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Konstantinos Arvanitis
Doctoral Candidate
Department of Museum Studies
University of Leicester

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Department of Museum Studies, University of Leicester
PhD Student Conference (AHRC Funded) 
9th and 10th February 2006
Material Culture, Identities and Inclusion

Are you researching museum, arts or heritage issues relating to material culture, identities and inclusion? 
If you are, then we would like you to speak at our AHRC funded conference. The aims of this conference are to bring together PhD students from different University departments to:
 be inspired by and learn from leading academics who are researching in the fields of material culture, social inclusion and cultural identities
 share ideas and cutting-edge theoretical critical thinking
 share research methodologies and the experiences of field work
 give PhD students a chance to develop their presentation skills and forum for disseminating their research
Conference Focus
As cultural institutions aiming to serve the public through their collections, museums and galleries are now facing questions regarding what they should collect, how collections should be interpreted and whose voices are being represented. Ultimately, museums need to justify their place within our modern society where communities and individuals have multi-layered cultural heritages, faith traditions, identities, interests and needs. This conference aims to reconsider our understanding of material culture, identity and inclusion issues. We also aim to explore how what we choose to collect, display and interpret in public, private and commercial museums and galleries validates certain audiences' identities whilst excluding others.
Conference Questions:
 What does 'material culture' mean, conceptualised and constructed within the 21st century museums and galleries?
 To what extent do commercial galleries influence what is deemed important within material culture?
 What role can museums and galleries play in supporting communities to express their cultural life, and personal and collective identities?
 What role can cultural institutions play in the government's social inclusion agenda?
 Which types of methodologies can inspire and help researchers unpick these themes?
We welcome abstracts of 250 words that explore and address these questions from a number of perspectives, including museological, historical, sociological, anthropological, or archaeological disciplines. Speakers will be asked to present 20 minute papers. Contributions that focus on theoretical critical thinking, research methodologies and reflections on current professional practice are encouraged. 
Abstracts will be accepted by email or post by 1st June 2005 and we will respond to applications by the end of June. Please feel free to contact us for initial discussion on your proposal and any general enquiries.
Anna Catalani: Material Culture [log in to unmask]
Lena Lee: Identity [log in to unmask]
Magnus Gestsson: Art Market, Identity [log in to unmask]
Yupin Chung: Social Inclusion, Social Marketing [log in to unmask]