Call for papers: IMA annual conference 2019, We are all Engagers. (CFP)

Posted: Monday, 17 September 2018

Please note the extension of this deadline from Sunday 11 November to Sunday 18 November 2019. Unfortunately our website was down on Thursday 8 and Friday 9 November preventing access to the call for papers. We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience this has caused and thank you for your patience as we worked to restore service.


The Irish Museums Association (IMA) would like to invite submissions to the IMA Annual Conference 2019, We are all Engagers, held in collaboration with Cork Public Museum, Crawford Art Gallery, and The Glucksman on 1 and 2 March 2019.

Conference brief:

Museums are rising to the challenge of increasing and diversifying their audiences and are enthusiastic in their commitment to playing an active role in improving lives and creating a better society. However the 'relevance' of the museum is mostly discussed in relation to sustaining and increasing audiences and social contribution, yet not posing the question of how we can ensure these changing values and aims are embedded in the core of the museum.

This conference will consider how museums can imbue audience-centred thinking within their organisational culture, in particular how we can develop and reimagine collections in ways which will actively engage the public. How can we unlock our full potential by becoming more dynamic, agile, and responsive to issues of contemporary relevance?


The deadline for submissions is midnight 18 November, 2018 for the attention of Gina O'Kelly at All submissions must include:

Contact details (email and telephone number)
Presentation title
Presentation abstract (200 words maximum)
Biography of Speaker(s) (150 words maximum)
Presentation style

Preferred format: Word Document.

Some things you should know:

We welcome submissions that approach the brief from a variety of perspectives and encourage diverse voices from the wider cultural and related sectors.
Presentation approaches such as interviews, panels, workshops, interactive are welcome. While in principle each time slot is 30 minutes in total, due consideration will be given to extending this depending on presentation style.
The IMA waives the conference fee for selected speakers. Conference dinner, travel and accomodation are not included.
Deadline for early bird and selected speaker registration: 31 January 2019.
Selected presentations must be delivered in person.
The time and venue of the conference is 1 and 2 March 2019, Cork City. Presentation slots may be scheduled for either of these dates.
The conference language is English.
We expect to publish a selection of the papers presented at the conference in the online annual journal Museum Ireland.

Conference advisory committee and convenor:

William Blair, IMA Chair and Director of Collections, National Museums Northern Ireland
Daniel Breen, Curator, Cork Public Museum
Dr Riann Coulter, IMA Board Member and Director, F.E. McWilliam Gallery and Studio
Brian Crowley, Curator, Kilmainham Gaol, Office of Public Works
Tadhg Crowley, Senior Curator: Education + Community, The Glucksman
Lar Joye, IMA Board Member and Port Heritage Director, Dublin Port
Mary McCarthy, Director, Crawford Art Gallery
Conor Nelligan, Heritage Officer, Cork County Council
Jean O'Donovan, Registrar, Crawford Art Gallery

Conference convenor: Gina O'Kelly, Irish Museums Association

For further information:

Gina O'Kelly | Irish Museums Association |11 Parnell Square East, Dublin D01 ND60
Tel: + 353 (0)1 412 0939 Mobile: + 353 (0)87 279 0518
Website: Email: