European Commission - 7th Framework Programme European Museums and Libraries in/of the age of migrations last updated: February 2015

Brave New Worlds. Transforming Museum Ethnography through Technology

15–16 April 2013

Brighton, United Kingdom | Brighton Museum & Art Gallery


DEADLINE: 7 December 2012
We invite papers from curators, conservators, artists, makers, anthropologists, art and design historians, digital media practitioners, researchers and others that explore the impact of technology upon the development and interpretation of museum ethnography, historically and today.
Museum ethnography has always been shaped by technology. Before the digital age, new mediums such as photography, film and sound recordings transformed the sciences of anthropology and ethnography and brought new meaning to ethnographic museum collections. How were these technologies exploited by museums and other agencies working on their behalf? What have these technologies brought to our field? What are their legacies?
Museums now exist in a digital era where communication is instant and global. How are new technologies being harnessed to develop and disseminate knowledge about ethnographic museum collections? To what extent does technology facilitate ‘global’ dialogues? To what extent does it limit them? Is the growth of new technologies enabling wider ownership of knowledge or creating new knowledge elites? What impact is social media having upon how collections knowledge can be generated and shared? Is technology creating new cultural objects and, if so, how can these be collected or recorded?

Papers may wish to address one of more of the following areas
  • The impact of photography, sound recordings, film and other technologies on the development of museum ethnography
  • How new technologies have and are being employed by source and indigenous communities in the promotion of their own cultural heritage
  • The development of digital heritage resources and other web-based technologies as a means of sharing and developing collections knowledge and promoting community engagement, also the use of technologies as a means of achieving ‘virtual repatriation’
  • The impact, of these, on the protection of indigenous cultural and intellectual property
  • The use of technology in documentation, exhibition and interpretation, conservation and all other aspects of museum ethnography
  • How new technologies - scanning, 3D/4D technologies, modeling – can promote the preservation and understanding of ethnographic objects
As usual, one session of the conference will be devoted to shorter reports on prospective, new, current or recently completed projects of interest to museum ethnographers. Main session papers will be 20 minutes long (with 10 minutes for questions) and shorter reports 10 minutes.
Outline submissions should include a title, a short description of the paper's contents (no more than 200 words) and name, position/institution (if relevant), and contact details of the speaker.Submissions should be sent by email to both:
  • Helen Mears, Keeper of World Art, Royal Pavilion & Museums
  • Claire Wintle, Lecturer in the History of Art and Design, University of Brighton
Booking for the conference will commence in January 2013
Please note that all speakers at the conference are required to pay conference fees and that the Museum Ethnographers Group does not have funds available to meet speakers' expenses.