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Call for Papers - The role of modern technology in museum accessibility and experience

Suggestions for speeches on the theme by January 21th 2019.

The annual Museology Seminar organised by the museology students in University of Jyväskylä Department of Music, Art and Culture Studies takes place on 25th to 26th April 2019.  The seminar is organised in collaboration with the Finnish National Committee of ICOM. The theme of the Museology seminar is modern technology in museums and its role in accessibility and experiences.

The theme is current since in recent years technology has increasingly become a part of museums and their exhibitions in Finland and abroad. Technology has many positive features for example; in the increasing accessibility of museums, and as a way of diversifying exhibitions. It could however be questioned, is there too much technology? In the seminar we would like to discuss the pros and cons of technology. The main focus of the seminar will be in audience development, with a view specifically from humans which may ask, how can technology (e.g. social media) be used to benefit the accessibility of museums and to enhance experiences? In terms of accessibility, we mean how different visitors are catered to within the different stages of museum visits and additionally how technology can increase awareness of the museums themselves. Technology could help guests find out how and where to access the museums.

Many museums already use technology to help cater to the needs of those who may be physically impaired. The intention of this seminar however is to focus on accessibility through platforms such as social media, online collections and virtual exhibitions. We are interested in questions such as, the impact online collections can have in the visibility of museums. 

Technology can significantly enhance the experience that visitors to the museum can have. In many places technology already offers new, interesting and extensive opportunities to produce information about the exhibition. This is an ideal use of technology particularly for young persons who have grown up surrounded by technology. As technology becomes more and more present in museums, it is also important to think about its real role in museums and exhibitions, and how we can guarantee that technology doesn’t overwhelm the exhibition and its message.

We are requesting statements on topics such as: 

-What is the role of technology in museums? How great is the role of technology?

-What are the benefits and risks of bringing new technologies to museums? What are the strengths and weaknesses that technology has? 

-How can technology be used to improve the museum experience? What are the positive impacts that increased technology has already brought to museums? How do they show?

-Are the exhibition guests who are not familiar with modern technology given enough consideration? 

-What is the role of technology in the visibility of museums? 

-What is the appropriate process when an exhibition space cannot be made accessible to all? How can technology be used to make the exhibition accessible?

-How can it be guaranteed that technology will not overwhelm or distract from the original exhibition and its meaning? 

Museology has been taught in the University of Jyväskylä since the 1980s and the students are now organising the seminar for the 23rd time. The Museology seminar is an important part of the studies of museology students as it raises current issues and perspectives in the field of museum study.

The event takes place on Thursday 25th of April at the University of Jyväskylä Seminarium building in hall 212, and on Friday 26th at the University’s Main building in hall C1, Seminaarinmäki campus. 

We are requesting suggestions for speeches on the theme by January 21th 2019. Duration of the speeches is from 20 to 30 minutes and we have scheduled time for questions and conversation in addition to each speech. The languages used in the seminar are Finnish and English. The length of the suggestion should be approximately 250 words and the format either a Word file or PDF.

We would also be glad to receive suggestions for panels, workshops, and other interactive activities. The suggestion should include: 

-Event type 

-Event name 

-A short summary (250 words, format Word file or PDF) 


-The duration of the event (maximum 90 minutes) 

-To whom it is targeted for 

-The functions, objectives and goals 

-Special needs/required equipment

Any questions about the seminar and suggestions can be sent to tiedotus.seminaari@gmail.com

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