ICC’s Head of Research collaborates with Centre for Heritage and Museum Studies, Australian National University

Added on Tuesday, February 12th, 2019

In March 2019, the ICC’s Head of Research Kerry Wilson will visit the Centre for Heritage and Museum Studies (CHMS), Australian National University (ANU) to deliver two research and knowledge exchange events linked to her current research funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

The Professional Ethics and the Caring Museum research seminar on Monday 25th March will explore the ethical implications of appropriating museum and heritage work as a form of social justice and ‘public good’. As cultural policy narratives in the UK continue to associate and align cultural and creative assets with broader urban public policy agendas, with an increasing emphasis on health, wellbeing and social value, critical questions are raised regarding political impartiality, moral responsibility and associated professional values in cultural institutions.

Drawing upon Kerry’s research on professional ethics in such boundary-spanning cultural work (2017-19), the event will invite reflections and spirited debate from Australian cultural leaders with experience of socially engaged museum and heritage work alongside members of Canberra’s cultural policy and research community. Confirmed panellists include Alexandra Marsden, National Director of Australian Museums and Galleries Association, and renowned museum curator Joanna Besley, who specialises in recovery from traumatic events.

As part of her visit, Kerry will also deliver a training event for the centre’s galleries, libraries, archives and museums (GLAM) professional network. The workshop – A question of ethics: building careful communities of practice in museum and heritage sectors – will stimulate critical thinking and support developing practice in contemporary professional ethics, with a particular emphasis on collaborative museum and heritage work with clear social objectives. Again, drawing upon Kerry’s AHRC-funded research in the UK on ethical dimensions of collaborative practice between museum and library sectors and partner agencies working in two priority public policy areas, including public health and wellbeing and prison education reform, the workshop will cover the following key topics:

  • A discussion of ethical challenges experienced in socially-responsive cultural work;
  • Reflections on the relevance and usefulness of professional body Codes of Ethics;
  • Case study work from the UK on ethical practice in the collaborative field;
  • Discussion of emerging research findings including emotional labour and care strategies in socially-responsive cultural work;
  • Ideas for developing and sustaining supportive networks and careful communities of practice in Australian museum and heritage sectors.

We are delighted to be working with ANU colleagues and hope to develop a long-standing collaboration with CHMS based on our shared research interests in the social value of museum and heritage work. For more information on our events in March, please contact k.m.wilson@ljmu.ac.uk

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