Tropenmuseum, Royal Tropical Institute, Amsterdam, 22-23 September 2011
Critical Conversations in Culture and Development is a new series of workshops and publications devoted to pushing the debate on culture and development forward. Bringing together different stakeholders and interlocutors in sustained critical and reflexive conversations, we seek to move beyond the seeming impasse between scholars critical of development policy and practice, skeptics among governments and voters in donor countries, and NGOs, multinational aid agencies and beneficiaries in developing countries to identify workable models for thinking about how culture can work for development.
The first Critical Conversation will be concerned with the roles that museums and cultural heritage more broadly can play in sustainable international development. We want to explore recent initiatives by museums and heritage organisations involved in projects in developing countries under the umbrella of development, conflict resolution, capacity building, civil society strengthening or cultural diplomacy. With the aim of sharing knowledge, experience, and expertise, and informing the development of better practice and policy, we would like to engage with the politics and problematics of these initiatives, understanding their failings as well as learning from their achievements. Mindful of old and new relationships of power between ‘developed’ and ‘developing’ countries, we are particularly interested in exploring how these projects can be done in equitable ways and the degree to which they can contribute to a reconfiguration of international and cross‐cultural relationships.
We would like to invite scholars across a range of disciplines (e.g. Development Studies, Social Anthropology, Museum and Heritage Studies, International Relations, etc.), museum, heritage and development practitioners, members of donor organisations and policy‐making bodies, and especially beneficiaries to join us in this Critical Conversation. It is intended that each Conversation will result in an academic publication within a new Routledge Studies in Culture and Development book series. Participants in each workshop will also be invited to contribute to the drafting of a policy briefing document, which will be circulated electronically through the Royal Tropical Institute Bulletin series and the UCL Centre for Museums, Heritage and Material Culture Studies.
If you are interested in joining us to critically discuss the relationship between Museums, Heritage and Sustainable Development, please submit a c.500 word outline of your proposed paper, including a title, together with brief CV to Paul Basu and Wayne Modest by 16th May 2011. It is intended to circulate full papers prior to the workshop.
The workshop is being sponsored by the Reanimating Cultural Heritage project based at University College London and the Tropenmuseum, Royal Tropical Institute, Amsterdam. Expressions of interest for hosting or contributing to future workshops in the Critical Conversations in Culture and Development series are also welcome.