Last chance to book for Conference 2018

Foreign exchange? University museums and international engagement

University of Cambridge, 3 July 2018

University Museum of Zoology, Downing Street, Cambridge


Booking is now closed.


University museum collections originate from many countries. Over decades and in some cases centuries, they were created and curated through scientific fieldwork and collecting that ranged worldwide. In the present, those interested in studying collections and in borrowing art works and specimens for analysis and exhibition represent, like our students, many nations. International engagement is anything but foreign to us.


At the University Museums Group’s 2016 conference, Matt Hancock, now Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, affirmed that museums and universities are ‘absolutely central to our post-Brexit future, open and engaged with the whole world, progressive and positive in shaping how Britain sees herself and is seen the world over.’ Universities similarly express ambitions to contribute globally. In 2018, academic and cultural collaboration seems more urgent than ever, yet also more difficult, as threats to global peace and security multiply.


The University Museums Group’s 2018 conference will explore how university museums can contribute to, and even lead, universities’ efforts to engage internationally. It will consider how smaller as well as larger museums can participate in, and benefit from, international programmes. Panels will offer presentations from sponsoring bodies and case studies from museum staff, ranging over practical experience and future opportunities. We encourage open discussion of challenges and constraints, while celebrating the accomplishments and the potential of university museums to make a positive difference through international work.

Full conference programme:

09.45 – 10.45 Registration with refreshments

09.45 for tour participants

10.15 for all others

10.00 – 10.30


Tour of Museum of Zoology (pre booked only)

Led by: Jack Ashby, Manager, Museum of Zoology

10.45 Conference opens

Welcome from Professor Chris Abell, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, University of Cambridge



Diane Lees CBE, Director-General, Imperial War Museum

Introduced by: Nicola Kalinsky, Director, Barber Institute of Fine Arts and Co-Chair, University Museums Group

11.40 Panel discussion: The funding environment


·         Rachael Browning, Head of Programmes, Art Fund

·         Dana Andrew, Executive Director, ICOM UK

·         Dr Laura Carletti, European and International Manager, Research Operations Office, University of Cambridge

·         Professor Rodney Harrison, AHRC Heritage Priority Area Leadership Fellow, UCL

Chair: Ghislaine Wood, Deputy Director, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, University of East Anglia

12.55 Welcome to the Museum of Zoology

Professor Paul Brakefield, Director, Museum of Zoology
1.00 – 1.45 Lunch
1.30 – 2.00 Tour of Museum of Zoology (pre booked only)

Led by: Jack Ashby, Manager, Museum of Zoology


1.45 – 2.20 University Museums Group AGM
2.20 Keynote:

Professor Wayne Modest, Head of the Research Centre for Material Culture, National Museum of Ethnology, Leiden

Introduced by: Dr Mark Elliott, Senior Curator for Anthropology, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

3.00 Lightning Case Studies
·         Walking with the Buddha: creating a UK research-led exhibition in TaiwanRachel Barclay, Curator, Oriental Museum

·         Experiments in collaboration: commissioning Indigenous and Adivasi sculpture

Dr Mark Elliott, Senior Curator for Anthropology, Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology

·         University museums and global agendas

Henry McGhie, Head of Collections and Curator of Zoology, Manchester Museum

·         MicroPasts: Crowd and community fuelled international research

Daniel Pett, Head of IT & Digital, The Fitzwilliam Museum

·         Manchester Museum’s new China Gallery 

Bryan Sitch, Deputy Head of Collections, Manchester Museum

·         Science in University Museums – an international initiative

Professor Paul Smith, Director Oxford University Museum of Natural History

Chair: Dr Xa Sturgis, Director Ashmolean Museum


4.30 – 5 Break with refreshments
5.00 Keynote:

Kate Bellamy, Director of Museums, Arts Council England

In conversation with Professor Nicholas Thomas, Director, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, and Co-Chair, University Museums Group

5.40 Attendees walk to Kettle’s Yard
6.00 Reception at Kettle’s Yard
7.00 Close


You can download the full programme here UMG Conference Programme 2018 final






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