28 February 2017

PhD in relationships between cultural heritage and indigenous identity - University of Oslo

A doctoral research fellowship within the field of Museum and Cultural Heritage studies is available at the Department of Cultural Studies and Oriental Languages (IKOS), University of Oslo.

IKOS seeks to recruit a doctoral candidate with excellent research qualifications who will investigate the relationships between cultural heritage and indigenous identity.

The successful doctoral project will engage critically with the notion of indigenous identity and, taking a contemporary perspective, will explore its connections with aspects of tangible and/or intangible cultural heritage (including but not limited to, museums and museum collections, as well as Nature as cultural heritage).

The project may for instance explore the role of cultural heritage in: definitions of indigeneity; the definition and transmission of indigenous knowledge; the politics of the past and the (re)writing of history from a post-colonial perspective; indigenous environmental activism; and indigenous cultural revitalization in the 21st century. Also relevant are investigations of specific practices of display, preservation, interpretation or knowledge production – relating to indigenous heritage – and their connection with indigenous identities. Other topics may also be relevant.

To read the full announcement and how to apply visit here. 

From Malacca to Manchester – Curating Islamic Collections Worldwide 23-24 Feb 2017

Along with Emma Martin and several other MEG members, I attended this conference at the Manchester Museum last week, organised by Jenny Norton-Wright, with help from curator Stephen Welsh.  With 13 speakers on the Thursday and 15 on the Friday each limited to 20 minutes it was an amazing feat of international coverage through a series of succinct and striking visual presentations.  Abstracts are available in the conference booklet we each received on our arrival.

Jenny Norton-Wright, conference organiser, with keynote speaker Dr Stefan Weber
Conference brochure

The keynote address by Dr Stefan Weber,  Director of the Museum of Islamic Art in Berlin, highlighted the current political imperatives for understanding Islam better and a variety of ways this has been attempted in Berlin, including an interactive trail called ‘Objects in Transfer’ and the use of local Syrian and Iraqi guides speaking in Arabic. One session looked at the ‘Birmingham Qur’an' in depth from different viewpoints. The big new permanent galleries at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, and the Louvre in Paris, were mentioned and critiqued by several speakers, and three speakers, including Venetia Porter, gave us a good idea of what the new Albukhary Foundation galleries of the Islamic World will look like at the British Museum, when they open in 2018.  The talks from curators from Be’erSheva in Israel, the Mardajni Foundation in Moscow, the King Adbulaziz Centerfor World Studies in Saudi Arabia and a new Bangsamora gallery at the National Museum of the Philippines, contributed to our greater awareness of the huge variety of Islamic displays and cultures worldwide and current new international developments. 

It was such a rewarding and heady experience that there was talk of a forthcoming publication, perhaps a selection of just some of the papers. The conference was part of the John Ellerman funded initiative between several Manchester museums to prepare for a new South Asia gallery, in an extension at the Manchester Museum, that will open in 2018. A separate community engagement workshop/seminar is planned for mid-summer 2017.

Antonia Lovelace,
MEG Chair and Curator of World Cultures at Leeds City Museum 

21 February 2017

Social History Curator's Group Call for Papers

Annual Conference 2017 'Changing Tides'
Reading Museum, Reading Town Hall, The University of Reading and The Museum of English Rural Life
29th and 30th June 2017 

Call for contributions, papers, workshops, roundtable discussions and other presentations on the theme of: Museums and Cultural Identity in a post-2016 landscape

Guidance on topics for discussion
2016 has been a monumental year for the world as a whole and the effects of its events on museums are likely to be wide-ranging in their consequences. The vote for Brexit and the moves to both the left and the right of the political spectrum across the world will all have a significant effect on visitors, museums and how we adapt to stay relevant in the future.
In a world where nationalism is noticeably rising, how is your museum adapting in order to stay relevant?

How are you as a museum professional helping your museum adapt to the changes? What is being done successfully that will give your organisation more resilience for the future in this new landscape? How do you think museums should think about the withdrawal of EU funding in deprived areas?

We’d like to know how you are responding to this unprecedented and unpredictable future for the sector, and share this with fellow delegates.
Some example ideas are below:

·      Representing the people
o   How do we avoid alienating those with alternative viewpoints on our identity and ensure that museums are a place for everyone?
o   What can museums do to ensure that cultural identity remains relevant to various communities?

·      The effects of political change
o   Presentations that allow us to see how Brexit is, has or will affect a museum or group of museums
o   What impact can large-scale shifts across the political spectrum have on the museums and heritage sector

·      Riding out the storm
o   How do we become more resilient as a sector and how do we implement such changes in order to stay relevant?
o   What does the future hold for the sector if it doesn’t respond to changes on the political landscape?

The quick-fire round!
Do you have an issue relating to the changing Cultural Identities of the world that you want to debate in just three minutes? Following the success of the inaugural quick-fire round in 2016, SHCG invites 6 delegates to each present a 3-minute paper on their issue, the dilemma it presented, how they approached it and ultimately the outcome of situation.
Following the presentations, all 6 speakers will then facilitate group discussions which will aim to give delegates practical advice and guidance, how to (or how not to) face issues in all areas of museum practice and at all career levels.

If you think you have an interesting idea to submit, please complete the application form at the end of this document.

2017 conference
This year we’re looking for any presentation, talk or concept that relates to the topics outlined above in the guidance. The more thought provoking, unusual, practical and insightful the better.

If you have an idea that you think might be appropriate for this conference, we encourage you to submit it as we’ll read and review every application. We believe that insights into how others are working, their successes, their failure and their practices can be of benefit to many others within the wider museum and cultural community.

Contributors are invited to offer perspectives from local, national, international or global context. Contributions that are presented in an a different, interactive or discussion, way will be happily accepted and we keen to accept more contributions that are seen as showing ‘out of the box’ thinking and allow delegates to reflect and think about Social History Curation and its future.

Important dates
·     Please complete the submission form below and return it to Nick Sturgess and Becca Lucas at conferenceshcg@gmail.com by the 25th February 2017.
·     All applicants will be notified by the 4th March 2017.

·      The decision of the conference panel is final. Only one person from each presentation or workshop submission will be given a free day delegate place for the day that they are speaking. Speakers for the Quick Fire Round will not presentation do not qualify for a free place on the day they are speaking. Speakers travel costs will be reimbursed up to a maximum of £100. Unfortunately we are unable to provide additional fees, subsistence costs or accommodation for speakers

The Social History Curators Group is a membership organisation dedicated to improving the status and provision of social history in museums and the standards of collections, research, display and interpretation.

Our annual conference is open to all and aims to facilitate the sharing of skills and experiences, and provoke debate around a current theme affecting our members through presentations, interactive workshops and tours.

For full details visit the Social History Curators website. 

9 February 2017

Job Vacancy: Part time Head of Conservation, Pitt Rivers Museum

Part-time Head of Conservation
Pitt Rivers Museum,
Grade 8: £39,324 - £46,924 p.a. (pro rata)

The Museum seeks a Head of Conservation who will be responsible for managing all aspects of conservation and collections care of approximately 300,000 ethnographic and archaeological objects, plus an equal number of photographs and manuscripts. As a member of the Pitt Rivers Museum strategic planning team, the Head of Conservation contributes to the development and delivery of the museum’s strategic plan, with particular emphasis on balancing the long-term preservation of the collections with facilitating access. The Head of Conservation will have responsibility for the efficient and effective management of a minimum of three conservators, plus project specific contract staff, along with supervising student placements, interns and volunteers. The promotion of research, teaching, publishing, outreach and work with originating communities and artists, are integral to the management of the department, as is supporting effective collaboration between departments. As part of the GLAM group (Oxford Universities Gardens Libraries and Museums) our Conservation team work in close collaboration with other members in support of the University’s teaching, research and widening engagement activities and its heritage and legal responsibilities.

Full details of essential and desirable requirements are available in the job description.
This is a part-time role 0.8FTE (30 hours per week).
The closing date for applications is 12.00 noon on Thursday 23 February 2017. Interviews are likely to take place during the beginning of March 2017.
Contact Person : Mrs Antigone Thompson Vacancy ID : 126110 Contact Phone : 01865 613015
Closing Date : 23-Feb-2017
Contact Email : antigone.thompson@prm.ox.ac.uk
To apply visit the University of Oxford website.