CfP: Sensitive, problematic, contested? Challenges and opportunities in dealing with cultural heritage in museums

30. April 2024
Call for papers

International conference in Zurich, Wednesday–Friday, 20–22 November 2024

Topics of case studies include, but are not limited to:
New approaches and practices of research; collaborative approaches and multi-perspectivity; new perspectives on museum collections and collecting; legal and ethical questions of collecting; dilemmas of and reasons for collecting, preserving and conserving; shared heritage and responsibilities to society, communities and stakeholders; digital strategies, accessibility and transparency; displaying, contextualising, mediating, handling and speaking about objects, testimonials and histories in exhibitions.

15 minutes/approx. 2200 words will be allotted for each paper. The conference language is English. The organisers will reimburse the cost of board & lodging and travel (2nd class / economy) expenses upon submission of receipts. Please upload your proposal (max. 1 page) in English together with a short C. V. at by the end of April 2024.

The three-day international conference is primarily aimed at experts and practitioners. The focus is on the exchange of experiences from practice in dealing with objects, testimonies and stories that are considered "sensitive, problematic or contested". The aim is a lively, open exchange on topics, methodological, strategic and programmatic considerations from a wide range of perspectives. The conference is orientated towards the major practical fields of museum work and includes but is not limited to the following questions: How do museums communicate the history of objects, collections and protagonists? How do they collect, preserve, research and present collections and cultural heritage that are linked to controversial or difficult historical experiences, unequal power relations, social debates and contexts of violence and injustice – including colonialism, the Second World War and other conflicts and power inequalities? Are there "best practices" and what can we learn from the experiences of other institutions? What does a new approach mean for the change of structures, practices and the identity of an institution?

Organised by
A collaboration between Kunsthaus Zurich, Swiss National Museum and Museum Rietberg

Zusätzliche Informationen


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