4-5 November 2014
School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester
A two-day interdisciplinary postgraduate conference hosted by the School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester, in partnership with the Migration Museum Project.
Museums Alive! 2014 seeks to explore the notion of museums as living organisms. Museums, like living beings, do not live in isolation; rather, they are embedded in complex ecosystems.
Museums are occupied and given life by people. They are constantly evolving, directly affected by the changes around them, as well as effecting and acting as catalysts for change.
Multiple questions emerge from this context. Museums Alive! — Exploring how museums behave like living beings, organised in partnership with the Migration Museum Project, will be the sixth conference developed by the PhD community at the School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester, and follows last year's highly successful Museum Metamorphosis conference.
The conference programme is still being organised. One event already scheduled takes place on the day before the conference itself:
Leicester Walking Tour
Monday 3 November 2014
Join photographer Kajal Nisha Patel for an alternative walking tour that explores Leicester’s rich migration heritage. Patel’s photographic work is intimately connected to her identity as an Indian woman living in Britain. She focuses on evolving cultural landscapes whilst observing the influences and effects of economic migration. She is in the process of creating a detailed visual record of the British South Asian experience, as individuals affirm new identities and strategically learn to exist in two worlds. Her work also features in the 100 Stories of Migration exhibition, 23 June 2014 – February 2015 at the School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester.
To learn more about Kajal Nisha Patel, please follow her on Twitter.
Walking tour at 2 pm
Join photographer Kajal Nisha Patel for an alternative walking tour that explores Leicester’s rich migration heritage. Starting at the School of Museum Studies and lasting approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes, the route follows Leicester’s rich industrial and cultural heritage, stopping at locations including New Walk, River Soar, Great Central Street and the Old Central Train Station.
Essential Information Please arrive at the School of Museum Studies 10 minutes before the tour starts. Wear sensible clothing, including comfortable shoes and waterproofs. The tour will last approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes, and will include breaks for refreshments. If you have a smart phone please bring it along to the tour, along with your headphones. Download the following audio tracks from dropbox onto your phone before the tour.
Patel’s photographic work is intimately connected to her identity as an Indian woman living in Britain. She focuses on evolving cultural landscapes whilst observing the influences and effects of economic migration. She is in the process of creating a detailed visual record of the British South Asian experience, as individuals affirm new identities and strategically learn to exist in two worlds. Her work also features in the 100 Stories of Migration exhibition, 23 June 2014 – February 2015 at the School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester.
#drinkingaboutmuseums at 6 pm
The Museums Alive! Conference is proud to host a #drinkingaboutmuseums event at the Lansdowne Pub. The aim of #drinkingaboutmuseums is to meet with fellow colleagues to share ideas, thoughts, plans and critique museums in an informal after-hours setting. There is no particular topic or a list of speakers, and alcohol, of course, is optional. It is a great opportunity to meet new people and make valuable connections.
Please register here
Day One Programme: Tuesday 4 November
8 am Registration and refreshments
9 am Introduction and welcome, Ryan Nutting, Conference Manager
9:15 am Opening remarks, Professor Simon Knell
9:45 am Keynote address, Dr Suzanne MacLeod
10:30 am Susan Pearce
11:30 am Refreshments
Session 1: Creating Museum Identities
11:45 am Keeping Memories Alive! Elif Çiğdem Artan, Bibliothek der Alten team, Frankfurt History Museum, Germany
12:05 pm Living in Dr Johnson’s House, Laura Carter, Trinity Hall, Cambridge University, UK
12:25 pm Museums and Oil Sponsorship, Jessica Holtaway, Goldsmiths, UK
12:45 pm Session 1 Question and Answer Session
1:15 pm Lunch
Session 2: Living Museums
2:00 pm Body, Mind, Spirit (Workshop), Alex Woodall, University of Leicester, UK
3:00 pm Agents of Change, Dr Hannah-Lee Chalk, Manchester Museum, UK
3:40 pm Community Engagement in a Time of Financial Cuts, Laura Crossley, University of Leicester, UK
4:00 pm Session 2 Question and Answer Session
4:30 pm Closing Remarks and Reception
6:00 – 8 pm Conference Dinner at Parcel Yard
Day Two Programme: Wednesday 5 November
8:30 am Registration and refreshments
9:00 am Welcome, Ryan Nutting, Conference Manager
9:15 am Keynote presentation, Sophie Henderson, Director, Migration Museum Project
Rapid Fire Presentations, each of them is no longer than 5 minutes.
10:00 – 10:30 am
- Museums in the Organic Web: a Visual Perspective, Cristiano Agostino, recent graduate of University of Edinburgh, UK
- Are commercial exhibitions a competing species? Katie Murray, University of St Andrews, UK
- Exhibiting Europe? Perspectives from the Art Museum, Laura Kugel, London School of Economics, UK
- Yet another narrative, Elena Tognoli, Artist, UK
10:30 am Rapid Fire Question and Answer Session
11:00 am Refreshments
Session 3: Museum Environments
11:15 am Murderabilia Museums: Bringing Death to Life through Exhibitions of Violent Crime, Jack Denham, University of York, UK
11:35 am Alive & Clicking: Situating the Popular Music Museum within Network Society, Kathleen Pirrie Adams, Ryerson University, Canada
11:55 am Grown or made? How does change happen in museums? Helen Wilkinson, University of Leicester, UK
12:15 pm Session 3 Question and Answer Session
12:45 pm Lunch
Session 4: Museums as Laboratories
2:00 pm Enjoy the Silence (Workshop), Gill Hart, Head of Education, the National Gallery, UK
3:00 pm The multicultural pill for the recovery of the European Ethnological Museums, Fabien Van Geert, University of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
3:20 pm Social organisation of experiments in museum: notes on interaction with hands-on exhibits, Alisa Maximova, Higher School of Economics, Russia
3:40 pm Session 4 Question and Answer Session
4:00 pm Plenary/Closing Remarks
4:30 pm Informal Drinks/Networking session (School of Museum Studies)
Along with the Conference we would like to invite you to join us for the conference dinner, which is to be held on 4 November at Parcel Yard, a reasonably priced restaurant near our School and the train station (48a London Road, LE2 0QB). If you are interested in attending the dinner, please view the menu and complete the survey here by 17 October so the restaurant staff can prepare food in advance and serve you better. Please note that the cost of the dinner is not included in the registration fee and needs to be paid at the restaurant.
100 Stories of Migration is the result of a partnership between the University of Leicester’s School of Museum Studies and the Migration Museum Project. The photographic exhibition and accompanying media explore and pose questions around the ways in which migration affects us all.
Irish Family emigrating to Canada, photo © Science and Society Picture Library, 1966
100 Stories of Migration grew out of a photography competition led by the Migration Museum Project with The Guardian newspaper. A selection of the photographs, from both professional and amateur photographers, have now taken up home in the Museum Studies Building for seven months. The exhibition focuses on the stories reflected in these photographs.
Muslim Shaadi © Kajal Nisha Patel, 2010
We all have our own stories of migration, whether it is the story passed down regarding our family’s heritage or our experiences of interacting with or getting to know new members of our community. These stories inform our individual views and help shape the public policies and broader social debates around this topic.
- Around Leicester
- Getting around the city, where to go and what to see as well as suggestions for restaurants and shopping. And a list of the City Museums.
- Venue and accommodation
- Here you can find information on travelling to Leicester and where to stay.
- The Museums Alive! is delighted to work with the Migration Museum Project on this conference.
We would like to thank them for their support and collaboration of this project.
- We would also like to thank the University of Leicester Graduate School Researcher Development, the College Postgraduate Fund, and the School of Museum Studies for their financial support.
- Museums Alive! also thanks Ashgate Publishing for their sponsorship of this conference.
The PhD community at the School of Museum Studies have organised a number of highly successful conferences in the past. You can find out more about some of these here:
- Museum Metamorphosis, November 2013
- Museum Utopias: Navigating the Imaginary, Ideal and Possible Museum, March 2012
- Curiouser and Curiouser: Challenging Conventions and Celebrating the Unusual, March 2011
- Materiality and Intangibility: Contested Zones, December 2009
- Material Culture, Identities and Inclusion, February 2006