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We are delighted to announce that the MEG conference 2020 will be taking place at National Museums Liverpool on May 21st and 22nd on the theme of  'Creativity and Museums'

Call for Papers:

[T]he ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination – The Creative Museum Project.

What does creativity look like for Museum Ethnography? While collaboration, particularly with originating communities, is now recognised as vital for bringing new, culturally valuable and previously silenced perspectives to ethnography collections, less has been said about the creative process that underpins collaboration.

The 2020 Museum Ethnographers Group conference at World Museum in Liverpool aims to consider creativity and museum ethnography from a variety of standpoints:

Museum Ethnography and Creative Practice: what happens when diverse creative practitioners and practices (such as street poets, film makers, theatre stage designers, game designers, comedians, and escape room designers) engage with ethnography collections;

Creativity and Innovation: with dwindling resources how has creative practice solved problems for ethnography collection care, display, digitisation, or consultation and engagement.

Creativity and Museum Audiences: what kinds of collective creativity have resulted from collaborative processes involving museum audiences;

Creativity and Risk: have museums taken creative risks with contested objects, or aspects of professional practices that uphold a colonial mindset;

Creativity and Institutional Memory: what methods enable museums to learn from, share and document the creative process.

We now invite papers, presentations and creative responses that address issues of creativity, collaboration and museum ethnography and we particularly welcome those that include case studies that speak to the following questions:

Does creativity challenge established processes of displaying, managing and interpreting ethnography and colonial-era collections? If so how?

Can prototyping, experimenting and sharing the process of production create new audiences for ethnography collections?

How has the economic downturn both inhibited and encouraged creative practice, and what does this mean for sustaining creative collaborations on a limited budget?

What happens to acts of creativity after the fact? How do we document processes of creative practice, and more broadly speaking, embed its presence into the memory of the museum?

How can we make sense of creativity when it does not meet the brief? Is it possible to think creatively about institutional risk, failure and accountability?

Abstracts of approx. 250 words to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Closing date: 29 February 2020

Museum Ethnographers Group Conference Bursary Scheme

MEG aspires to make the group and the Conference accessible to all involved in this field, and to diversify the membership. To this end, MEG is offering bursaries to help people attend the Conference.

One overseas bursary is available to assist an individual, with no institutional support, to present a paper. The bursary, up to £1,500, can assist with the Conference fee, travel, accommodation and food. Payment method to be discussed with recipient.

How to apply: send a covering note with your proposal for a paper, to the conference organiser, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.stating why you want to give your paper at this conference, how attendance at Conference will benefit your study / work, and how you will share your learning. The main assessment criteria will be the suitability of the proposed paper to the theme of the Conference, as judged by the Conference organiser.

Two UK bursaries are aimed at people working (paid or voluntary) or wanting to work in UK museums, without institutional support to attend the Conference, with up to £250 each for Conference fees, travel, accommodation and food. Applications are especially welcome from those underrepresented in the cultural sector and those on a low income.

How to apply: send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. stating why you want to attend the Conference, how attendance at the Conference will benefit your study / work, and how you will share your learning. Please state if you identify as BAME and / or receive a low income.

Applications will be assessed on the perceived benefits of attending and the fit with MEG’s aspirations.

Deadline for UK bursaries is 29 February 2020.

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