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"Re-Imagining the Museum in the Global Contemporary" Conference
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10/9/2018 to 10/12/2018
When: Tuesday, October 9, 2018
Where: Tartu

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The annual 2018 ICOM-ICME conference "Re-Imagining the Museum in the Global Contemporary," will be held in Estonia October 9–12, 2018. This conference will reflect upon the complex context(s) in which museums exist today and creatively examine the range of new and future roles participants might productively employ in their respective and interconnected institutions.

ICME is the international committee of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) devoted to ethnographic museums and collections from local, national, and/or global cultures and societies. The ICOM-ICME annual conference brings together diverse museum scholars and practitioners from across the world.

It has now been fifteen years since Andrea Witcomb published Re-imagining the Museum, but her text remains relevant today. Museums are situated in a world of rapidly changing global politics, contested digital technologies, and increasing socio-economic inequalities. Within this "global contemporary," museum professionals recognize that various ideologies and ethical perspectives greatly influence and impact their work, in regard to understanding collections, designing exhibitions, and various other aspects of museum work.

Contemporary museum professionals may be asked to perform a range of roles that take them out of their traditional comfort zones, as they seek collaborative action across boundaries including: nation, ethnic identity, class, disability, gender and sexual preference. Museums have often ventured into difficult discussions and the engagement of diverse audiences. Museum professionals might prioritize storytelling and sharing curatorial power so that myriad stories can be told in exhibition spaces, programs and outreach to attract more diverse audiences. At the same time, such work can be seen as radical change threatening collections care, research and the place of the object in "new" museums devoted to opening dialogue.

With the 51st annual conference, the Conference Committee presents the question: Are these various positions mutually exclusive? The conference offers a space to consider that a "both and" rather than an "either/or" perspective may be possible, moving the field beyond binary positions that put ‘progress’ and ‘tradition’ in unhealthy tension.

ICME are delighted to announce four keynote speakers: Dr Wayne Modest (Netherlands), Dr Pille Runnel (Estonia), Dr Philipp Schorch (Germany) and Dr Andrea Witcomb (Australia).

For more information, including the conference CFP (due April 20, 2018), visit the post for the conference in the AFS Review.

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