World-leading Centre in Museum Studies sets stage for global dialogue

Posted by ap507 at Apr 19, 2016 11:36 AM |
‘Global contemporary’ event at University of Leicester from 20-22 April

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 19 April 2016

Watch a video about the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester here:

One of Britain’s top-ranking research departments, the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester, is celebrating its 50th anniversary with an event that examines the changing role of museums.

The School of Museum Studies has been adjudged to have the  greatest cluster of world-leading researchers compared with any discipline in any university in the UK. (RAE 2008)

To celebrate their important anniversary, the School has organised a conference and a number of events. 

Professor of Museum Studies, Simon Knell, said: “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.”

Head of the School, Dr Suzanne MacLeod, said that to mark the School’s 50th  birthday, people are being invited to be in Leicester for a conference and associated events, including a number of pre-conference trips.

Dr MacLeod added: “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.

“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.”

The event takes place at Stamford Court at the University of Leicester from April 20-22

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