2017 Call for papers


2017 Annual ICOM-ICTOP Conference / Windhoek, Namibia


 Theme: “Curators and Communities:  Training for Collaboration”

The first call for papers is closed on June 15th, 2017. Due to interest and questions about the second call the Conference Programme Committee decided proposals arriving before July 15th, 2017 will be checked for inclusion (under 2nd Call). N.B. The 2nd Call is based on “first come, first served” model.

ICOM – ICTOP (International Council of Museums – International Committee for the Training of Personnel) is holding its annual conference from October 11-13 (extended programme October 10-15), 2017 in Windhoek, Namibia in cooperation with the Museum Association of Namibia as well as the ICOM Namibia, the University of Namibia, the National Museum of Namibia and the Finnish Museum Association as partners.

ICOM’s International Committee for the Training of Personnel (http://ictop.org/) was formally established in 1968. ICOM-ICTOP’s primary interest is a capacity building and its main aim is to promote trainings and professional development and to establish standards/guidelines for museum/heritage professionals throughout their careers. The Committee studies and provides information on museum/heritage education offerings, organises an annual meeting and specialised workshops, acts as an advisor for the establishment of syllabi and curriculum for museums/heritage studies and other trainings programmes and works closely with other ICOM Committees (and other international organisations from the field) to achieve aforementioned goals.

As ICOM’s oldest specialist committee tasked with issues of international professional development we are very pleased to bring our conference this year to Namibia/Africa after Italy/Europe the last year and Barbados, Vietnam, Brazil, Netherlands and Canada where ICTOP conferences took place in 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 & 2011 respectfully.  The global reach of ICTOP’s conferences are evidence of the importance that we place on sharing experiences and knowledge internationally.

ICOM-ICTOP 2017 Conference Theme: “Curators and Communities:  Training for Collaboration”

               Through the theme entitled “Curators and Communities:  Training for Collaboration” ICTOP 2017 aims to engage all museum/heritage professionals who are dealing with this theme, whether at a local, national, regional or international level. Modern museology stresses the centrality of community participation in exhibition development, collections management and museum governance. However, what training and tools have been developed to equip museum workers to effectively employ this approach?

ICTOP, and all colleagues who will be attending the ICTOP 2017 annual conference, are invited to share their opinions on how you/your museum/training programme/research activities/project collaboration is addressing issues of collaboration with communities no matter how small, or indeed big they are.

The perspectives we are interested in will include all contemporary concerns and challenges, case studies of good (or bad) practice, as well as historical overviews or reflections on future possibilities. The Conference theme is wide and may cover diverse forms of work with/for communities. That’s exactly our main intention = to become aware and discuss as many as possible varied ideas, challenges or practices in this field since, after all, we all are here because of the communities we work with and not the other way around.

In addition, in today’s globalised and interconnected World we are becoming more and more aware that our local challenges or successes, involving local communities may be relevant to museums whether they are situated in Africa, Europe, Americas, Asia or Australia. Perhaps we also need to interrogate the identity of `the community’ as not only a local constituency (from which our visitors are mainly drawn) or a more global, disparate `community’ that has links with the material culture in our collections.

Within ICOM-ICTOP we believe there are no more or less important topics, no difference between a large or a small scale project since the smallest training at a village museum could teach us lessons that will be of as much importance as one on an international scale. In this sense all proposals directly, or even indirectly dealing with the main conference theme (in a myriad of ways) are encouraged.

Abstracts need to outline how the museum/heritage project you are involved, was involved or will be involved in addresses its single or multiple relations toward communities and what that particular case could teach us all. Abstracts that propose a theoretical approach are welcome too. In addition, alternative abstracts which would be acceptable would be those discussing new developments concerning museum/heritage related trainings/programmes even if they are not directly connected with the main theme of the ICOM-ICTOP 2017 conference.  We would especially encourage proposals from young museum professionals and, due to the fact that Namibia is hosting ICOM-ICTOP 2017, we would especially welcome abstracts that reference the opportunities and challenges of providing museum training in (southern) Africa.

If you are interested to be part of a local-global discussion about building relations toward communities, either by presenting your case-study or by learning from others including sharing your opinions please join us in this promising, interesting event. We indeed invite you to make your voice heard. Your contribution could be realised either in the form of a presentation/paper (20-30 minutes), a workshop (1 hour), a poster (as part of the poster session) or a panel discussion. Accordingly please send us an abstract (250 words maximum) by June 15th, (July 15th – second call) 2017.  ICTOP members who simply want to attend event and participate in general panel discussions may just complete the Conference Registration Form.


The following information should be included with the abstract:

Name(s) of Author(s)

Affiliation(s) & full address(es)

Title of submitted paper

Abstract in English (no more than 250 words)

Short bio/CV of presenter(s) (no more than 100 words)

Support equipment required


Abstract submissions should be sent before June 15, (July 15th – second call) 2017 as a MS Word document attachment to:

Kiersten Latham: kflatham(at)kent.edu

Darko Babic: dbabic(at)ffzg.hr

Jeremy Silvester: jeremysilvester3(at)gmail.com

Goodman Gwasira:  ggwasira(at)unam.na


Conference information 

Further details of the ICOM-ICTOP conference (registration forms, accommodation, study tours and other details) will be available from late April at the ICTOP web site: http://ictop.org/conferences/2017-2/

(27/04) Registration form available at: http://ictop.org/conferences/2017-2/