CFP: IMA annual conference 2018, Fermanagh 'Collecting the Now' (CFP)

Posted: Friday, 27 October 2017

The Irish Museums Association (IMA) has issued a call for papers for the annual conference, 'Collecting the Now', to be held 2 and 3 March 2018 in Enniskillen, Fermanagh. The deadline for receipt of submissions is noon, 4 December 2017.

The IMA would like to invite members and professionals working in museums, galleries and cultural institutions to present short papers at the IMA Annual Conference 2018, held in association with Fermanagh County Museum on 2 and 3 March 2018. This conference is part of a two-year programme that will explore contemporary collecting in museums.

An annual event, the IMA annual spring conference is the main conference of the year in the Irish museum sector, giving museum practitioners the chance to meet and exchange views.

The organising committee will select a series of 20-minute presentations, in response to the overall theme as outlined below.


How can museum collect for the future and represent the 'now'? Do we have the objectivity to identify and select the items which will define our society for future generations?

We live in a period of unparalleled human consumption making the decision about what to preserve from our lives - and what to discard - increasingly difficult. Ironically, despite the unprecedented material abundance of our age, significant aspects of contemporary life are happening in a virtual world which most museums are still struggling to document and record.

While museums seek to remain relevant, for many, their collections and collecting practices remain rooted in the past. Museums see themselves as egalitarian and democratic institutions, but this is not always reflected in their collections and the way they collect.

How can museums ensure that the collections capture contemporary cultural changes and shifting perspectives, moving on in some cases from the collected object? Are there new, conceptual, collaborative and participatory ways to collect which will produce more imaginative and diverse museum collections and exhibitions for the future?


Submissions should respond to the theme as outlined above. Please email your submission to by noon, 4 December 2018

Preferred format: Word Document
Include: Title of presentation
Speaker's biography (150 words maximum)
Presentation abstract (200 words maximum)

Contact details (email and telephone number)
Notification of selection will be within 10 days of the closing date for submissions.
Selected presentations must be delivered in person.
The language of the conference is English.

For further information, please contact:

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: