2nd Call: Museum of Our Own (Museology in Asia Conference)

This is a second call for papers for the upcoming conference Museum of Our Own: In Search of Local Museology in Asia on running 18-20 November in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. List of topics and convenors after the jump.

ugmconference

Conference website

Writing Museum in Southeast Asia
Convener:Prof. DR Bambang Purwanto (Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia)
Museums in Southeast Asia emerged at the end of the nineteenth century, through initiatives by
both local authorities and colonial governments. Especially in the latter case these museums
functioned within a colonial context, as part of a technology of colonial rule. After independence
museums in Asia adopted new functions, and were mobilized as part the new national
government’s attempt to fashion national narratives. As new museums emerge and old museums
try to redefine their missions and visions for contemporary society, what critical histories can we
write of these institutions and the ways they have functioned in different Asian societies over the
years? In what ways do these histories impact on the current role that these museum play, or can
play today? Can any regional tendencies in museum histories and practices be detected in the ways
that these museums developed? The conveners of this session want to explore these histories from
different perspective looking at the relationship between national and regional histories and the
development of museums.

The West and the Rest, the development of the theory of museology.
Convener: DR. Wayne Modest (National Museum of Worldcultures, The Netherlands)
Since Macdonald and Fyfe’s 1998 call for ‘theorizing the museum’ a large and robust body of
literature has developed that could be regarded as museological theory. Drawing on different
disciplinary frames from anthropology to art history, from history to archeology, much of this
theorization has occurred in the so-called ‘West’ with limited attention paid to non-western
museum practices. Where calls for a non-western museology have occurred, for example Kreps
(date), these have often not taken hold, resulting in little real attempts to think through what such a
model for museology could look like? But is there really a need for a non-western museology or are
the models that are developed in the west applicable to other places across the world? Should
models for museological theory and practices be locally based? If yes what could this look like?

Museum and Heritage
Convener: DR. Tular Sudarmadi (Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia)
The long existence of museums in countries such as Indonesia as well as the different points of view
on collections is inseparable from the dynamics of heritage discourse locally and globally. How do
we take these histories as well as past and present heritage discourse into account as we train
museums professionals or formulate strategies for more successful museum practices?

Conservation
Convener: DR. Mahirta (Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia)
Traditional museological practices have maintained rigid rules and standards for
preservation/conservation. These rules have for decades been applied universally and are taught
through museum training programmes or global heritage governance organizations such as ICOM
or ICCROM. More recently, these standards have been questioned, demanding more flexible
applications mindful of local situations. But are there ethno-conservation standards or other more
locally sensitive procedures acceptable to take care of the museum collections? If yes, how should
local standards for preservation be developed and embedded in practices? How do these take
ground mindful of collaborative practices across Global North/South divide and discourses of
International Development.

Museology Education in Indonesia
Convener: Pim Westerkamp, MA (National Museum of Worldcultures, The Netherlands)
Museums in Southeast Asia have developed since the end of the nineteenth century, through initiatives
by both local authorities and colonial governments. Especially in the latter case these museums
functioned within a colonial context, as part of a technology of colonial rule. After independence
museums in Southeast Asia adopted new functions, and were mobilized as part the new national
government’s attempt to fashion national narratives. As new museums emerge and old museums try to
redefine their missions and visions for contemporary society, what critical histories can we write of
these institutions and the ways they have functioned in different SEA societies over the years. In what
ways do these histories impact on the current role that these museum play, or can play today. The
conveners of this session want to explore these histories from different perspective looking at the
relationship between national and regional histories and the development of museums.

More details in the conference website here.

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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