A conference entitled “From Malacca to Manchester: Curating Islamic Collections Worldwide” will be held at Manchester Museum, United Kingdom, on 23-24 February 2017. The conference is part of a wider project to catalogue and research collections of Islamic art and material culture across the Manchester Museums and Galleries Partnership (MMGP), and is supported by the John Ellerman Foundation. A call for paper proposals  has recently been launched.
The conference will explore and appraise current and developing practices in the curating of museum collections of Islamic art and material culture around the world, in Europe and in the UK. A keynote address by Dr Stefan Weber, Director of the Museum of Islamic Art in Berlin, will be complemented by a series of presentations, panel discussions, practical workshops, and visits to collections in Manchester including the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester Museum, The John Rylands Library (Special Collections), and Manchester Art Gallery. The conference’s aim is to offer a vibrant and challenging perspective on the field, review ongoing projects and public and scholarly engagement, and explore professionals’ aspirations for the future developments of collections of Islamic art and material culture.
Original proposals are welcome from museum professionals, rising and established academic scholars, and graduate students. Submissions are invited on topics including, but not limited to:
- Recent and continuing developments in the organisation and display of museum collections of Islamic art and material culture.
- The conceptual understanding of these collections (both ‘Islamic’ and ‘art’ as concepts).
- The representation of faith in the museum.
- Presenting cultural complexity engagingly.
- Islam in Europe: in the museum.
- How museum education and volunteer programmes are engaging with this field.
- Outreach and education involving both Muslim and non-Muslim groups.
- Particular challenges faced by non-specialists working with these collections.
- Addressing the longstanding scholarly exclusion of certain regions from the traditional consideration of ‘Islamic world’ (i.e. parts of South and South-East Asia).
- Migration of artistic techniques and transregional interconnection between cultures.
- Approaches to the museum presentation of Islamic artistic traditions alongside those of non-Islamic cultures which are related temporally, geographically, or stylistically.
Proposals are welcome for 20-minute paper presentations, with an additional 10 minutes for questions, as well as for panels of up to four speakers. They should be sent by 25 September.
For additional information about the international conference “From Malacca to Manchester: Curating Islamic Collections Worldwide” and the related call for papers, please visit http://documents.manchester.ac.uk/DocuInfo.aspx?DocID=29376 
Image above: from the Facebook group  “Islamic Art and Material Culture Subject Specialist Network”