Programme August 2020

The programme is out! Timings of talks are below, followed by further session details, in alphabetical order.

Book here!

27th August

0845: Jen Walklate: Opening

0900-1100: Chiara Zuanni: Digital cultural heritage and the pandemic.

1100-1300: Aayushi Gupta, Jeanne Coppens and Tanatsei Gambura: Archives, looting and plundering.

1400-1600: Jen Bergevin and Rob Clark: How can museum studies programmes better address the needs of the museum sector?

1600-1800: Chris Green: The political usages of the past and the responsibilities of the mediators of the present.

1800-1815: Jen Walklate: Thank you and close day 1.

28th August

0900-1100: Lisa Collinson, Lise Bos, Marion McLaughlin, Felicity Goodhall: Neurodiverse networking for museum people

1100-1300: Marcelo Miranda: Remaking Curation and Museums: from the conservation of objects to the care of knowledge with communities

1400-1600: Stephen Welsh: Metropolitanism

1600-1800: Bridget McKenzie: Museum Learning and the Earth Crisis.

1800-1900: Close and Hangout!

Detailed Topics

Jen Bergevin and Rob Clarke, University of Leicester

How can museum studies programmes better address the needs of the museum sector?

What roles do museum studies programmes need to play in addressing the difficulties in finding employment in the sector (and retention of jobs in the sector)? How do museum studies programmes address inequalities both within their own universities and within the sector?

Lisa Collinson, University of Aberdeen, Lise Bos, University of Aberdeen, Marion McLaughlin, One Stop Shop Aberdeen, Felicity Goodhall, Autism Professional.

Neurodiverse networking for museum people

How accessible are our professional networking practices for neurodivergent (for example, autistic) professionals working in museums and partner organisations? What formal and informal strategies can we use to maximize accessibility?

If you would like a quick chat with Lisa one-to-one before the session, by email, Zoom, or Teams, please feel free to send a message to

Chris Green, University of Pennsylvania

I would be interested to participate in or lead a discussion on the political usages of the past, and the subsequent political responsibilities of arbiters/mediators of the past. Especially in light of debates regarding monuments, museums will need to be increasingly mindful about the politics of their representations. What does this elision hitherto reveal about the tacit political investments of museums as social projects? What can we understand from the appropriation of museums, monuments, and otherwise authority over the past from oppressed and colonized communities regarding the power of the past in political discourse?

Aayushi Gupta

How can archives deal with the idea that (as Ariella Azoulay noted) archival objects are documents of people who, in the process of plundering and looting to construct institutions such as the archive and the modern-day museum, were made undocumented? Additionally, what is the perspective of the archivist when witnessing violent processes such as plundering and looting?

Bridget McKenzie, Climate Museum UK

Museum Learning and the Earth Crisis: how can museums be catalysts for public understanding of the ecological, social justice and climate emergencies? Is it possible to be holistic enough without losing clarity? And if tackling the root causes of the Earth Crisis involves radical and political actions, how can museum workers navigate this in more traditional or resistant institutions or communities?

Marcelo Miranda, Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University

Remaking Curation and Museums: from the conservation of objects to the care of knowledge with communities.

This topic analyses the possibilities of radical change and transformation of museums through curatorial activism and co-curation. It aims at discussing new forms of curation and museums that are based on indigenous knowledges and traditions and the care for the environment and the community.
To do so it also requires certain questions to be answered: how can hierarchies and structures of power be dismantled? How can Western dichotomies in notions of art and heritage (specialists/communities; tangible/intangible; culture/nature, etc.) be erased? How can museums escape object fetishism and address what really matters to society? How can museums truly collaborate with and empower communities, particularly indigenous peoples, afro-descendants, and other marginalized and minority groups?

Stephen Welsh, Independent Curator and Consultant

Metropolitanism. What arts, culture & heritage resources do those communities not in the engagement & outreach catchment area of inner city / large town museum need & how can inner city / large town museums support them? Museums describe certain communities as hard to reach but some are literally out of reach. I would like to be the leader.

Chiara Zuanni, University of Graz

I would be interested in chatting about digital cultural heritage during the pandemic.
Context: there are already reflections, online threads, and early data highlighting various aspects of digital heritage practices during COVID-19, whether in relation to home-office organisation, or to dissemination and public engagement with cultural audiences. I would be interested in exploring this further, discussing questions such as: what range of online content have cultural heritage organisations offered? what experiences have been positive/negative? what do we think of the outcomes?

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