Join us for our 50th anniversary celebrations

In 2016, the School of Museum Studies will celebrate an important anniversary. Over the past fifty years the University of Leicester has become internationally known as a centre for leading-edge thinking and experimental practice in the field of museum studies. Today, the School of Museum Studies is a place for students and staff, researchers and practitioners from around the world to come together to think creatively and critically about museums, galleries and heritage; to explore and investigate, to experiment and create, to question and debate. To mark our fiftieth birthday we invite you to join us in Leicester for our fiftieth anniversary conference and associated events, including a number of pre-conference trips.

Today, no museum is entirely local – all are part of a global dialogue. Old geographical hegemonies and hierarchies are being swept aside, to be replaced by a new sense of global inclusion which respects, preserves and enhances cultural specificity in the conceptualisation and operation of the museum. Museums now understand that they act in the today: that the pasts they hold and the futures they imagine are negotiated in the now.

To view the museum through the lens of the ‘Global Contemporary’ is profoundly empowering and fundamentally altering. It provides a new basis for understanding and privileging diversity whether considering audiences, practice or institutional values. It exposes injustice and offers benchmarks and inspiration for social and cultural action. It transforms how we think about media, connection, collaboration and reach. It affects everything and alters the possibilities of even the smallest of museums. It opens new dialogues.

A decade ago, the School of Museum Studies celebrated its 40th anniversary with The Museum: A World Forum. It marked a moment when Museum Studies came together as a coherent global field. The result of that conference was Museum Revolutions, a book that considered how museums bring about change but also about how they themselves are changed. The Museum in the Global Contemporary is different. It speaks to the now – a now that has only been realised with the return of China to the world stage. This historic event gave a sense that the whole planet was for the first time engaged in open communication, where all voices might be heard. So let’s talk!