Theme 1: Visitors

On the relation of museum to its communities of users.

  • Visitor diversity in the inclusive museum
  • Defining museum stakeholders and measuring participation
  • The politics of heritage: national, regional, ethnic, diasporic and first nation identities
  • Multilingualism: accessibility for small languages and cultures
  • Gender and sexual orientation in the museum
  • Disability access in the museum
  • Competing cultures: high, folk, popular, techno-scientific
  • Public trust: re-establishing the bases of ‘authority’
  • Defining the ‘education’ and ‘communications’ roles of museums
  • Pedagogy as presentation or dialogue: how the museum relates to its visitors
  • The ubiquitous museum: towards the anywhere anytime learning resource
  • Competing pleasures: museums against or with ‘entertainment’ and ‘edutainment’
  • Cross connections: with schools, with universities
  • Sponsorship and philanthropy: logics and logistics
  • The economics of admissions
  • Memberships: changing roles and demographics
  • Voluntarism and professionalism: calibrating the mix
  • Government stakeholders (local, state, national, transnational): museums in politics and navigating government funding and policies

Theme 2: Collections

On the practices and processes of collecting and curating.

  • The changing work of the curator
  • Exhibition didactics: the dynamics of visitor learning
  • The idea of ‘heritage’: changing conceptions of what counts
  • Authenticity, decontextualization and recontextualization of objects-on-show
  • Custodianship and community assets: meanings and purposes for the museum
  • Representing social and cultural intangible heritage
  • The ‘ethnographic’ and the ‘anthropological’: framing first peoples and other ‘traditions’
  • Technologies in the museum
  • Arts in the museum
  • Environment in the museum
  • The process of acquisition: competing demands and limited resources
  • Conservation, preservation: negotiating changing priorities
  • Artifacts: what are the objects of the museum?
  • Places for amateurism: barefoot repositories and the self-made museum

Theme 3: Representations

On museums as repositories and communicators of culture and knowledge.

  • Museums as knowledge makers
  • Museums as cultural creators
  • Architectonics: designing buildings and information architectures
  • Research and investigation in the museum
  • Measuring knowledge ‘outputs’
  • Intellectual property: commons versus commercialism?
  • Knowledge management paradigms and practices
  • ‘Neutrality’, ‘balance’ and ‘objectivity’; or ‘narrative’ and ‘politics’? The knowledge rhetorics of the museum
  • Knowledge frames: modern and postmodern museums
  • Cross connections: with libraries, with galleries, with educational institutions, with arts centers
  • The digitization of everything: from collection objects to media representations
  • The virtual museum
  • Online discoverability and public access
  • Museums in and for the knowledge society: preserving heritage ‘born digital’
  • New literacies: changing the balance of creative agency in the era of the Internet and new media
  • Addressing the digital divide
  • Digital disability access
  • Cataloguing, metadata, discovery and access
  • Internet standards, semantic publishing and the semantic web