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Page history last edited by Nancy Proctor 10 years, 9 months ago

A research symposium about enabling transformative encounters among institutions, collections

and “the people formerly known as the audience” [1] in museums on-site and online.



Connecting the Dots: Virtuality, Technology & Feminism in the Museum

Hosted by the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, 23-24 Sept 2011 and online at

http://arts.brighton.ac.uk/research/irn This event is part of the Leverhulme Trust-funded international research network on Feminism and Curating.


FREE registration at http://www.eventbrite.com/event/2081847863

Or if you can't join us in person, you are welcome to participate in the conversation on this wiki!


Some questions to begin and inform our research and conversations; contact Nancy Proctor proctorn@si.edu for further information and suggestions for topics and participants:

  • What’s new about “new media” and what can a feminist practice understand and adapt from modernist concepts of “innovation”?
  • Is technology really “broadening access” to museums? If so, is its impact more radical than an expansion of the same structure with different people in power?
  • Can technology play a more critical role in the museum: enabling encounters that support the feminist project of “differencing the canon” articulated by Griselda Pollock in 1999 (coincidentally also a time in which Internet and networked technologies began to be widely adopted by museums and their visitors alike)? [2] 


Recommended reading


Draft program:


Thursday, Sept. 22, 7 p.m.

Griselda Pollock on Feminism, Art, and Other Matters, interviewed by Juliet Bellow, American University (tickets available from The Smithsonian Associates)


Friday, 23 September, 10am-5:30pm: free admission, open to all - Live Blog 

Plenary sessions with extensive group discussion aimed at capturing key issues and questions for Saturday’s workshops.


9:45-10:00: Registration and coffee/tea

10:00-10:15 am: Welcome and introductions, Nancy Proctor

10:15-10:45 am: Opening keynote, Griselda Pollock, “Feminism in the Virtual Museum”

10:45-11:15 am: Respondents: Lara Perry & Margareta Gynning

11:15-11:30 am: Break

11:30-12:00 pm: Claudine Brown, “Access and Inclusivity in the Museum”

12:00-12:30 pm: Respondents: Kate Haley-Goldman & Catharine McNally

12:30-2:00 pm: Lunch

2:00-2:30 pm: Patrik Steorn, “Queer in the Museum”

2:30-3:00 pm: Respondents: Sherri Wasserman & James Neal

3:00-3:30 pm: Reesa Greenberg, “Feminist curation and exhibitions online”

3:30-3:45 pm: Break

3:45-4:15 pm: Respondents: Katherine Ott & Beth Ziebarth

4:15-4:45 pm: Peter Samis, "New Media as Counter-Narrative and Corrective"

4:45-5:15 pm: Respondents: Nicky Bird & Nancy Proctor

5:15-5:30 pm: Wrap-up and planning for Saturday’s workshops. 


Saturday 24 September, 10am-5pm: Workshops free admission, open to all

The format of the workshops is inspired by the “unconference” model. Workshop leaders will be invited to come to the symposium with prepared topics and examples they’d like to discuss, but we will also “crowdsource” topics for discussion at the end of Friday’s plenary session. In addition, we will use social media to start the conversation before the symposium and will derive questions and topics for further research and discussion from the online community. With this networked model, the workshops will not be formal courses or presentations, but rather self-organizing and generated in the moment. The aim is to enable lively and immediate discussion of the issues raised by the plenary presentation, with the aim of generating a body of knowledge that can support further research. Where possible, the workshop conversations will be live blogged.


Workshop leaders will be volunteers drawn from the invited respondents and others, including:

  1. Nicky Bird, artist (Edinburgh)
  2. Kate Haley-Goldman, National Center for Interactive Learning  
  3. Margareta Gynning, Senior Curator, Nationalmuseum Sweden (TBC) 
  4. Catharine McNally, Keen Guides 
  5. James Neal, University of Maryland  
  6. Katherine Ott, National Museum of American History 
  7. Sherri Wasserman, Thinc Design 
  8. Beth Ziebarth, Smithsonian Institution 
  9. Mary Curtis Ratcliff, artist (Berkeley) 
  10. Lara Perry, University of Brighton


Workshop ideas and initial conversations are here.


Draft schedule for the day (two workshops, a and b, will run concurrently throughout the day):


9:45-10:00: Welcome, coffee/tea and schedule review for the day

10-10:50: Parallel workshops 1a and 1b

11-11:50: Parallel workshops 2a and 2b

12-1:30: Lunch

1:30-2:20: Parallel workshops 3a and 3b

2:30-3:20: Parallel workshops 4a and 4b

3:30-4:20: Parallel workshops 5a and 5b

4:30-5:00: Wrap-up; draft the agenda for ongoing conversations


[1] Jay Rosen, “The People Formerly Known as the Audience”, Pressthink 27 June 2006 http://archive.pressthink.org/2006/06/27/ppl_frmr.html (Consulted 7 June 2011).

[2] Griselda Pollock, Differencing the Canon: Feminist Desire and the Writing of Art’s Histories (London: Routledge, 1999). 


Comments (1)

Nancy Proctor said

at 11:51 am on Oct 2, 2011

Dear Colleagues,
I'd like to thank you all for your participation in our Symposium, Connecting the Dots: Virtuality, Technology and Feminism in the Museum Sept 23-24, 2011, and in the pre-symposium interview of Griselda Pollock by Juliet Bellow. Your contributions on line and in person have been as generous as they are valuable to furthering this important conversation. I am particularly aware that we all have busy lives, wearing many hats both personally and professionally. Time is our most precious commodity, and I am honored that you chose to spend so much of it with us thinking, conversing, and traveling often great distances to collaborate at the Smithsonian.

I hope that you have found both friends and resources through the Symposium to help continue your own research, and invite you to continue the conversation on this Wiki of the International Feminism and Curating Network and beyond. We will add the transcript of the Friday plenary sessions to the Wiki in video and/or written form, as well as notes from the Saturday workshops, and invite the presenters as well as you to add any other written papers, links and other resources as well.

You can also continue the conversation through the Network's listserv: FCNETWORK@JISCMAIL.AC.UK (contact Bridget Millmore <B.Millmore@brighton.ac.uk>)

And in May the International Network on Feminism and Curating will meet again in London 18-19 May, 2012 at Tate Modern for a symposium on Queer Curating and Feminism: http://arts.brighton.ac.uk/research/irn/workshops-and-symposia/tate

I hope to see you there!

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