CALL FOR PAPERS: “Nature behind glass: historical and theoretical perspectives on natural science collections”.

To be held at the Manchester Museum Thursday 6th — Saturday 8th September 2007, under the auspices of the Society for the History of Natural History, the Museums and Galleries History Group and the University of Manchester.

This international symposium aims to promote and communicate inter-disciplinary research on historical, theoretical and museological aspects of natural history museums. Papers will provide innovative methodological or reflexive insights and be based on original research.


[provisional]: – Professor Tony Bennett (Open University): “‘Nature makes no jumps’: museums of natural history and evolutionary self-management” – Professor Peter Davis (University of Newcastle): “On the borders of natural history: geographical isolation and collection building in the nineteenth century” – Dr Sophie Forgan (Captain Cook Memorial Museum/Teesside University): “Hero, muse or fossil? Reflections on the growth of the personality museum” – Professor Simon Knell (University of Leicester): “Fossil people: studying research communities through their engagement with objects” – Dr Bernadette Lynch (University of Manchester): “Amenable objects: cultural perspectives on natural history specimens” – Dr Anne Secord (University of Cambridge): “Private collections and the public good: skill and desire in natural history”

Papers are invited that consider historical and/or current aspects of the following areas:

• collecting nature / the nature of collecting

• colonialism and the relationship between anthropology and natural history

• specimens and the visitor: learning, teaching and engagement in the museum

• museum practice (modes of display, conservation, documentation, taxidermy)

• research in natural history museums: the role of material culture in life science

• classification and naming

• politics and science: evolution and the philosophy of display

• Linnaeus tercentenary: herbaria in history

Please send a one-page abstract, including brief autobiographical details, by 31 October 2006, to [email protected], or to Sam Alberti, Manchester Museum, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, MANCHESTER M13 9PL.

Registration and payment will be invited by 30 June 2007. Full rate: £25 per day. Speakers; MGHG/SHNH members; students: £15 per day. Accommodation can be secured by delegates at the nearby Manchester Business School.

The conference will be hosted by the Manchester Museum, and is also supported by the University of Manchester (School of Arts, Histories and Cultures; Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in the Arts; Centre for Museology), the Museums and Galleries History Group and the Society for the History of Natural History.