Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Call for Papers: ICME 2013 Brazil Annual Conference

ICME/2013/Brasil Annual Conference
Rio de Janeiro, Brasil  10-17 August, 2013

ICME (the International Committee for Museums of Ethnography), an international committee of the International Council of Museums (ICOM), will hold its 2013 annual conference on 10-17 August, 2013, as part of the ICOM 23rd General Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. 

The theme for the ICOM Triennial is Museums (memory + creativity = social change) - which describes the general notion that museums wish and work to promote change. The mathematical equation inspiring the 23rd General Conference of the International Council of Museums suggests that this work arises from a composition between creative freshness and the memory constructed and entrusted to museums. It is memory activated by creativity in the museum environment reverberating in the society and promoting social change. (see
ICME/2013/Brasil invites papers addressing the following two themes:
  1. Focus on Collecting:  Contemporary Collecting and Reinterpreting (Older) Collections, a joint session with the ICOM International committees COMCOL and ICMAH
  2. Curators, Collections, Collaboration: Towards a Global Ethics

Theme 1.  Focus on Collecting:  Contemporary Collecting for Reinterpreting (Older) Collections

Museum collections have to be constantly interpreted and reinterpreted in order to extend knowledge about the collected objects.  It is a long-accepted fact that each museum is defined by its collections, but a contemporary museum offers its visitors much more than the elements of the past. Museums from different disciplines encounter questions of how to give new meaning to objects in interaction with a multicultural community.  We ask how can associations between old collections be made with recent society with the help of contemporary collecting?

Some museums have successfully opening a dialogue with their communities or their representatives by relating them to the objects in museum collections. Members of a community have helped to interpret the objects from museum collections, for example, recent temporary exhibitions at the Museum of World Cultures in Gothenburg. A museum may be a form, but it is always determined by how it communication with objects, by the messages it sends. The new ethnographic museum will be able to start the dialogue with different cultures and find numerous issues that connect it with their local features; it will invite its citizens to bring their possessions and tell their stories.  It will interpret new events in society through exhibitions in which all social classes will meet and join in dialogue.

Many museums are struggling to display the objects and stories of recent history.  We often struggle again academic training to create collections of and write the stories of our own time. What about the museums? Do we handle contemporary history differently compared to, let’s say, history of Middle Ages? How can we include recent history to the activities of archaeological, ethnographic, history and other museums? 

We invite papers which focus on the notion and practice of contemporary collecting and the reinterpretation of (older) collections as well as upon participative collecting from museum ethnographers, historians, sociologists and others. 

Theme 2. Curators, Collections, Collaboration: Towards a Global Ethics

Papers invited for these ICME sessions will address issues in today’s ethnography museums from the point of view of curatorial decisions.  Who is responsible for creating memories and whose stories are represented in our museums?  We invite papers which approach these questions revealing on-going work by museum ethnographers and others to provide global answers.

Submitting abstracts

Abstracts of between 250 and 300 words will be submitted for selection to the ICME Review Committee, chaired by Annette B. Fromm. Submissions should be sent to by April 15, 2013.  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 are available on the ICOM 23nd General Conference website - Details of the ICME conference will be forthcoming on the ICME web site -

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.

Final details of the ICME conference, including the annual ICME post-conference tour,  are still being confirmed, but the general format of the annual meeting will consist of paper and discussion sessions.

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