euro
For further information, please check

Joeri Januarius
Nelleke Teughels
PhD Students
Faculty of History
Faculty of Art History and Archaeology
Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Free University of Brussels)
Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels
Phone: +32 (0) 629 12 77

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

CFP: Visual Conflicts

From H-ArtHist:

Visual Conflicts: Art History and the Formation of Political Memory

Proposals are invited for a one-day conference to be held on 7 March 2009 at University College London.

At a time when issues concerning memory formation and the visual mediation of conflict are attracting a great deal of attention, we wish to explore ways in which visual culture has engaged with armed conflict and politically-motivated acts of violence of all types. The conference aims to provide a platform for developing links between issues of memory formation, the politics of violence and visual representation. Working with the analytical framework of the discipline of art history, we nevertheless wish to consider the entire field of visual representation, to include, for instance, documentary film, reportage as well as images produced by individual agents but that were made public in one way or another.

We wish to consider questions such as how pre-existing narratives of conflict condition the way in which we derive meaning from representations of politically motivated acts of violence and to explore the implications for art historical inquiry posed by shifts in imaging technologies and of the experience of war itself. While this call for papers is open to any suggestions that engage with this topic, we are particularly interested in receiving proposals that challenge received ways of thinking about the relationship between visual culture and the construction of narratives of conflict.

Abstracts of no more than 250 words, for 20 minutes presentations, from academics and postgraduate students, should be submitted to both conference organisers by 1 November 2008:
Paul Fox ( )
Gil Pasternak ( )

Monday, July 14, 2008

Website/Blog: Community Archives and Identities

The website/blog for the AHRC project 'Community Archives and Identities: Documenting and Sustaining Community Heritage', based at UCL is now live here Please bookmark the link and forward the information to anyone you think may be interested.

The aim of the project is to investigate the role community archives play in supporting a sense of rootedness and identity amongst black and other minority ethnic communities in particular. We are also interested in the role community archives play in raising awareness of these neglected histories in the wider public and challenging collective representations. How such projects can best be supported from both within and outside the mainstream archive sector is also a major theme of this research.

We hope that the blog will provide a forum for a wide discussion of some of the issues arising and we welcome contributions from anyone with an interest in this area - activists, archivists, family historians, researchers - and we're also keen to publicise talks, publications, events etc., so do please get in touch. We look forward to hearing from you!

For more information about the background to the project please visit our UCL pages or contact Andrew Flinn or Mary Stevens.

Mary Stevens.

*Apologies to anyone receiving this email more than once*

Mary Stevens, MA PhD
Research Associate
Community Archives and Identities: Documenting and Sustaining Community Heritage (AHRC project) School of Library, Archive and Information Studies University College London
tel: + 44 (0)20 7679 3232
ext: 33232

Sunday, July 13, 2008

CFP: Sharing Cultures 2009

Sharing Cultures 2009
International Conference on Intangible Heritage
Pico Island – Azores – PORTUGAL
30 May – 1 June 2009

Call for papers now open at:

- Description (short): Sharing Cultures 2009 aims at gathering in an International Conference worldwide experts and scholars on Cultural and Intangible Heritage. One of the main goals of the Conference is to promote significant discussion on these relevant issues, now that the General Assembly of UNESCO approved the Operational Directives and that the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage is fully operational.

The Scope of the Conference is available at:

- Contact person: Sérgio Lira (Prof.),

- Organiser:
Green Lines Institute for Sustainable Development
Av. Alcaides de Faria, 377, S.12
4750-106 Barcelos
Telephone: + 351 253 815 037
Fax: + 351 253 824 730

- website of the event:

- Steering Committee:
Brian Osborne, Emeritus Professor, Queen's University
Gregory Ashworth, Professor of Heritage Management and Urban Tourism, University of Grönigen
Tomislav Sola, Director of European Heritage Association, Professor of Museology, University of Zagreb

- Scientific Committee:

- Keynote Speakers (confirmed):
Susan Pearce, Emeritus Professor, University of Leicester (UK) Department of Museum Studies
Andrew Hall, Member ICOMOS International Executive Committee, President ICICH (International Committee on Intangible Cultural Heritage)

Radio: The Maltby Collection

BBC Radio 7 is repeating a BBC Radio 4 comedy series called The Maltby Collection, set in a London art museum threatened with closure.

You can listen to the first episode again via the BBC's iPlayer (UK only). The second episode is on tonight at 10.30pm (30 mins). Worth checking out, if only to marvel at the apparent ease Julian Rhind-Tutt's character gains museum employment! (And also cos someone I went to U.E.A. with, all those aeons ago, is in it!)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Well done Jeanette!

Website: Media Matters

Museum Consortium Launches Second Phase of Media Matters, A Website for the Management of Timed-Based Media Works of Art

Media Matters
Tate Gallery, SFMOMA, MoMA and The New Art Trust

Phone: n/a
Fax: n/a
Contact: Pip Laurenson, Tate Gallery

A consortium of curators, conservators, registrars, legal advisors, and media technical managers from New Art Trust, The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), and Tate has launched the second phase of Media Matters, an innovative website designed to provide international guidelines for the care of time-based media works of art (e.g. video, slide, film, audio, and computer-based installations). The consortium launched the first phase, on loaning time-based media works, in 2004. The second phase, launched in 2007, raises awareness about acquiring time-based media works.

The second phase of Media Matters is the result of a two-day meeting held in January 2007 at MoMA, sponsored by New Art Trust. Giving particular focus to the process of acquiring time-based works, the new content provides effective and practical acquisition methods, as well as tools for their implementation. The website addresses what to consider prior to purchasing a specific work, the activities that need to be completed before title can change hands, and how to prepare work for its future life within a collection. A range of templates has been provided, including copyright and purchase agreements, structure and condition reports, and a cost assessment. The consortium hopes that the information will be a valuable resource for artists, collectors, dealers, and museums who are especially concerned with the acquisition of time-based work.

About Media Matters

Since the late 1960s and early 1970s, artists have sold works to museums and collectors incorporating 35mm slides, video, film, audio, and computer-based elements. In light of advances in technology, which made the presentation of time-based media more accessible, such works have become an integral part of the contemporary art scene. Media Matters has, for the first time, brought together a group of professional curators, registrars, conservators, and technical and legal experts to raise awareness of the requirements of these works and to provide a practical response to the need for international agreement among museums.

The challenge of preserving and managing time-based media is one best met collaboratively, and, it is the group's hope that others will not only benefit from this information but will also contribute over time to the further refinement of methods for care of these works of art. The material is intended to aid to artists, collectors, dealers and museums, the primary custodians of time-based media.

Seminar: Public Preparation

Public Preparation: An international seminar on nationalism and contemporary art

Symptoms of nationalism and critique of nationalism in the practice of contemporary art.

Date: July 11, 2008

Venue: Pärnu Artists' House, Nikolai 27, Pärnu, Estonia


An international seminar in the series of Public Preparation events concentrating on the relations of contemporary art and nationalism in different places of the world.

The summer seminar furthers the current agenda of the Public Preparation project, continuing the thinking camp Exercises on Adhocray that took place in July 2007 and dealt with self-organisation and grassroots democracy in the field of contemporary art; it also follows discussions and debates from the international seminar Translocal Express. Jubilee Edition which addressed the growing tendencies of nationalism on Eastern borders of Europe (from Helsinki to Istanbul) and its relation to contemporary art. Let's not forget, that during this year many European nation states celebrate its 90th anniversary – these celebrations provide a vivid and indicative context to inspect and rethink the idea of nation and nation state but also the role of art in these ideological constructions.

In the upcoming seminar a number of contemporary art professionals – artists, curators and art historians – will give a comprehensive insight into the art scenes and dominant mentalities in the social realities they are active in. The aim of the seminar is to get an overview about diverse cultural and artistic situations from the perspective of national values. The series of inputs could become a ground from which to continue with comparative analyses, mapping and examining of similarities and differences.

Presentations by Kendra Ballingall (Winnipeg), Remco de Blaaij (Eindhoven), Övül Durmusoglu (Istanbul/Vienna), Ronen Eidelman (Tel Aviv/Weimar), Claire Feeley (Dublin), Erden Kosova (Istanbul), Johannes Paul Rather (Berlin), Sára Stenczer (Budapest/Paris), and Tamara Zlobina (Kiev); moderated by Rael Artel (Pärnu).

Detailed programme, abstracts and bios of the speakers are published at

The seminar language is English.

For better management please register at info(at)

Organiser: Public Preparation

Rael Artel



Public Preparation is an international platform for knowledge-production and network-based communication in the field of contemporary art. Public Preparation started in 2007 as a sequence of informal encounters which constituted the publicly visible preparation process of the Biennale of Young Artists, Tallinn 2007. After the exhibition was over, Public Preparation continues as an independent project and focuses on the problematics of nationalism in contemporary society.

The seminar is kindly supported by Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Estonian Ministry of Culture, European Cultural Foundation, Manitoba Arts Council, Pärnu Town Government, and Winnipeg Arts Council.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

CFP: Hayward Touring Curatorial Open 2009

This sounds like a really exciting opportunity!

Hayward Touring: Curatorial Open 2009. Call for Proposals
Southbank Centre
Phone: +44 (0)20 7921 0935

Curate a Hayward Touring exhibition.
Submit an innovative exhibition proposal.

Hayward Touring: Curatorial Open 2009 is the inaugural exhibition of a series of three annual Hayward Touring curatorial open calls. Hayward Touring in association with a number of regional museums and galleries invites proposals for an innovative exhibition, touring to four UK venues in 2009. For 40 years, The Hayward has played a key role in creating imaginative, high profile exhibitions in London and throughout the UK with Hayward Touring exhibitions. Hayward Touring annually presents around 22 shows to 650,000 people in approximately 86 venues throughout the UK. Exhibitions range in scale from the British Art Show, the largest survey of contemporary British art organised in the UK, to small graphics and photography shows.The successful applicant of the Hayward Touring: Curatorial Open will work in collaboration with the Hayward and four regional museums and galleries in organising their touring exhibition commencing July 2009. Hayward Touring: Curatorial Open provides a honorarium of £3,000 plus £1,000 for research and travel expenses. The curator will be expected to work within a modest exhibition budget that will allow for a small publication.

The selection panel includes Ralph Rugoff, Director, The Hayward, Roger Malbert, Senior Curator, Hayward Touring, representatives of the participating museums and galleries and an artist (to be announced).

Application deadline: 5pm Monday 8 September 2008
Short-listing: end of September 2008
Interviews: 14 October 2008
Download the application form and guidelines from the website or contact for details.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Conference Alert: The Contentious Museum

The ‘Contentious Museum’ conference will be held in Aberdeen 20-21 November 2008. The draft programme is now available at and bookings can start being made. Please pass on this link to anyone who may be interested.

Lecture: Interpreting Japanese Culture in the UK

Interpreting Japanese Culture in the UK
By John Reeve
Thursday 10 July at Asia House
Doors 6.30pm Talk 6.45-7.45pm
John Reeve, former Head of Education at the British Museum, spent two decades studying and working on the presentation of Japanese art to the Western public. Through his work on numerous Japanese exhibitions, two major Japan Festivals and the writing of three books introducing Japanese Arts, John Reeve is in a unique position to reflect on the interpretation of Japanese culture. He will discuss the changing contexts both in Britain and Japan and share his insights for potential dialogue and possible misinterpretation.

Presented in association with the Japan Society.

Asia House Friends & Concs £5/ Others £8
To book, please call 0207 307 5454 or email:


It's graduation week here at Leicester. Congratulations to Dr Jeanette Atkinson, Dr Lena Maculan and Dr Theopisti Stylianou-Lambert!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Seminar: Permanence in Contemporary Art

From H-Museum (I wonder if this is something Mette is involved with?!:

Permanence in Contemporary Art – Checking Reality

A seminar to be held the 3rd and 4th of November 2008, arranged by Statens Museum for Kunst in collaboration with The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen, Denmark

Statens Museum for Kunst (the Danish National Gallery) and the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Visual Arts, will be the organisers of an international seminar Permanence in Contemporary Art - Checking Reality addressing various critical issues surrounding the preservation and exhibition of contemporary artworks. The seminar will be held over two days from the 3rd to the 4th of November 2008.

The seminar, which will encourage interdisciplinary exchange between museum professionals including conservators, art historians, artists and others, will take place in conjunction with Reality Check, an exhibition at Statens Museum for Kunst, opening fall 2008. Reality Check will act as a thematic springboard for the seminar, addressing issues related to content, material, time, exhibition and context exemplified by works in the exhibition. The seminar will encourage participation and dialogue from within the greater Scandinavian region, as well as abroad.

With this seminar, Statens Museum for Kunst and The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, aim to contribute to the growing international professionalism and awareness associated with the preservation, installation, documentation and exhibition of contemporary artworks. The seminar will provide a forum for professionals working in the field to discuss crucial questions regarding authenticity, permanence/impermanence, artistic intent, reproducibility, and longevity of artworks – issues which illustrate the paradox into which contemporary art is situated, where the idea of preserving the ‘authentic’ original material is perhaps in distinct opposition to the original concept of the artwork or where conversely a literal acceptance of ideas of flux and instability inherent in certain works may compromise the existence of the original material object. Also the conservation and curatorial concerns relating to time based works and
installations, which are especially challenging, will be addressed. To further illuminate these issues, selected prominent artists will be asked to give presentations at the seminar. The curator of the exhibition Reality Check will offer a special viewing to the participants in the seminar.

Details regarding registration will be posted shortly. For further information contact Louise Cone, Statens Museum for Kunst at

Jørgen Wadum
Keeper of Conservation
T +45 3374 8450/M +45 2559 7808
Statens Museum for Kunst

CFP: The Museum Experiment (AAM conference 2009)

From H-Museum:

The deadline for submitting a program proposal for American Association of Museums, Media&Technology 2009 Philadelphia (April 30-May 4) is approaching quickly. For Media&Technology endorsement, the deadline is July 11, Friday, 2008.

We would like to ask your participation. This is not an empty solicitation, you will be responded to, and this is a direct path to having your voice heard...join in! You can download "AAM Session Proposal Guidelines and Proposal Form" at At the same time, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or possible ideas. I am here to work with you!

The 2009 Theme: "The Museum Experiment"
We encourage you to search for new answers and/or discussions to the following and/or your own ideas, just let me know.

Technology and the Small Museum (all areas) Best Models, Best Practice in Museum Online Learning and Educational Programs Web 2.0-Innovative Uses and Practical Implications of Webware, Geo-tagging, Community Networking, and Collaborative Workspaces Packaging and Experimenting Social Participation/Social Networking Beyond Collection Access / Museum Mashup / User Generated Content Evaluating Museum Experiences - New Ideas, New Approaches Future Trends in Museum Technology / Emerging Technology Alternative Interactive Devices / Alternative Interfaces Tapping the Potential of Online Teen Culture / Why Worry About Generation Y? Making Archive, Library, and Collection Systems Work Together Open Source Software Solutions for Small and Large Museums Intersection of Art and Science / Experiment and Implications Embracing Diversity of Participation / Thought and Action Examining World Cultures to Promote Understanding and Tolerance

What can you do?
For those who attended the 2008 AAM conference in Denver, look over your notes and think back for a moment. Send me your comments as to what were the outstanding topics or individual speakers that you saw. What were the issues that you would like to see addressed again, in greater detail, or perhaps differently? Even if you didn't attend, take a moment to review the same questions: what information or topics need to be explored in a forum where so many diverse associates gather? What should we, as a committee, be looking at as our important, central concerns?

DEADLINE FOR Media&Technology ENDORSEMENT is July 11, 2008.

Again, thanks to you all for being a part of this committee. I look forward to our further conversations.

My best,
Herminia Din
Program Chair, Media and Technology Committee
Associate Professor of Art Education
University of Alaska Anchorage

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Damned if you do, and damned if you don't

Why is 'popular' frequently bandied around as a term of abuse? In an article for the Guardian, Tristam Hunt (an Attic favourite!) considers this in relation to the recent news that the British Museum has surpassed such attractions as Madame Tussauds and Alton Towers as Britain's most popular destination.

How one cultural vision has lessons for the whole world

He credits Neil McGregor with turning the BM from

a once notoriously fusty, unwelcoming, bitchily academic institution into a
cultural powerhouse

- 'bitchily academic' is what I aspire to! Anyway back to the subject in hand. The article makes for an interesting read, and - for once - so do the readers' comments Not only does Leicester's own New Walk Museum get a mention (yay!), a couple of museologists have clearly been moved to comment. In particular,I agree with the comment about neutrality...

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Publications: International Journal of Heritage Studies (14), 4

International Journal of Heritage Studies: Volume 14 Issue 4 is now available online at informaworld (

This new issue contains the following articles:

Contributors, Pages 301 - 302
DOI: 10.1080/13527250802202018

Be Interested and Beware: Joining Economic Valuation and Heritage Conservation, Pages 303 - 318
Author: Randall Mason
DOI: 10.1080/13527250802155810

Beyond Hollywood: Enhancing Heritage with the ‘Orphan’ Film, Pages 319 - 331
Author: Caroline Frick
DOI: 10.1080/13527250802155828

Managing Urban Ethnic Heritage: Little India in Singapore, Pages 332 - 346
Author: Joan C. Henderson
DOI: 10.1080/13527250802155851

War Memorials and Memories: Comparing the Philippines and South Korea, Pages 347 - 361
Author: John L. Linantud
DOI: 10.1080/13527250802155869

Local and Regional History as Heritage: The Heritage Process and Conceptualising the Purpose and Practice of Local Historians, Pages 362 - 379
Author: Andrew Jackson
DOI: 10.1080/13527250802155877

Islamic Waqf and Management of Cultural Heritage in Palestine, Pages 380 - 385
Author: Eman Assi
DOI: 10.1080/13527250802156180

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

RCMG Job Opportunity: RDR Research Assistant

Job ref:
Position: Research Assistant
Organisation: The Research Centre for Museums and Galleries (RCMG) department of Museum Studies
Location: UK, Leicester
Closing date: 18/07/2008
Job Type: Temporary /casual until 31st December 2008
Salary: Daily rate £100

Job details

The Research Centre for Museums and Galleries (RCMG) is looking for a part time Research Assistant to work on a casual basis until the end of December 2008. You will principally be working on the Rethinking Disability Representation Project, for approximately 2-3 days a week. You will be employed on a freelance basis, but you will need to work at the RCMG offices in Leicester.

The Research Centre for Museums and Galleries (RCMG) operates within the Department of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester and carries out team based high quality, innovative and influential research in the areas of museum learning and the social agency of museums. One key characteristic of the work of RCMG is the evaluation of national, multi-project educational programmes; case studies of individual museums have also been carried out. Action research is used in some projects where practitioners work as an integral part of the research process. RCMG comprises a distinct research group within the Department of Museum Studies. Academics from within the Department of Museum Studies and other university departments participate in research and research teams have also included international members and consultants.

Rethinking Disability Representation 2006-2008 is a large scale, experimental project which has developed new approaches to the interpretation of disability and to the representation of disabled people’s lives within museums and galleries. Rethinking Disability Representation set out to challenge commonly held perceptions of impairment as limitation and to interrogate disablist attitudes, experiences and barriers, both historically and within contemporary society. Nine museums and galleries across the UK have worked with RCMG and a Think Tank of experts in the disability field (including activists, artists and cultural practitioners) as well as representatives from the museum sector, to develop exhibitions, displays and educational resources which draw on the social model of disability to frame new ways of looking at and understanding disabled peoples’ lives, histories and experiences.

Your role will be to assist the Rethinking Disability Representation research team with the following tasks:

1. To create an image data base of all 9 Rethinking Disability Representation projects and for this to be used as a model for other RCMG research projects.

2. To prepare the images for the Rethinking Disability Representation Publication by:
• Gaining permission for use of images
• Confirming credits
• Writing captions

3. To prepare the images for the Publication Re-Presenting Disability: Museums and the politics of display (Routledge) by:
• Gaining permission for use of images
• Confirming credits
• Writing captions

4. To assist in the production and publication of the Rethinking Disability Representation book including liaison with RDR team members, proof reader, designer, printers and distribution

5. To assist in the detailed administrative planning of the Rethinking Disability Representation Conference, including bookings, house keeping, accommodating access needs, co-ordinating conference material etc

6. To work on literature reviews for specific areas of the Rethinking Disability Representation research (for example, in relation to the Freak Show)

7. To work on specific elements of data analysis of Rethinking Disability Representation data visitor response cards in collaboration with the Research Associate

8. To contribute to the writing up of the Rethinking Disability Representation research report

9. Any other relevant duties relating to the Research Centre for Museum and Galleries

You will have a degree (or equivalent); you will have proven research ability and experience. You must be able to work effectively, both independently and as part of a team, and possess good communication and ICT skills.

For further details please ring 0116 252 3995. Please send a current CV and letter of application explaining how your experience is relevant to this post and your interest in the post to:

Jocelyn Dodd
Director, Research Centre for Museums and Galleries (RCMG),
Department of Museum Studies, University of Leicester,
105 Princess Road East, Leicester. LE1 7LG

t: + 44 (0)116 252 3995 e:

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Tuesday Talkpoint #1: Why aren't there more men in Museum Studies?

Today I'm instigating a new regular feature, Tuesday Talkpoint, in an attempt to get a bit of discussion going on. :)

This week, a subject which some of us (desperate singletons!) ponder on a fairly regular basis: Why aren't there more men in Museum Studies?


CFP/Conference Alert: Instruction, Amusement and Spectacle

From H-Museum:

Call for Papers

Instruction, Amusement and Spectacle: Popular Shows and Exhibitions, 1800-1914
University of Exeter
16-18 April 2009

An International Conference hosted by the Centre for Victorian Studies, School of Arts, Languages and Literatures, University of Exeter Website:

Keynote speakers: Prof. Bernard Lightman, Prof. Vanessa Toulmin, Prof. Jon Burrows, Dr. Ann Featherstone, Prof. Martin Hewitt

This conference aims to examine the eclectic range of popular entertainments in the nineteenth and early twentieth century, with a particular focus on exhibition practices. The intention is to provide a forum that brings together the range of research currently being undertaken by different disciplines in this area, including film studies, Victorian studies, history of science, performance studies, English literature, art history and studies of popular culture. Potential topics could include but are not limited to:

The role of visual entertainments (e.g. magic lantern, panoramas, dioramas, photography, peep shows):
- Early cinema: exhibition and reception
- Local and regional exhibition cultures
- Science and technology: demonstration and instruction
- Improvement and rational recreation
- Exhibitions of 'Otherness' (e.g. freak shows, ethnographic shows, minstrels)
- Music hall, pantomime, vaudeville and variety
- Public lectures and lecturing
- Galleries, museums and civic institutions (e.g. The Royal Polytechnic Institution, Mechanics Institutes)
- Travelling shows, fairgrounds and circuses
- World's Fairs and international exhibitions
- Magic, illusion and spiritualism
- Concerts, recitals and readings
- Pleasure gardens, tourism and seaside exhibitions
- Dance and physical performance
- Literary and other representations of popular entertainments
- Showmen and showmanship
- Audiences: composition and reception
- Intermediality and exhibitions
- Image, narrative and performance

Please send proposals of no more than 300 words, together with your designation and affiliation to This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it no later than 31st October 2008.

Part of the AHRC funded project Moving and Projected Image Entertainment in the South West 1820-1914.

Conference Alert: Memory, Art and Culture

From H-ArtHist:

Memory, Art and Culture
Remembrance and Dealing with the past after 1989

International Conference and workshop in Berlin: 2-5 July 2008 in the House of the World Cultures, Berlin

to download the Conference and Workshop Programme please visit:

Since 1989/90, the divided memory culture of Eastern and Western Europe has been changing within the new social, political and cultural sphere of post-socialist Europe. This interdisciplinary conference reflects on individual and collective memory and the interpretation of remembrance in Poland, Germany, Czech Republic, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosova after 1989. Despite the different historical contexts in and between these countries, their societies and people face similar experiences of war, flight, expulsion and (ethnic) post-war conflicts.

In reunified Germany, in Poland and in the Czech Republic public discourses on war, flight and expulsion are questioning national myths, and politics of memory are challenging the relations between these three countries. In contrast to the peaceful transition in socialist Central Europe, the former Yugoslavia experienced violent upheavals, wars and new forced migrations, which led to nation building processes in Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia and Kosova.

The project goal is to open a dialogue and an active exchange between artists, historians and social scientists and examine national, transnational and European cultural memory discourses in post-war former Yugoslavia and Central Europe. This interdisciplinary project focuses on the following questions: How are the societies of Central-Eastern Europe and South-Eastern Europe dealing with their past? What does European memory culture mean and how are artists dealing with memory culture? Are there common ways in Europe to remember the different and similar experiences of war, flight, expulsion and (ethnic) post-war conflicts? Are there any limits that can be defined regarding the common memory culture?

The international conference in July 2008, which is open to the public, and a follow-up closed workshop are the starting points of the transnational project MEMORY, ART and CULTURE. The project will be developed into a year long cooperation between scientists and artists in each one of the selected countries. Through creative dialogue and an active exchange between the project participants from the different countries, selected artistic and cultural works on memory will be elaborated for a forthcoming exhibition and publication. A second workshop will be held in November in Belgrade in the Goethe Institute (5 to 9 November 2008). In spring 2009 an exhibition and a third workshop will take place in Berlin.

International Conference and first workshop in Berlin: 2 -5 July 2008 in the House of the World Cultures, Berlin Conference and Workshop Programme

Second Workshop in Belgrade: 5 -9 November 2008 in the Goethe-Institute Belgrade and the Centre of Cultural Decontamination, Belgrad

Realisation: Netzwerk Migration in Europa e.V. in cooperation with Allianz Kulturstiftung and Haus der Kulturen der Welt

Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin,
Goethe-Institut, Belgrad,
Zentrum KARTA, Warschau,
Youth Initiative for Human Rights, Belgrad,
The Documentation Center Wars 1991-1999, Belgrad
Center for Cultural Decontamination, Belgrad,