ICOM UK Student and Emerging Professionals Online Conference

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07 Dec
Time: All Day

Crafting Experiences in Museums: Physical or Digital?

ICOM UK Student and Emerging Professionals Conference, online, Thursday 7 December 2023

The conference is being organised as part of the ICOM UK Student and Emerging Professionals offering. We are seeking to develop a space for students and emerging professionals to engage with other museum professionals through conversations and thought provoking interdisciplinary perspectives on museum studies. The conference is looking to reflect the developing practices that museums and ICOM are navigating globally; emphasising a significant focus on the inclusivity and sustainability of museum practices, and responding to emerging issues in contemporary society. Through encouraging voices and agency among students and emerging professionals, the conference stresses ICOM’s role to encourage students’ participation in the international environment of museum specialities.

Exploring museums as intermediate sites for interpreting the world, the conference engages in the seemingly antithetic relationship between physical contact and digital operations in crafting museum experiences. In order to be accessible and embrace diverse museum audiences and participants, museum narratives today have become more dynamic, open-ended and multivalued in ways of making meaning. Direct interactions with physical objects alongside various types of technology, are now commonplace in generating authentic experiences and developing meaning in cultural heritage. In this sense, the idea of a collection has been reshaped to enable a broader range of narratives that alter and develop with individuals’ engagement.

With a focus on interpretive techniques that speak to issues of sustainability and inclusivity, this conference aims to explore different museum strategies, physically and/or digitally engagement practices, social functions in contemporary society, and inclusivity work in practice. This conference surfaces a number of questions: to what extent do museum narratives today still rely on physically connecting with objects? How has technology today changed ways of making meaning and developing plural narratives? What are the possibilities and obstacles of digital experiences in museum practices? What is the role of physical objects in the digital age when museum experiences can be crafted beyond physical contacts?

The conference will be hosted online on Thursday 7 December 2023. We particularly welcome papers looking at the following themes and topics:

  • Historical experience and cultural identities
  • Aesthetic experience through artworks
  • Embodying science in museums
  • Gendered bodies in museums
  • Decolonising museums
  • Museums’ reactions to global crisis

The submitted papers will be reviewed by considering the following factors:

  • Relevance of the content: Is the paper appropriate to the conference theme?
  • Originality: Does the paper include primary materials that help to develop original arguments, contributing to the conference with new perspectives?
  • Clarity: Is it clear what the paper will be addressing, are the main points cohesive and well-explained?

The conference organiser will inform the decision in one month after the deadline of the Call for Papers.

Please submit the proposals, with a 300-word abstract (including the title) and a short bio of no more than 150 words, to Louise Yang cempd2023@gmail.com by 28 August 2023.