PhD workshop on Critical Curatorship - call for applications


Critical Curatorship: Objects, Archives and Collections in Ethnographic Museums

Critical Heritage Studies at Gothenburg University and the Swedish National Museums of World Culture, Gothenburg are pleased to announce a one-week PhD workshop to be held from 19th to 23rd May, 2014 in critical curatorship.


Although there has been intense review of ethnographic museums and their founding discourses over the past four decades, most often through analysis of exhibitions and public programs, the museological practices surrounding catalogues, archives and object magasins/storehouses have been subject to less scrutiny. This week long workshop in critical curatorship will skip over an examination of ethnographic museums’ much analysed public interface and instead go ‘behind the scenes’ to look at the deep ideologies rooted in collections and their archives and catalogues. Using historic material from the stores, students will explore the complications and possibilities of ethnographic objects within the shifting politics of the contemporary world.


The program is conceived as a series of masterclasses in practice and critical thinking, where workshop participants will reflect on: embedded (and submerged) colonial narratives; the possibility of decolonization; the reality of epistemic diversity; the politics of knowledge production; and the representation of conflicts and contests in the collections’ histories. Across the course of the week students will participate in a series of seminars, discussions and practice studios with renowned semiotician Walter Mignolo, Sami museum of Ájtte curator Sunna Kuoljok, acclaimed museum director and commentator Jette Sandahl and head of the Curatorial Department at the Tropenmuseum of the Netherlands, Wayne Modest. During the week students will be required to make a 20 minute presentation of their thesis topic, attend the series of masterclasses and seminars and participate in the hands-on curating studios. 


The week-long workshop is intended as a platform for a network of emerging museum professionals and academics and as such, applications from students in the fields of anthropology, art-history, history, archeology, museum studies, conservation and related disciplines are encouraged.

Please include the following in your application:

  • A 300 word cover letter stating why this workshop is relevant to your work

  • A 200 word description of your thesis topic

  • A letter of support from your supervisor stating that you will be credited with 5 points from your home institution. (Gothenburg University considers this week intensive to be the equal to 5 higher degree points but they will need to be credited by the institution at which you are enrolled)
Please email Questo indirizzo email è protetto dagli spambots. È necessario abilitare JavaScript per vederlo.  or 
Questo indirizzo email è protetto dagli spambots. È necessario abilitare JavaScript per vederlo.  with your application. 
The workshop is limited to 15 participants and application is competitive, based on submission.
Closing date for applications is March 15th, 2014.
Acceptances will be announced March 31st.

Travel and accommodation

There is no fee for the course but students will be required to fund their own fares, accommodation and evening meals. We however have an assistance fund to encourage students facing financial hardship to apply. Please contact us for further information.
We have a number of pre-booked rooms at SGS Veckobostäder  which will be available for SEK 1220/student (2 students/room) for 6 nights. If you want to register for this accommodation or have questions about it, please contact Questo indirizzo email è protetto dagli spambots. È necessario abilitare JavaScript per vederlo. .

Simbdea, società italiana per la museografia e i beni demoetnoantropologici.

c/o Museo internazionale delle marionette Antonio Pasqualino
Piazzetta Antonio Pasqualino 5 - 90133 Palermo

CF: 03251180406

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