Event: Saturday, May 18, 2019
Location: New Orleans Jazz Museum

Organized by Haitham Eid, Associate Professor, M.A. Museum Studies Program, SUNO in collaboration with:

  • Amistad Research Center
  • Museum Hue
  • New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old US Mint
  • New Orleans Preservation Coalition
  • Southern University at New Orleans’ Master of Arts in Museum Studies Program
  • Whitney Plantation
MCNx New Orleans

MCNx is an initiative by MCN (Museum Computer Network) to grow and support regional networks of museum innovators. MCNx New Orleans will take place during the forum and is dedicated to discussing how digital innovation can help museums achieve their missions as agents for social change. Please use the above guidelines to propose a session for MCNx New Orleans.

The Museum Innovation Forum

Now, more than ever, museums are critically reflecting upon their practices and striving to adopt innovative approaches to their civic responsibilities. Whether the innovation is a new or enhanced technology, business model or service, museums are becoming more socially, culturally, environmentally and politically aware of their surroundings. From the devastating environmental crises to human rights abuses, violence, as well as racial and economic inequities, museums as civic institutions have a moral duty to take actions to make the world a better place.

How can museums be innovative in addressing social issues using both digital and non-digital tools? How are the organizational structures (i.e. values, behaviors and organizational design) hindering or helping museums achieve their aspirations as agents for social change? How can museums balance the need to increase earned revenues and their social objectives? How can museums establish sustainable relationships with communities of color, LGBTQ, and people with different abilities, and affirm their relevance as viable community partners? What strategies can museums adopt to be more inclusive and equitable organizations? How can museums decolonize their collections, narratives and representations in the physical and virtual spaces?

This Forum explores the role of contemporary museums in society. It assumes that the role of contemporary museums goes beyond the basic functions of collecting, exhibiting and interpreting cultural heritage. Looking both internally (within the museum) and externally, The Museum Innovation Forum will discuss digital, social and business model innovations from the museum sector and beyond that can help museums be more effective agents for social change.

The Forum invites scholars, experts and practitioners to submit proposals that challenge current assumptions and provoke new thinking in the museum discourse.

Session Formats

The Forum seeks proposals for the following session formats:

  1. Formal Paper: Complete papers must be between 3500 – 5000 words in APA style. Selected papers will be invited for inclusion in an edited book, which will be, subject to peer review, published by Routledge in 2020-21. Each paper will be given 20 minutes for presentation plus 5 minutes for Q&A. The full manuscript is due on September 1, 2019.
  2. Panel Discussion: Consists of multiple panelists. Each panel must be 45 minutes plus 15 minutes for Q&A.
  3. Presentation/Case Study: Share your leading research or innovative work in a 20-minute presentation plus 5 minutes for Q&A. No formal paper is required.
  4. Performance and Visual Art: Show your talent and artistic expression related to the Forum’s theme. cPerformances must be no longer than 15 minutes. Only two-dimensional artwork will be considered. Shipping and insurance are the responsibility of the artists.
  5. Creative Session: We are also interested in creative sessions that may not fit any of the previous categories.

The Forum does not offer any travel grants or honorariums. However, presenters will receive 25% discount for their registration. All proposals for the previous session formats must be no longer than 400 words.

Virtual Presentation

Online presentation through video conferencing will be available to those who cannot attend in-person.

Key dates
Deadline to submit a proposal March 15, 2019
Notification of accepted proposals April 1, 2019
Deadline to submit complete papers (If the paper is selected for inclusion in the book, the author will work closely with the book co-editors to make sure that her/his manuscript satisfies the book style and conceptual framework) September 15, 2019
Submissions and Inquiries

All submissions must be made online. For inquiries, please send an email to [email protected]