Call for Fellows / Call for Papers: ICME Conference 2015 | Viet Nam

ICME Conference 2015

The International Committee for Museums of Ethnology (ICME), one of the international committees of the International Council of Museums (ICOM), will hold its 2015 annual conference from 21 to 23 October in Hanoi, Viet Nam.

This year’s conference is entitled “Museums and Communities: Diversity, Dialogue, Collaboration”. It will address the contemporary museum’s concern with power, representation and affect. Specifically, the conference will consider the transformation of exhibition spaces from sites where knowledge is transmitted to passive audiences towards potential contact zones or forums where diverse community voices and visibilities are raised and new knowledge(s) actively constructed in on-going dialogue.

Conference organisers have launched a call for ICME fellows as well as a call for papers.

In the context of the call for fellowship funding, 3 ICME fellows from individual members of ICME from developing nations or ICME youth members will be selected to attend the conference. Applicants shall be engaged actively in curatorial, education, research or developmental work in a museum. Applications should be sent by 30 April.

On the other hand, the call for papers invites contributions addressing the conference theme from a number of angles, as a major interest lies in the creativity of disciplinary and spatial border crossings. The conference raises a number of questions, which in one way or another have been vital considerations at ICME’s conferences over the years, including the following:

  • How can we reinterpret and reimagine historical collections, together with source communities to engage diverse new audiences? What new collaborative ways of working with material culture and the intangible heritage from which it emerges might enhance the social value of museums?
  • Is social media and technology helpful to museums intent on engaging diverse audiences? Can technological innovations contribute to more genuinely inclusive engagement? Does technology and interactivity detract from the aura of the real? Are traditional curatorial skills, knowledge and indeed posts put at risk by the ‘turn’ towards new media and audiences?
  • How might community perspectives and diverse new voices be integrated into curatorial practice in substantive ways? Can museums and communities partnerships promote genuine intercultural understanding in place of fearful stereotype? Is it possible that new collaborations might enable museum collections, often established in colonial times with all the ‘difficult histories’ of this heritage, be reemployed to progress a more positive future? What fresh collaborative relationships with artists, source communities and local communities may be seen to enhance understandings of ‘us’ and ‘them’ in the frontier zone of ‘both-and’ that lies beyond restrictive ‘either-or’ binary oppositions.

Paper abstracts should be sent by 1 May 2015.

For additional information on the conference and these calls, please visit

Pictured above: participants at the 2014 ICME Conference, held in Zagreb, Croatia, October 2014.


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