Museum Participation: Call for Papers

Jun 15 | 0 comments

We're inviting international submissions to be included in the forthcoming book, Museum Participation: Engaging and Involving Audiences, edited by 
Jen Kavanagh and Kayte McSweeneyYou can download the full Call for Papers here. The closing date for receipt of submissions is MONDAY 13 JULY 2015.

In the last decade increasing numbers of museums and galleries worldwide have developed collaborative ways of working with the public which could be called “participatory” or “co-creative” – seeking to involve both current and potential audiences which have diverse expertise, knowledge and perspectives. Since Nina Simon published her toolkit in 2010, the museum sector has continued to develop audience engagement methodologies, with exciting and varied results. Now, both larger and national museums and galleries are embracing this practice, previously dominated by more community-focused institutions. 

Museum Participation aims to capture the ways in which these large-scale (i.e. larger or national) museums and galleries are embracing this practice, highlighting successes and challenges, and reflecting on its impact.


  1. To encourage and facilitate participatory methods of working in larger and national institutions by sharing examples of innovation, best practice, useful models and valuable experience.
  2. To share the results of research, analysis and evaluation.
  3. To explore the distinctive challenges which large-scale institutions face. 
  4. To investigate the impact of participation on working practices. 
  5. To reflect on the development of participatory practice in large-scale institutions. 

    Kayte McSweeney is currently Senior Audience Advocate and Researcher at the Science Museum, London and from mid-June will be the Object Journeys Partnership Manager at the British Museum. She is also co-chair of the Visitor Studies Group.

Jen Kavanagh is Senior Curator of Contemporary History at the Museum of London. She was previously Audience Engagement Manager for the Information Age gallery at the Science Museum and Community Curator at the London Transport Museum.

    We welcome international proposals for both (longer) chapters and (briefer) case studies from museum and gallery professionals, academics and researchers. Proposals from those with practical experience of assessing and evaluating outcomes in this field are particularly welcome, as are contributions which detail practical experience of innovative programmes, or which present the results of the impact of new initiatives. Submissions should address the work of institutions which face the issues of scale associated with larger-scale or national museums and galleries.

    Aspects of interest include – but are not limited to – innovations and successes in one or more of the following:

    1. Case studies of participatory practice in areas such as: collecting or collections research; exhibition development, design or implementation; learning; public programmes; communications including online and social media; publishing.
    2. Analysis and evaluation of the Impact of participation on the institution, the visitors and/or the participants.
    3. How collaborative working is changing or challenging the role of cultural institutions.
    4. Co-creation projects and the move from engagement to social justice.
    5. The legacy of participation and audience development. 

      If you are interested in being considered as a contributor, please submit a proposal and a short biography (in Microsoft Word format). Proposals should be 300-500 words in length and biographies 100-200 words.

      You can propose to submit either a chapter or a case study. Chapters will be 4000-6000 words in length. Case studies will be 1000-2000 words. The inclusion of images is encouraged. Please prepare your proposal with these parameters in mind. The work should not have been published elsewhere and all contributions must be submitted in English - translation services will not be provided.

      The deadline for proposals is Monday 13 July 2015. Please email your proposal to both the editors [ and] and the publishers []. Any queries in advance of submission should be sent to the editors.

      Museum Participation will be published by MuseumsEtc in print and digital editions. Contributors will receive a complimentary copy of the publication and a discount on more.




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