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CFP: How to navigate multiple historical narratives in museums?

The Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C²DH) invites proposals for the online symposium, “Participation and public interpretations: How to navigate multiple historical narratives in museums?” on 7 December 2021.

Museums can be battlegrounds for political discussions, seeking to mediate between often emotionally, and sometimes ideologically, charged discourses about the histories of nations, individuals, and identities. This symposium will bring together scholars, museum and archives professionals, heritage and other public history practitioners to discuss if and how multiple and sometimes conflicting historical narratives can coexist in museums.

Abstract proposals for 15-20-minute presentations are invited that discuss and demonstrate specific participatory projects and approaches addressing the multiplicity of historical narratives in museums, as well as those that address broader methodological and epistemological issues pertaining to the approaches to polyvocality in historiography and museums.

Possible themes include but are not limited to:

  • Multiple perspectives and polyvocality in museums
  • Conflicting narratives, challenges and clashes in museums
  • The negotiation of collective narration and power in participatory practices
  • Public participation and conflict-resolution
  • Cultural and memory wars in museums
  • Agonism and dealing with conflicting interpretations
  • Approaches to conflicting narratives and interpretations of the past
  • Shared authority and the evolving role of historians within the context of participation
  • Museums in post/conflict societies
  • How can we exploit participatory practices to achieve multifocality in historical narratives?
  • How and to what extent can digital tools be involved in this process?
  • Can digitisation expand museums’ possibilities of adapting to polyvocality?
  • Public participation and identity politics in museums
  • Museum as a (non) neutral environment
  • Museums as a stage for activism and social justice
  • Reinventing the public space in museums

To apply, please send

  • a 500-word (in English) abstract of the presentation
  • a short biography (in English) (200 words max) including name, institutional affiliation, and email address

Send your documents to phacs@uni.lu before 30 September 2021.

View the full call at C2DH.

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