International Conference on University Museums "UMAC Tokyo Seminar: University Museums as Cultural Commons" Held
September 20, 2019
An International Conference on University Museums titled "UMAC Tokyo Seminar—University Museums as Cultural Commons: Interdisciplinary Research and Education in Museums" was held over the two days of September 9 (Mon.) and 10 (Tues.) at the North Building and East Research Building on Mita Campus.
UMAC is one of the international committees of the International Council of Museums (ICOM), and is the largest international forum for university museums and collections. The UMAC Tokyo Seminar, the first UMAC conference to be held in Tokyo, was jointly planned by the Keio University Art Center, a research center supporting artistic activities, and the Keio Museum Commons, which is responsible for fostering exchange through the university’s collections and exhibition activities. The theme of the conference was "the power of university museums that yield knowledge rooted in different cultures and exchange among people."
Despite the awful traffic on the first day caused by a typhoon making landfall in the Kanto region, many members of university museums from 14 countries and regions participated. About 60 Keio students aiming to become qualified curators also took part, making it a valuable opportunity to interact with participants with diverse cultural backgrounds.
In the keynote panel, talks were given on the theme of practices and prospects of object-based learning. In addition, in the special panel organized by the Keio Museum Commons, interdisciplinary discussions unfolded on the topics of "museums" and "commons" between researchers specializing in various fields including art, literature, science, technology, and architecture.
Afterward, the venue moved to the East Research Building, where poster and oral presentations were held on a variety of themes, including "Citizens and University Museum" and "University Museum Ethics," and there were active exchanges of opinions.
In the guided tours that were planned after the research presentations had concluded, participants visited university museums in Tokyo, including at the University of Tokyo and Waseda University, in the late summer heat.
Keynote panel: Mr. Andrew Simpson (Honorary Fellow, Macquarie University)
Keynote panel: Ms. Kathryn Eccles (Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford)
Special Panel "What We Think About Museum and Commons": (from left) Professor Yohko Watanabe (Keio University Art Center/Keio Museum Commons), Professor Yoshiharu Tsukamoto (Tokyo Institute of Technology/Atelier Bow-Wow), Professor Hiroshi Shigeno (Keio University Faculty of Science and Technology), Professor Takami Matsuda (Keio Museum Commons/Keio University Faculty of Letters)
Oral presentation at East Hall
Oral presentation at the Global Research Laboratory
Poster presentation on the 5th floor of the East Research Building