Gendering Museum Histories call for papers

Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, September 7 – 08, 2016
Museums and Galleries History Group Biennial Conference
Gendering Museum Histories

This conference addresses the relationship between museums, galleries
and gender during the last 400 years. Museums can be understood as
buildings, institutions, collections, displays, interpretations and
groups of people; each of these aspects has both reflected and shaped
ideas about gender and its construction and meaning. While the
gendering of collections and museum displays has attracted some
attention (for example Porter 1990; Machin 2008), too often other
gendered aspects of museum and gallery history, such as employment
practices or visitors, have been mentioned only in passing, yet it
seems likely that museums have been responsible both for defining and
for subverting gender roles and identities. This conference aims to
draw attention to this topic, and to bring ideas and practices relating
to gender from different periods of museum history into productive

We are delighted that the keynote speaker will be Merete Ipsen,
Director of the Women¹s Museum in Aarhus, Denmark, who will be speaking
about gender in museums between the 1970s and the present.

We welcome proposals for 20-minute papers which address the points
below, or which address other aspects of gender and museum history
(papers dealing with contemporary museums should also have a historical
comparative aspect). We are keen to receive proposals which engage with
the full spectrum of gender presentation.
Topics may include but are not restricted to:
– Gender, display and curatorial practice
– Interpreting and narrating gender in museums
– Museum collecting/collections and gender
– Gendered performances: museum and gallery visitors
– Gender and invisible workers: museum photographers, copyists, clerks,
warders, assistants etc.
– Gender and volunteering
– The development of museum governance: trustees, committees &c
– Gender, philanthropy and patronage/matronage
– Museums and the enforcing/contestation of gender roles
– Gendered space and gendered buildings
– Gender, sexuality and museums- Gendered objects of study in museums: personality museums etc.

Please submit a 300 word max proposal, along with a 1-page max CV, to, by 11 March 2016

We will consider proposals for 3-paper panels; please submit individual
paper proposals along with a rationale for the panel as a whole and
indicate if you will supply a chair for the panel or not.

We also welcome proposals for posters as there are likely to be a
relatively small number of paper slots. Posters should address the
themes given above. Proposals for posters should be received by 29
April 2016 (same email address) and should include title, author(s) and
brief description (2-300 words) of the poster content.
The final poster format will be as follows:

Maximum size A2
Orientation may be landscape or portrait
The title of the poster and the names and contact details of all
authors should appear at the top
Please note, all participants whether speakers or poster presenters
will have to cover their own costs including conference registration
(though it is anticipated this will be less than £10 for MGHG members).

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