CFP: CAA Museum Committee Sponsored Session 2018 - Decolonizing Art Museums?

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CAA Museum Committee Sponsored Session 2018 Decolonizing Art Museums?
Session Chairs: Risham Majeed (, Elizabeth Rodini (, Celka Straughn (
The colonial history of museums is by now familiar, and institutional critiques of and within ethnographic and anthropological collections are fairly widespread. Indeed, many of the objects in these collections have migrated to art museums as a result of postcolonial thinking. But what about the art museum? How do these institutions, their collections, and practices continue to extend colonial outlooks for western and nonwestern art, perhaps silently, and what tools are being used to disrupt these both in the United States and abroad?
This panel explores what decolonization means for art museum practices and the ways decolonizing approaches can move the museum field toward greater inclusion, broader scholarly perspectives, and opportunities to redress structural inequities. Topics to address might include: detangling collection objects from colonial collecting practices; decentering the status quo across museum operations; reconsidering the relationship between contemporaneity and historicism; alternative modes of presentation (breaking received hierarchies and narratives); embracing varied understandings of objects, materials, catalogues, and archives; polyphony and pluralism in museum rhetoric; and an understanding of “colonialism” that steps outside conventional definitions of this term.
We invite papers that combine scholarship, practice, and activism, bringing together case studies with critical reflection on art museums to demonstrate what decolonized practices can and might look like and offer models for institutional change. Papers that explore diverse modes of practice within and outside the United States, that provide intersectional and interdisciplinary approaches, and/or papers that present alternative ways for people to use and reimagine art museums are especially welcome.
Please send an abstract of no more than 250 words and a shortened CV to each of the session chairs by August 14, 2017.

Session Chairs: Risham Majeed (, Elizabeth Rodini (, Celka Straughn (

Categories: CFP, CAA
Keywords: CFP, museum studies, CAA