Museums and the Web

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CFP: Taking Stock: Museum Studies and Museum Practices in Canada

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By info @ archimuse - Posted on 26 October 2009

hosted by the Museum Studies Program, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto, Canada
April 22-24, 2010

Proposals due: November 30, 2009

Over the past 40 years, the discipline of Museum Studies has grown beyond its foundational premise as the study of museum organization and management to become a field informed by interdisciplinarian approaches, pedagogies and techniques. Some have argued that Museum Studies has not only come of age, as an academic discipline it has moved into the mainstream. Yet for many, the very formulation of this discipline continues to be a subject of intense reflection and debate, while its relationship with the community of professional practitioners it intends to serve is complex.

While much has been written on Museum Studies/Museology from the UK, US, Australian and European perspectives, less has been articulated about Canadian traditions in the field. Despite over four decades of formal academic training and almost two centuries of professional practices, there are no Canadian national journals, nor annual academic conferences dedicated to the subject of Museum Studies. Doubtless a Canadian museology exists, however the research of Canadian museum scholars continues to be diffused across regional, linguistic, and disciplinarian lines.

The Master of Museum Studies program at the University of Toronto marks its 40th anniversary with a conference that aims to create a forum for a nation-wide debate and critical examination of the academic discipline of Museum Studies in Canada in historical and contemporary contexts, and how this discipline registers within broader global traditions, pedagogies and practices.

Robert R. Janes will be providing the keynote address on Thursday, April 22, 2010.

Instructions for submission of paper abstracts:

We invite proposals for twenty-minute papers (8-10 pp) that address the field of Museum Studies in Canada, as academic discipline and in terms of the nature of research this field and its practitioners undertake. We welcome contributions from a wide range of viewpoints that interrogate the field of Museum Studies, its histories, epistemologies, theoretical underpinnings and practices. Acknowledging that the discipline is itself informed by a variety of other disciplines, we are interested in diverse methodological and subject-area approaches. Presentations may include analyses of case studies, historical overviews, and comparative frameworks, as well as theoretical articulations of and for museological practice.

Possible trajectories of enquiry may arise from the following themes:

• What is “Canadian” about Museum Studies in Canada?
• National/regional traditions in the discipline of Museum Studies: its curriculum and research interests;
• The relationship of Museum Studies to professional museum practice in Canada;
• Citizenship and national museology;
• Museology and Canadian cultural policy;
• History and theory of Canadian museological practices;
• Canadian museological theory and praxis in contemporary political context;
• How Canadian museological practices respond to contemporary issues of citizenship, identity, community, and meaning-making.

Please send a 300-word paper proposal and one page C.V. to no later than November 30, 2009. Please indicate “Taking Stock” in the subject box of your message, and include the title of your presentation and your institutional affiliation in your correspondence. Successful applicants will be notified in December 2009.

Delegates who would like to participate in the event but who wish not to present are encouraged to contact Nina Boric at (416.505.8009) to register their interest. Information is also available on the website