Overall Theme, 2008: Creativity, Cultural Diversity, Intangible Heritage and Sustainable Development
Theme 1: Objects of Concern
- The idea of ‘heritage’: changing conceptions of what counts.
- Custodianship and community assets: meanings and purposes for the museum.
- The politics of heritage: national, regional, ethnic and diaporic identities.
- Representing social and cultural intangibles.
- The ‘ethnographic’ and the ‘anthropological’: framing first peoples and other ‘traditions’.
- Competing cultures: high, folk, popular, techno-scientific.
- Technologies in the museum.
- Arts in the museum.
- Environment in the museum.
Theme 2: Interrogating ‘The Collection’
- The process of acquisition: competing demands and limited resources.
- Conservation, preservation: negotiating changing priorities.
- Artefacts: what are the objects of the museum?
- Autheticity, decontextualisation and recontextualisation of objects-on-show.
- Cataloguing, metadata, discovery and access.
Theme 3: Museums as Knowledge Makers and Custodians
- Research and investigation in the museum.
- Measuring intrinsic knowledge ‘outputs’.
- Public trust: re-establishing the bases of ‘authority’.
- Intellectual property: commons versus commercialism?
- Knowledge frames: modern and postmodern museums.
- ‘Neutrality’, ‘balance’ and ‘objectivity’; or ‘narrative’ and ‘politics’? The knowledge rhetorics of the museum.
Theme 4: Pedagogy of the Museum
- Defining the ‘education’ and ‘communications’ roles of museums.
- Pedagogy as presentation or dialogue: how the museum relates to its visitors.
- The ubiquitous museum: towards the anywhere anytime learning resource.
- Exhibition didactics: the dynamics of vistor learning.
- Competing pleasures: museums against or with ‘entertainment’ and ‘edutainment’.
- Cross connections: with schools, with universities.
Theme 5: The Virtual Museum
- The digitisation of everything: from collection objects to media representations.
- Online discoverability and public access.
- Museums in and for the knowledge society: preserving heritage ‘born digital’.
- New media and new literacies: changing the balance of creative agency in the era of wiki, blogs, podcasts ...
- Addressing the digital divide.
- Places for amateurism: barefoot repositories and the self-made museum.
- Polylingualism: accessibility for small languages and cultures.
- Digital disability access.
- On talking to each other: standards, semantic publishing and semantic web.
Theme 6: Museum Business
- Government funding (local, state, national, transnational): museums in politics and navigating government policies.
- Sponsorship and philanthropy: logics and logistics.
- The economics of admissions.
- Memberships: changing roles and demographics.
- Measuring success: big numbers and big successes when you’re not counting.
- Defining stakeholders and measuring participation.
- The changing work of the curator.
- Cross connections: with libraries, with galleries.
- Voluntarism and professionalism: adjusting the mix.
- Knowledge management paradigms: what’s new and not so new.
- Architectonics: designing buildings and information architectures.