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.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Where Innovation Meets Rigor: Shaping the Next Decade of Visitor Studies

We are pleased to announce that the 2013 Visitor Studies Association calls for Session Proposals and Pre-Conference Workshop Proposals are now open! The deadline for submitting a proposal is December 21, 2012.

Where Innovation Meets Rigor: Shaping the Next Decade of Visitor Studies

VSA invites the informal learning community to join us in creating a conference program to help push the field of visitor studies forward by thinking about the future of our field. This year, VSA will reflect on innovation within visitor studies and the critical importance of bringing innovation and creativity to our work while balancing these efforts with rigor in research and evaluation practice.

Innovation can encompass a broad range of qualities and features in the fields of research, evaluation, and informal learning experiences – from defining indicators and reporting results to shaping policy and defining the value of cultural institutions. Innovation and creativity speak to the future and bring about new ways of knowing and understanding visitors. In contrast, rigor and best practices lead to established standards, efficiency, and tried and true ways of knowing and understanding visitors. Innovation and creativity relate to rigor in research and evaluation in both positive and negative ways. We are seeking proposals that explore different facets of innovation and rigor. What has worked before, what works now, what might work in the future, and how do we balance these questions in practice?

Please submit any questions to the Program Chairs Gayra Ostgaard and Robert Jakubowski at

Please note: The 2013 conference will be held in Milwaukee, WI July 15-19. The conference hotel is the Pfister Hotel; more information coming soon.

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