Appel à communications. Cultures of Curating: Curatorial Practices and the Production of Meaning c. 1650-2000 (Lincoln, 12-13 juillet 2012)

Cultures of Curating: Curatorial Practices and the Production of Meaning c. 1650-2000
The 2012 conference of the Museums and Galleries History Group, to be held at the University of Lincoln 12-13 July 2012

Call for papers

While museum history now acknowledges the constructed nature of the museum narrative, and maintains that museum work such as cataloguing, conserving and displaying is not neutral, but actually produces meaning, relatively little work has examined the ways in which curatorial practices have developed, and the specific consequences for museums. Display has attracted most of the work that has been done, but ‘behind the scenes’ activities have not been investigated in such depth.
We seek submissions which investigate any aspect of the developing work of the curator, from creating an acquisitions policy, to labelling and documentation, to publicity work, as we wish to explore curating as both craft and profession. We also invite
contributors to consider how curatorial practices constituted the museum object, and attempted to produce or suppress certain meanings for museum objects; and how such practices formed particular relationships between curators and other museum figures such as donors and visitors. We are interested in submissions which consider a wide variety of periods and places, and all types of curating, from fine art to science.

Confirmed keynote speaker: Dr Sam Alberti, Director, Hunterian Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons.

We invite papers on themes such as:
How curators were trained, and how they understood their role
Cataloguing and museum documentation
Acquisition – the role of the curator
Conservation and storage
Display and interpretation
How and why curatorial practices changed
The role of place and space in shaping curatorial practices
Curatorial practices, disciplines and discourses of knowledge
Curatorial practices and relationships with the wider public

We also invite session proposals. Session proposals should include a brief outline of the session (250 words) as well as three abstracts (300 words max. each) for the proposed session. For session proposals, please indicate who will chair the session.

Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words to or Kate Hill (
Closing date for proposals: 1 February 2012

(Please note, all those attending and giving papers will need to pay the registration fee)

Reference <>.

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