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International Committee for Museums of Ethnography 2011 Annual Conference
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10/2/2011 to 10/5/2011
When: 10/2/2011
Where: Bad Staffelstein
Contact: Annette Fromm
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International Council of Museums-International Committee for Museums of Ethnography Annual Conference 2011

Banz Monastery at Bad Staffelstein (Upper Franconia), Germany

2-5 October, 2011


ICME (the International Committee for Museums of Ethnography) is an international committee of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) devoted to ethnography (ethnology, anthropology, folk) museums focusing on local, national and international cultures. ICME is concerned with the challenges facing ethnographic museums and collections in a changing world.

ICME will hold its 2011 annual conference on 2-5 October, 2011, at the Banz Monastery at Bad Staffelstein (Upper Franconia), Germany, in collaboration with the University of Bamberg/Department of European Ethnology. Final details of the ICME conference are forthcoming, but the general format of the annual meeting will consist of paper and discussion sessions and a one day excursion to museums in the area.

Optional - a short pre-conference tour (October 1-2) in Bamberg - World Heritage City - will be organized as well as the usual ICME post conference tour (October 5-8).

Dissolving boundaries. Museological approaches to national, social and cultural issues, from the point of view of ethnographic museums. Borders, boundaries, exclusion, delimitation or the dissolution of boundaries as a result of geographical, political, social and cultural parameters in long-term perspectives are not static. They are linked to a steady influence of different forces. Such processes take place quietly without conflict or they end in graduated collisions.

Borders, boundaries and dissolution are not limited to the grand level of nations or levels of policy planning systems. They also concern the social and cultural constitution of formal and informal groups. Terms like "equal" and "different" are often determined by everyday life experiences. Religious and ethnic identity constructions as well as comprehensive examples of migration, gender or age-specific distinctions present boundaries expressed by exclusions which need to be overcome. The variety of borders and their delimitation contribute towards political and social life.

How do museum ethnographers document and present political and social processes of these types?

What is the role of place (in situ, museum, information center) and the role played by authentic objects, photographs, texts?

What is the response of male and female and other visitors?

ICME/2011/Banz Monastery invites proposals of 20-minute presentations which address issues related to the topic of the conference. We also welcome paper proposals from non ICME members. Papers addressing the following sub-theme will also be welcomed:

The Challenging Museum/Challenging the Museum- Through this topic, speakers can examine how museums of cultures and societies address themes that are perceived as difficult, or connected to dilemmas of various natures. This annual theme has been adopted by the ICME Work Group, chaired by Per B. Rekdal (

Submitting abstracts

Abstracts of between 250 and 300 words will be submitted for selection to the ICME Review Committee, chaired by Annette B. Fromm, ICME President . Submissions should be sent to by May 15, 2010. If you send the abstract as attachment, please also include the text of the abstract in the text of the e-mail itself.

The following information should be included with the abstract:
- Title of submitted paper
- Name(s) of Author(s)
- Affiliation(s) & full address(es)
- Abstract in English (between 250 and 300 words)
- Support equipment required

General conference information
Registration forms, registration fee information, hotels, and other details will be forthcoming on the ICME web site -

For more information about Banz Monastery -

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