North American alumni reunionWe are delighted to announce that the School of Museum Studies is hosting its first North American alumni reunion at AAM in New Orleans!
Monday 20 May, 4.00-5.30 PM, Marriott New Orleans (conference headquarters).
All Leicester graduates welcome! Please save the date.
Janet Marstine and Ross Parry will be your hosts and are looking forward to catching up with you.
We also want to explore with you how we might support our North American graduates in developing a Museum Studies Connect - North American Group.
Please share this invitation with other alums.
And please can you email Janet at email@example.com to tell her if you’re coming?
Whose voices do we hear in the museum?
Whose voice we hear in the museum matters. Museums are good at representing some voices, at showcasing and privileging these, they are good at presenting dominant mainstream narratives, and it is all too easy to hear these in the choice of what is collected, what is displayed, in how collections are presented and interpreted.
But, what if we ask the question: whose voices are absent? Whose experiences remain untold? How can we hear neglected and unheard voices? How do we create opportunities for these to be heard? What possibilities do we give visitors not only to engage with these neglected voices, but to process their own experiences and also to be given a voice?
Considering neglected and unheard voices offers museums different possibilities, alternative ways of working, enabling museums to be agents of progressive ways of thinking, empowering them to become more ambitious and impactful in nurturing more equitable and inclusive societies.
To hear unheard voices demands radically different approaches, working in new ways that are ethically conscious, which challenge the inequalities in power that have tended to characterise many attempts by cultural institutions to engage people whose lives, perspectives and experiences have been previously neglected. The research project Stories of a different kind which culminated in a performance by Matt Fraser entitled Cabinet of Curiosities: how disability was kept in a box explored the use of The Trading Zone, a concept borrowed from the realm of science and technology.
This offers a model which brings together people from different backgrounds, expertise, specialisms or lived experience to discuss an issue and collaborate. Through this process we hear many neglected voices, including the voice of Terry Wiles as an adult he reflects on his experiences as a very young child strapped into a gas-powered prosthetic brace. His voice, his experience, and the voice of the conventional museum label which privileges a medical, deficit model of disability, are a gulf apart.
How much opportunity do we give visitors to reflect, to engage and to consider the implications of neglected voices? How often do we really hear visitors’ voices? Drawing on the visitor study of the National Trust programme Prejudice and Pride we challenge those who spoke the loudest, whose voices were most heard and listen to hear the quiet voice of the majority of visitors. How do they negotiate and process their experiences, how have they been prompted to think differently?
Museums claim to be for everyone, but only by listening to everyone’s voices – especially neglected, quiet, and unheard voices, can they ever really meet this claim.
This inaugural lecture draws on over 30 years’ experience of museum practice and Research Centre for Museums and Galleries (RCMG).
Wednesday 6 February, 1.00pm to 2.00pm: Guro Nordby, PhD Researcher (Universitetet i Sørøst-Norge, Norway) - Materiality in industry - people, things and the industrial landscape
Wednesday 13 March, 1.00pm to 2.00pm: Assunta Ruocco, Artist (PhD Researcher at Loughborough University and Lecturer in Fine Art at De Monfort University, UK) - Co-working with things: how furnished spaces contribute to the emergence of artworks
Wednesday 20 March, 5.00pm to 6.00pm: Weimin Lyu, PhD Researcher (Fudan University, Shanghai, China) - TBA
Wednesday 3 April, 4.00pm to 5.00pm: Dr Corinne Fowler (University of Leicester) - Colonial Countryside: National Trust Houses Reinterpreted
Wednesday 10 April, 4.00pm to 5.00pm: Alice Farren-Bradley, PhD Researcher (Independent Art Law Specialist and Due Diligence Research Consultant; PhD Researcher at Newcastle University, UK) - Curation as Due Diligence: Mitigating Risk in Museum Collections
Wednesday 1 May, 4.00pm to 5.00pm: Alcina Cortez, PhD Researcher (Nova Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal) - Mobilizing the knowable on music in museum exhibitions through multimodality and sound epistemologies
Wednesday 8 May, 4.00pm to 5.00pm: Dr Paula Serafini (University of Leicester) - Liberating the museum? Cultural Institutions as sites of protest
Wednesday 15 May, 1.00pm to 2.00pm: Stefania Donini, PhD Researcher (The Barbican and the Guildhall School, London, UK) - The ‘participatory turn’ in arts institutions: audience engagement and its discontents
All seminars will take place in the Collections Room and will be streamed online. Changes to the programme will be promptly announced. If you would like to make a proposal for a speaker, please contact Blanca Jove Alcalde, Yang Chen or Anna Tulliach.
Politics, post-colonialism and the economic value of the museum as it appears in the projects of the Arab world
Charalampos (Harris) Chaitas
Executive Director, Culture, Arts and Education, Qiddia, Saudi Arabia, and former Director for Operations and Management, Grand Egyptian Museum
Wednesday 20 February 2019, 5.00pm to 6.30pm in Ken Edwards Lecture Theatre 2
In the 20 years since the inauguration of Guggenheim Bilbao, global museum interest has shifted from western countries to Asia, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Within this context of a regional museum boom, the Louvre-Abu Dhabi, inaugurated on 8 November 2017, has created a new milestone in how a ‘universal museum’ defines itself.
The lecture will discuss recent museum development in the MENA countries within a complex political and socioeconomic context. It will analyse the current environment in the region and also explore the ambitious plans for 2030 that most of the MENA countries have announced.
Museums and the Transgender Tipping Point
E-J Scott and Richard Sandell
Monday 4 February, 6.00pm to 7.30pm in the Museum Studies Lecture Hall, Museum Studies (19 University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RF)
Over the past decade there has been a growing number of museum exhibitions and displays featuring transgender lives, reflecting an increasing trans-visibility across many areas of public life.
At the same time, progressive representations – told from the perspectives and through the voices of transgender people, as well as being shaped out of an understanding of the human rights issues affecting the community, past and present – remain highly unusual.
How might these progressive portrayals – that privilege trans lived experience over other forms of expertise – be understood in relation to broader efforts to secure the rights of transgender people? To what extent might museum narratives of gender diversity be harnessed to inform the ways in which visitors perceive, think and talk about transgender equality and, potentially, to have positive influence more broadly beyond the institution?
How might progressive portrayals of transgender lives potentially act upon the coercive, restricting and oppressive gender norms, and widespread prejudice, that pervade the variety of contexts within which transgender people attempt to claim and exercise their rights?
Richard Sandell introduces this session, drawing on recent research to argue that progressive portrayals of transgender lived experience can be seen as a form of human rights work, carefully crafted and purposefully deployed with the specific aim to act upon the conditions which constrain equality and negatively impact the lives of transgender people.
E-J Scott (dress historian and curator) discusses the Museum of Transology – the first major exhibition in the UK (if not the world) to explore trans lives using the material culture surrounding them; an iconic museum project that has attracted enormous public interest and evoked extraordinarily powerful responses amongst visitors. The project began by gathering everyday objects and stories from the local trans community in Brighton, and developed into a collection of over 250 objects chosen by 108 trans people to represent their gender journeys.
Heartfelt, brave and intimate, the deeply moving stories share themes of hope, despair, ambition, confidence and desire through objects of social history, dress, medicine, beauty products and personal ephemera, artists’ installations and portraiture. Brought together, these individual experiences provide a revelatory account of how gender politics has evolved in the UK, reflecting the increasing shift in social consciousness towards mainstream acceptance and legislative equality for the trans population.
This event for LGBT History Month is one of a series marking 20 years of the University of Leicester’s Research Centre for Museums and Galleries.
Monday 14 January 2019, 5.15pm-6.15pm
University Museum and Art Gallery, The University of Hong Kong
1/F T.T. Tsui Building
90 Bonham Road, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
No registration required. All welcome.
Please join us for a free public lecture with Professor Jocelyn Dodd and Dr Sarah Plumb, University of Leicester, and a chance to find out more about our part time Museum Studies postgraduate degree run jointly with Leicester and Hong Kong University’s School of Professional and Continuing Education. The lecture will be followed by a networking event for alumni and museum professionals, 6.30pm - 8.00pm
Across the world populations are ageing, instead of celebrating this, the negative perception of ageing and older people abound. This limits opportunities for older people to continue to contribute to society or find meaning and purpose in later life. Unexpected Encounters makes the case for the role that museums can play in supporting older people to live well. Museums’ capacity to engage older people has only been partially realised, framed by the medical model of ageing that focuses on decline, illness and frailty. Much more can be done to engage older people, drawing on their experiences and listening to their voices, as well as using museums to challenge harmful negative stereotypes.
Jocelyn Dodd is Professor for Museum for Social Change and Director of the Research Centre for Museums and Galleries (RCMG), School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester, UK. RCMG research stimulates new thinking and practice enabling cultural organisations to become more ambitious and impactful in nurturing more equitable and inclusive societies. Her research is informed by many years working in the museum sector, she has led a number of large research projects with multiple partners most recently: Encountering the Unexpected: how museums nurture living and ageing well.
Dr Sarah Plumb is a Research Associate at the Research Centre for Museums and Galleries (RCMG) at the School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester, UK. Sarah is interested in the role of museums and galleries as mediators and her research explores the dynamic and changing relationships between institutions and communities, with the aim of presenting the potential social effects of this dialogue. Before joining the University of Leicester, she worked as a museum and gallery educator for over ten years, specialising in working with marginalised groups and individuals.
Find out more about RCMG.
Being Human: A festival of Humanities - The Fabric of Memory
Thursday 22 November, Attenborough Arts Centre, 3.00pm-8.00pm
Bring along fabrics that remind you of someone or an event and enter into conversations with performers about how we remember as textiles are carefully ironed and folded. This participatory performance looks at the memories sparked by our clothes.
The event is a free drop-in performance on 22 November from 3.00pm-8.00pm at the Attenborough Arts Centre, where you are invited to bring along clothes, textiles and other fabrics. There will also be academic talks with researchers from the University of Leicester, artists and a textile conservator, exploring our relationships to textiles and memory.
The academic talks are led by artist Nir Segal and Dr Nuala Morse, School of Museum Studies
- Professor Sandra Dudley, School of Museum Studies – talking about her research with refugee women and their relationships with clothing, identity and experiences of displacement.
- Alison Lister – Conservator, experienced at treatment of all types of textiles.
- Dr Hannah Turner, School of Museum Studies– talking about her collaborative work around digital scanning of traditional weaving.
- Anna Sikorska – Artist, talking about her use of textile in art exploring people, place and paradox.
- Aya Haidar – Multimedia artist, talking her use of embroidery in art exploring loss, migration and memory.
- Dr Malika Kraamer, Curator and Scholar, talking about her work with weavers of Ghanaian kente cloth, exploring memory and identity.
The event was selected to be part of Being Human by the festival organisers, the School of Advanced Study, University of London, the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), and the British Academy (BA).
Museum Studies Research Seminar: Alexander Massouras: Lessons from Casts
Wednesday 7 November, Collections Room, School of Museum Studies, 1.00pm - 2.00pm
This talk and photo-essay addresses the cast as a pedagogic form, inspired by the roles plaster casts once played in art education. Once an apparatus for disseminating a classical formal vocabulary, in the 20th century, plaster came to teach artists very different lessons.
Alexander Massouras is an artist and critic who has held fellowships at the Ruskin School of Art, Oxford and the Paul Mellon Centre, and was a member of the Tate Research Project Art School Educated. His work is in collections including the British Museum, V&A, Ashmolean Museum, New York Public Library, Rhode Island School of Design Museum, and DESTE Foundation.
Chiara Marabelli is a second-year doctoral student at the School of Museum Studies. Focusing on cast collections, her research explores the concept of authenticity in art and museums and aims to foster sensory engagement in the museum context.