Published on Medium: “Museums and Structural Change”

December 19, 2016

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Earlier today nikhil trivedi and I wrapped our long-form letter-based conversation on museums, the nature of institutions, structural change, and oppression. The conversation, which is our contribution to A Series of Epistolary Romances, includes thoughts sparked by the election, and considers everything from institutional reform all the way through to the abolition of current institutions. It’s been a rewarding […]

Can institutions be empathetic?

December 6, 2016

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In recent years, there has been a growing call for museums to be “empathetic” as a solution to a raft of problems. Mike Murawski links empathy and social impact (something he also spoke about at MuseumNext), Robert J. Weisberg draws diversity into the discussion, and the Empathetic Museum group argues that museums are impossible without an inner core of […]

Posted in: Ideas, Questions

Understanding this moment: The tension between professionalism and participation

October 23, 2016

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For more than a decade, there has been an increasing push towards participatory practices in museums, in part with the eye to democratizing the museum. It is proposed that participatory practices can make our institutions more open to diverse visitors; that through their use we can invite in more voices who might not otherwise have the opportunity to […]

Posted in: Ideas

Making a conference (+ a book club!)

October 17, 2016

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The MCN conference is only a couple of weeks away now, and I’m finally starting to relax and enjoy the run up to the event. The program is off to the printers, the timetable is locked down, and we’re putting on the finishing touches. This is the second year that I’ve been a Program Co-Chair, and […]

Posted in: Conferences

Living (and learning) with social media

September 29, 2016

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When I applied to join the faculty at GWU this year, I spent a lot of time working on my statement of teaching philosophy. I hadn’t written anything like this before, and wanted to make sure that my approach to teaching was informed, and appropriate to the types of subjects I’d be teaching. One of the pedagogic approaches I was most […]

Blogging is not like riding a bike

September 2, 2016

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This week, I assigned blogging projects to students in both my new classes at GWU, tasking them to start weekly writing about the issues they encounter during the course. I feel happy about instilling a regular writing practice as core to professional development. But I also feel hypocritical, since it’s some years since I maintained my blog, or other writing […]

Posted in: Personal

Farewell BMA, Hello GWU!

August 9, 2016

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Today marks 808 days since I moved to the USA to join the staff at The Baltimore Museum of Art. It was by far one of the best things I’ve ever done. Living in Baltimore and working at the BMA has expanded my perspectives–personal and professional–and highlighted the limitations of my prior experiences, which were ultimately pretty narrow. […]

Posted in: Personal

A Series of Epistolary Romances (the CODE|WORDS experiment continues)

February 10, 2016

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Late last week, we quietly announced that CODE|WORDS–the experiment in online discourse that Ed Rodley, Rob Stein, and I kicked off in 2014–is back. It has a new format and a new set of instigators, plus new authors and new topics. I’m happy to see its return. When we started CODE|WORDS, our aims were to pilot a new approach to the […]

#drinkingaboutmuseums Baltimore

February 8, 2016

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Although I haven’t felt significantly homesickness since moving to the USA, one thing I do miss is the group of friends and colleagues who regularly used to congregate in Sydney for #drinkingaboutmuseums. In that diverse group of professionals, which ranged from emerging career folk to those in leadership positions, were likeminded souls who pushed my thinking and grew […]

Transforming audiences, transforming museums

January 27, 2016

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Digital transformation is really about something else that often isn’t openly talked about – transforming audiences. – Seb Chan What does it mean to transform an audience? Is it a shift in the make-up of an audience, how that audience is conceived, how an audience behaves and interacts with an institution, or all three? I’ve been trying […]