The bumper review issue of Modern Art Asia is now online featuring, amongst other articles, my take on Song Dong’s ‘Waste Not’ at the Barbican earlier this year. Leicester is well-represented with papers by both Cy Shih and Linda Kong.
Btw, back issues of the journal are now available in print and as e-books.
The second volume of papers from the ‘Material Worlds’ conference held at Leicester in December 2008 and companion to The Thing About Museums, is now available for pre-order from the publisher, Routledge, and Amazon. Once again, Sandra Dudley, Jen Binnie, Julia Petrov, Jenny Walklate, and I have co-edited. Priced at £70 RRP, the book:
…is a wide-ranging collection of essays exploring the stories that can be told about objects and those who choose to collect them. Examining objects and collecting in different historical, social and institutional contexts, an international, interdisciplinary group of authors consider the meanings and values with which objects are imputed and the processes and implications of collecting. This includes considering the entanglement of objects and collectors alike in webs of social relations, the creation of value and social change; object biographies and the stories – often conflicting – that objects come to represent; and the strategies used to reconstruct and retell the narratives of objects. The book includes considerations of individual objects and groups of objects, such as domestic interiors, Chinese Buddhist artefacts, novelty tea-pots, Scottish stone monuments, African ironworking, a postcolonial painting and memorials to those killed on the roads in Australia. It also contains chapters dealing with particular collectors – including Charles Bell and Beatrix Potter – and representational techniques.
Narrating Objects, Collecting Stories is due to be published in February 2012.
I am delighted to reveal that I have been accepted as Honorary Visiting Fellow in the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester, for two years from the 1st October. I plan to apply for post-doctoral funding and all being well, make a start on turning my thesis into a book very soon. Updates will be posted here, on my blog.
I’m delighted to confirm that The Thing About Museums - the first volume of collected papers from the Material Worlds conference hosted in Leicester in December 2008 – is now in print. As well as co-editing the volume with Sandra Dudley, Jen Binnie, Julia Petrov and Jenny Walklate, I’ve contributed a chapter ‘Displaying the Communist Other: perspectives on the exhibition and interpretation of communist visual culture’. Also included is the transcript of Jenny and myself’s interview with Sue Pearce.
Currently available in hardback, the volume retails at a RRP of £75.00, though I note that Amazon is already offering a £3.75 discount!
I’m delighted to see that my thesis has been downloaded 224 times since it was uploaded to the Leicester Research Archive last year. To be fair, a large proportion of those downloads will have been made by me (I use it as my go-to copy) but I am stunned and really quite flattered that so many people have considered it worth a look. Contrast that with the old adage about the PhD thesis: that only you, your supervisors and examiners will ever read it. No longer true.
Internet publishing means you can easily disseminate your research to a potentially global audience; something that was unachievable (and unimaginable) before the advent of the Internet. I cannot begin to imagine being a researcher in a pre-WWW era. How would I have faired without Google Books and JSTOR, and online collection databases? Miserably, I expect. Ignore the detractors; technology doesn’t dumb-us-down. It opens up myriad new opportunities and possibilities.
Anyway, all the above is a long-winded way to getting to the main point of this post: that the Leicester Research Archive provides free and unrestricted access to publications written by University of Leicester staff and research students, including 187 book chapters, presentations, papers, reports and theses from the School of Museum Studies. It’s an invaluable resource for any Museology students out there. Enjoy!
From time-to-time I get the opportunity to do some academic indexing (see my indexing page for more details). My most recent contribution has been to Sam Alberti’s Morbid Curiosities: Medical Museums in Nineteenth-Century Britain, published by Oxford University Press. It’s a brilliant book about a fascinating aspect of collecting and display – though it necessarily gets a little gruesome in places! Further details are available on the OUP website.
Sam is Director of Museums and Archives at the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) of England. The Hunterian Museum, based at the RCS, is well worth a visit if you get the opportunity. Although, for me, it raised some uncomfortable issues about the display of human remains. But that’s a whole another blog post…