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, August 26, 2009

The Grand and Secret Order of Museum People

I was talking to my boyfriend today about convocations and degree ceremonies, and he was showing me his diplomas. Along with his engineering degree, he had framed the vow taken by engineers. Apparently, it was written by Rudyard Kipling, so imagine for yourselves the quality of the prose... He also has a ring, and apparently, the whole ceremony was secret! Apparently, Canadian engineers are like Freemasons, or something. Now, being of an anarchical nature, I found this weird, just as I find the ring ceremony undertaken by Canadian Human Ecologists (no, we don't grow people, it used to be called Home Economics but then the name was changed to be less dowdy and better reflect the interest in humans and their near environment) uncomfortably reminiscent of the Catholic custom of nuns wearing rings to symbolize their attachment to God and the Church.

But then, I got to thinking: if anyone needs a secret ceremony attached to an oath of professional conduct and some fancy jewelry (material culture!), it should be the museologists. Do we have a secret ceremony that I don't yet know about? As Leicester is the oldest programme graduating museologists, I think it should start this custom.

4 comments:

Amy said...

Just bizarre!

We totally need a secret handshake or something. So we can spot Lesta people among the morass of students of lesser Museum Studies programmes. ;)

Whoops - am being elitist now, aren't I? LOL! :D

Pete Newcurator said...

The already is a Secret Museum Society

You're just not in it

Amy said...

WHAT?!!!! Seriously mate, if *we're* not in it, then it's not worth having.

Perian said...

Oh, there are regular meetups. Alas, no jewelry or badges of yet, nor do we appear to have nearly as much fun as the librarians - at least from what I could glean from the ALASecrets2009 twitter feed this year.