Research seminar on 26 February cancelled

Unfortunately Janet Marstine’s scheduled Research Seminar this Wednesday has been cancelled due to problems with train services to and from Newcastle and Leicester. We hope to reschedule Janet’s presentation for later in the year. Please check back for updates.

Our next Research Seminar will now be on Wednesday, 19 March, when Sheila Watson, from the School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester will be speaking on emotions in the history museum.

Hope to see you then!


Call for research participants for Discovery Museum visit

As part of the European Commission-funded research project ‘European Museums in an Age of Migrations’ (MeLa) ICCHS researcher Chris Whitehead is calling for people who might like to participate in a research study. Working with colleagues from the Copenhagen Institute of Interactive Design, we will be conducting visitor studies at the Discovery Museum on the 10th and 11th of March.

We need 2-3 sets of people to visit the new ‘Destination Tyneside’ gallery in pairs (friends, relatives or couples are all fine) and 2-3 people to visit on their own. As this is a study of visitor behaviour and responses to the display we are looking for people who are NOT ICCHS staff members, students or graduates or heritage professionals. This is because we need people who have not been trained to be critical of exhibitions. So we are appealing to readers of this blog to pass this invitation on to friends and relatives who might be interested in being involved in the study.

The research consists of visiting ‘Destination Tyneside’ while wearing video glasses (you can see what they look like here), and then being interviewed by researchers afterwards while watching footage of the visit. The whole time commitment for each participant should be no more than one hour. As the research involves wearing video glasses unfortunately we can’t recruit participants who normally wear glasses of their own (however, contact-lens wearers are welcome). Finally, it would be really good if some of the participants were originally from overseas, even if they are long-term residents in the UK.

If you or an acquaintance are interested in taking part in this research, which is intended to contribute to the development of cutting-edge visitor studies methods and to European Union policy on museums, please email Katie Cooper – – giving your name, nationality and availability on the 10th and 11th March, and stating whether you are interested in visiting on your own or as part of a pair.

Many thanks!

Research seminar: Ethics in visitor-generated content, 26 February

ICCHS Research Seminar,  1-2pm, Room 1.06, 18 Windsor Terrace

Visiting speaker: Janet Marstine

The Value of ‘Ordinary’ Ethics in Visitor Generated Content: Developing Shared Authority in Museum Policy and Practice.

Ordinary ethics, defined by anthropologist Michael Lambek as the judgments we all make every day through our speech and actions, is embedded in museums’ visitor-generated content. Janet Marstine’s talk will argue that museums might better recognise the value of ordinary ethics as embodied by visitor-generated content and utilise this discourse to help shape ethics policy and practice. Analysing the case study of Ansuman Biswas’ 2009 ‘Manchester Hermit’ project, Janet will demonstrate that ordinary ethics, captured through visitor-generated content, has the capacity to create shared authority between museums and communities in negotiating difficult ethical issues.

Dr. Janet Marstine is Programme Director in Art Museum and Gallery Studies at the University of Leicester and is a specialist in museum ethics. Janet is currently developing a new book for the Routledge Museum Meanings series, Critical Practice: Artists, museums, ethics, which investigates the museological implications of artists’ interventions. Her previous publications of museum ethics include: 

Marstine, Janet, Bauer, Alexander and Haines, Chelsea. (eds.). 2013. New Directions in Museum Ethics. London and New York: Routledge.

Marstine, Janet. (ed.) (2011). Routledge Companion to Museum Ethics: Redefining Ethics for the Twenty-First Century Museum. London and New York. Routledge.

No need to book. Please just come along!

POSTER_ICCHS Research Seminar 26 Feb 2014