CFP: Museums of the Middle East


The 2A Magazine Spring 2010 issue #13 focusses on Museums of and in the
Middle East

Museums of the Middle East
[Muses of the Orient]

Museums at the beginnings of the western world were temples to the Muses,
the nine young goddesses who presided over the arts, literature and the
sciences. Early museums began as private collections of individuals and
institutions housing objects of scientific, artistic or historical
importance for public viewing through exhibits. In the museum, the object,
in many cases removed in time, place and circumstance from its original
context, becomes a communicative tool that represents the past and its
significance in relation to the present. This representation makes the
museum a unique place, a hybrid space of diverse outcomes that distinguish
content from surface.

Yet museum architecture is the new 21st century cultural enterprise,
branding, corporate entities and big business. This museum-mania has lifted
the role of the museum from a collection of artifacts to sensationalism,
spectacle and the Bilbao effect. Issue#13 of 2A magazine will map the
current state of culture, the role of the museum and the making of
institutions as spaces to accommodate art and culture in the Middle East.
These organizations bring about a new and innovative 'urban abstraction'
and create new challenges and contradictions for the region: east vs. west,
high vs. popular taste, orientalism vs. modernism, colonialism vs. national
identity, censorship vs. participation, authenticity vs. reenactment,
identity vs. multiplicity.

The plethora of developments over the last ten years in the Middle East has
resulted in generating new and dynamic urban conditions and it is now
shifting to 'culture'. This has brought about a renewed interest for the
construction of institutions for art, architecture, history, heritage and

Contributors to the magazine may consider one or more of the following
themes relevant to building cultural institutions of the 21st century

Museums as Branding
Museums as Education
Museums as Architectural spaces
Museums as Art
Museums as Metropolitan hubs
Museums as Representation
Museums as Participation
Museums as Public spaces
Museums as Knowledge
Museums as Identity
Museums as Community and Regional Relevance
Museums as Private Collections
Museums as Archiving Culture

Call for submissions

The guest editors of issue #13 of 2A would like to invite submissions of
original research, essays, critical text, art works and presentations of
museums as well as art and cultural institutions of the Middle East:
architectural, urban, cultural, historical and social.

Guest Editors
George Katodrytis (Associate Professor of Architecture at the American
University of Sharjah, UAE)
Susanne Weiss (Museologist and Curator, Sharjah and Berlin)
Dr. Negar Hakim (Art Historian, Vienna, Austria)

Submission date

Full article submissions (text and high resolution images): 1 March 2010
Article length: maximum 3000 words

Submission format and email

All text to be in MS Word format and all images in jpeg format to: and

The 2A magazine ( ) will be published in spring 2010.


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