The Media Majlis at Northwestern University in Qatar
Open position: Registrar
Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q), situated at Education City in Doha and a member of Qatar Foundation, is one of the twelve schools of Northwestern University, a leading non-profit research university founded in Evanston, Illinois, in 1851. Since 2008 NU-Q has offered Bachelor of Science degrees in Journalism and in Communication, as well as a certificate in Middle East Studies and a joint minor, with Georgetown University, in media and politics. In January 2017 Northwestern opened its new home in Doha, designed by the highly regarded architect Antoine Predock.
A focal point of this new building will be The Media Majlis, the first university museum in Qatar, and the first museum in the Arab world dedicated to the content of media, journalism and communication. Through active discussion and interrogation, the museum’s exhibitions will explore journalism, communication and media—pasts, presents and futures—with a global orientation that reflects the universal nature of media, overlaid with Qatar, Persian Gulf, and Middle East perspectives.
Historical perspectives will help visitors understand the media landscape but The Media Majlis will largely focus on present-day and future aspects and issues of journalism and communication, featuring interactive and digital components combined with physical objects, programing, and publications. The Media Majlis is a bilingual museum, which will be open to the general public and dedicated to providing audiences with constructivist, visitor-centered exhibitions, programs and resources in a positive, dynamic, educational and interactive environment. The museum will use extensive technology resources, actively contribute to research and the museum profession, and take a future-orientated trajectory.
The internal ethos that drives The Media Majlis, its tone and mindset can be summed up in three words: Always Another Side. This principle allows the museum to blow open subjects by exploring different disciplines and perspectives—enriching every story to offer a 360° perspective. The Media Majlis never assumes a story is finished, and interweaves contributions from media, specialists and academia with those of students, professionals, and visitors, representing multiplicity and inviting lesser-heard voices to speak. This is an active space that brings people together, where exhibitions and programs challenge standard narratives with audiences. As an integral and integrated learning space within the university, The Media Majlis will make accessible and engaging experiences the priority, irrespective of audience.
As a future orientated museum The Media Majlis will feel different than other institutions in the region. Exploring the interplay between local, regional, and global perspectives means that the museum challenges standard narratives. It will pull audiences out of their ‘filtered bubble’ and offer polarities of opinion, broadening audiences’ diet of information. It draws back the curtain on media by exploring lesser-known angles alongside majority views.
Exhibitions aim to introduce and facilitate exploration of topics to better equip audiences to examine the world surrounding them, and engage with it. Audiences leave empowered and with a greater understanding and ability to themselves interrogate the media around them. Each exhibition will explore a narrow but deep, multi-faceted topic, be accompanied by publications, programming, courses, and online materials, amongst other engagements.
The Media Majlis staff is a small international team, supported by, and working in collaboration with, the staff and faculty of one of the world’s highest ranked universities.
The Media Majlis is looking to hire a Registrar to lead all aspects related to objects and collections. This position will plan, organize and implement all processes related to the organization of loans, exhibitions, packing and shipping, storage, insurance, legal, and risk management, for all digital and physical assets, including on- and off-site digitization and ingest, and communications with lenders.
The Registrar will lead on all aspects of the use of the museum’s CMS-DAMS (Qi by Keepthinking) and be the primary staff member for coordination and oversight of exhibition loans, including initial agreements, shipping, insurance, display, de-installation, and return, including all associated paperwork and Qi records. Other position components include: coordinate and conduct digitization of objects in appropriate formats, with associated metadata and storage; conduct all object and digital care, including incoming and outgoing Condition Reports and environmental controls; and organization of conservation if required.
The museum’s Registrar is a critical member of a small international team. Due to the place of the museum within a university, extensive production, IT, digital media, and related aspects, facilities, and staffing are already in place to support the museum’s work. The museum does not hold an accessioned collection so exhibitions may use digital and physical objects from across all collection taxonomies.
The Registrar should therefore be highly organized, solution-focused, detail orientated, and able to work productively and creatively with curators, student researchers, subject specialists and faculty, and both local and international lenders and institutions. Candidates should have an entrepreneurial outlook, be interested in exploring what exhibitions can be, and enjoy being challenged. Ideally candidates should have experience in a new institution, and have worked with digital exhibition content.
The Registrar should have some combination of museum, exhibition lending/borrowing, and digital media experience, and have experienced working outside their own culture. This position is located in Doha, Qatar, where the Registrar is required to reside, therefore knowledge and experience of Gulf culture, audiences and local museum practice is a distinct, though not required, advantage. If unfamiliar with Gulf and regional museum research the Registrar is expected to familiarize themselves with non-western and regional practice, and local audience research and social and cultural backgrounds.
This position reports to the museum’s director with extensive collaboration with curators, and will take an active role in long-range exhibition planning, strategic outlook, budget planning and collaborative projects with faculty and other entities. The Registrar may oversea student workers and researchers, and Masters placement/internship students as required. Active participation in conferences, publications and public speaking is expected of this position, which may also include limited exhibition-related course teaching, and participation in university wide projects or committees. This position may involve frequent travel, and is open for immediate hiring.
• Masters degree (MA, MSc, MPrac.) in museum studies, curatorial studies, registarial practice, archives, or related subject; Bachelors with 4+ years museum registrarial or collections management experience will be considered.
• Experience dealing with material (physical or digital) from the areas of media, journalism, television and broadcast, radio, film and video, communication, digital media, gaming/gamification, digital or video art, or closely related subject matter.
• Minimum two year’s museum or archive experience with one or more areas of registration, collections management, touring exhibitions, copyright and licensing, or digital material (work in exhibition spaces or similar institutions will be considered).
• Fluent in English, including museum terminology and practice experience, and experience writing for print or online projects.
• Exceptional team work and time management skills, and experienced managing staff or interns.
• High familiarity and comfort with new technology, including digitization processes, with experience of using a CMS-DAMS.
• Proactive in independent work, with a high level of discretion and confidentiality.
• Ability to travel.
• Experience with living and working outside of own culture, and working internationally.
• Active desire to take part in conferences, publications and similar.
• Arabic fluency, or abilities in Urdu, Hindi, Tagalog, or French.
• Experience of living and working in Qatar or other Gulf State
• Background, experience or training in one or more areas of journalism, communication or media.
Northwestern offers a highly competitive compensation and benefits package.
Application is via Northwestern’s careers website: http://www.northwestern.edu/hr/careers/
Once in eRecruit, choose ‘Doha, Qatar’ from Primary Location menu on left of screen
Position listing: ‘Gallery Registrar – 31642’