University of Malta
 

About the Conference
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As museums navigate uncertain times, some seek to look back in the hope that the new normal will recover the lost publics, most of whom can only be reached online intermittently and in between lockdowns and restricted access procedures. Others have slowly but surely embarked on systemic change. 

At this point in time, we might ask whether museums can morph into genuinely democratic, inclusive and polyphonic spaces for critical conversations about pasts and futures. We could also question whether museums can ever be fully integrated within communities, acting as co-catalysts for radical changes in ways of seeing and living. Indeed, will a human-centred museum, in harmonious existence with the natural environment, ever see the light of day? 

This conference seeks to present the latest thinking, actions and initiatives that modestly or radically depart from the traditional museum idea, to rethink the museum of the future. We are keen on showcasing the latest developments in the museum land-scape, be they reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic, conceptual initiatives that have been in the pipeline for a while or tangible projects happening and evolving in the now, and which may well inform, influence and define the museum of the future. We are particularly keen on showcasing the lessons learnt over the past year and the ways and means how these have been overcome. Yet, we ae also eager to create spaces for critical reflections that can help shape museum futures. 

We shall explore three possible strands of museum futures. The first concerns technology and online, as museums seek to transit into a new mode of relevance. We are curious to learn how this might be taking shape, how the possible equilibrium be-tween physical and online can be achieved. The second concerns the democratisation of access, and how the museum can become a public space, be it physical, virtual or both, welcoming a polyphony of voices. The third is about climate change and how museums are, can or might rise to the challenge. We consider the three as being inextricably intertwined, with each informing the other.   

MUZE.X also builds on the positive response of the pre-conference, global webinar series events, featuring six notable thinkers and doers reflecting on  museum futures. We firmly believe that their contribution can be the seed of hands-on tangible actions addressing the needs of the museum landscape weathering the storm.

We welcome contributions from scholars, museum curators and directors, think-tanks, institutions and others working in the museum sector who act as or support game changers in the sector. We are also keen on best practices and projects that have taken shape in response to the COVID-19 crisis, particularly if these were informed by or inline with the thinkers and presentations featuring in our pre-conference webinar events.

 The conference seeks to approach museum futures in a more holistic manner. We invite you to explore museum futures in their totality, rather than focusing on one particular facet.  We are also keen on exploring the language of critique through the generation of thought-provoking ideas, theory and concepts, as well as the equally relevant language of possibilities where practical and doable solutions can spearhead meaningful change for museums. The choice of keynote speakers is curated to reflect the challenges of our times, always keeping in mind the need to bridge ideas and theory with practical solutions and case studies worth delving into. 

The conference comes with a scientific committee that vets submissions and contributors. The conveners also come with extensive experience working in the field as muse-um curators and directors, educators and university academics. Both are also very active internationally and are regular contributors to the field.   

 The conference brings you the best of both worlds. It will be a hybrid event that brings together delegates and presenters online and in person. 

The best option would be for you to take part in person.  However, should you opt for an online registration, particularly if COVID-related restrictions persist, our platform will make it possible for you to participate from anywhere around the world. 

The event will be streamed live. Our facilities allow for a healthy interaction between online and in-presence delegates.  Should you miss any of the sessions, these will be available exclusively to conference delegates until June 2022.  

 The language of the conference will be English.

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Last Updated: 12 February 2021

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