Collections and Questions of Belonging (call for journal article manuscripts)
Belonging and possession have long been treated as foundational to the missions and activities of museums and archives in how they connote, establish, explain, and demonstrate the ways collections belong to them; determine and express who possesses custody, ownership and control of artifacts; and, by extension, consider the knowledge surrounding objects, makers, places of origin and residence that they supply. Typically, museums and archives express their interests in possessing collections through practices of acquisition, loan, attribution, provenance, exhibition, scholarship, conservation, and rights and reproductions.
For this issue of Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives we invite contributions that explore questions of belonging, practices of unbelonging, and dispossession, and consider their relationship to collections and collections-related practices in museums and archives.
Article-length manuscripts might inquire how museums and archives are critically and creatively problematizing belonging and possession; or consider the ways they make known that collections belong to their institutions or how collections are no longer owned or controlled by them or by previously identified makers, collectors, donors, or sites of origin; how and why collections have lost connections to cultural, social or political groups such as schools, workshops, families, communities, organizations, or nation states; and the ways, correspondingly, that museums and archives alter how collections are known, valued, displayed, taught, or remembered. We aim to identify examples and practices by which museums and archives problematize their investments in collections and these collections' histories, lineages, ways of knowing and being, and the reception and memories they encourage.
We invite papers from curators, archivists, collections managers, preparators, registrars, researchers, and graduate students relating to these themes.
We also invite papers that: consider the manner with which possessing or dispossessing collections relates to changes in the identity of an institution, its staff and scholarship, or its donors or programs; analyze how museums and archives revise the ways their collections contribute to them economically or culturally, or reconsider how they belong to an institution through the scholarly, pedagogic, or political value they impart; convey the power of collections to affiliate with or dispossess scholarly or lay accounts of their history or use; and examine how narratives of display, exhibition or publication reinforce or alter the ways collections belong to a museum, archive, place, community, or to a body of knowledge or a field.
Interested authors should contact the editors to express interest by July 1, 2015. The deadline for submission is September 30, 2015. Publication is anticipated for volume 12 of Collections, with an issue date of 2016.