Thursday, 4 December 2014




Share Connect Discover: A Crossroads for Exchange, the sixth annual iSchool student conference, invites participants to make and explore connections between and beyond the confines of their own disciplines. The conference will take place March 6th and 7th and the call for papers is available here. As one of the co-chairs for the conference, I have decided to use this week’s research column to shamelessly promote it. 

Introducing the newest member of the iSchool Student Conference team: Sloth. He wants you to get involved too! Be on the lookout for him and post on Facebook when you see him, or tweet #HiSloth @iStudentConfTO
This year, we are encouraging exchange. To that end, we have shortened presentations in order to provide more time for discussion and would really like people to consider conducting a workshop (Have an idea you want to work out? Or an issue that you think should be discussed? This would be the perfect opportunity!!!) or making a poster (This may be a good idea for some of the curating science research? Or to share some of the interesting work done as part of group.). We are also open to different presenting formats and welcome submissions of all sorts.

Students presenting posters at last year's conference.
Details on last year’s conference, Information in Formation, are available here. The following are abstracts and pictures from last year’s MMSt presentations to give an idea regarding the wide variety of research that gets presented at the conferences (please note, the descriptions are either pulled from the program or given to me from the participants).


“Endless Interpretation”

Cady is also a co-chair at this year's conference. If you see her around and have a question, she is very approachable! Ask away!
Endless Interpretation is an online teaching kit that works in conjunction with an associated website. Together the website and teaching kit guide heritage educators through the process of developing the skills they need to make a program that connects real places with virtual spaces. This project focuses on designing self-guided hikes, or programs, for museum and heritage site visitors, using QR codes.


“Oddjects at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library”

A screen shot from the participant's powerpoint.
The objective for the Fisher Rare Book Library online exhibition titled, “Oddjects” was in the creative re-imagining of artifacts as they relate to people and place. This was done by using a number of visual cues in creating an environment indicative of the physical location while maintaining a role of relevance in the lives of its users. By providing a platform with personalized encounters of the unusual holdings in the Fisher, we provided the user with not only the select oddjects standard history but also a personal account narrated by a staff member who discusses the objects significance to the Fisher collection.

Curatorially, the user was the central focus in determining how the objects were to be interpreted and also how the design could make a contribution in presenting the staff and collection. The primary purpose was to challenge linear narrative by composing bits of information giving the user a 'sense' of the Fisher as a personality. Although not a standard exhibition, it contributes to the advocacy and appreciation of the Fisher library in an intentionally innovative format.

Another screen shot from their very cool presentation!
“Oddjects” web exhibition project was developed over the course of Museums and New Media with Professor Dallas and in coordination with the Fisher library staff. The project resulted in a final group presentation for the Fisher Library in December 2013.


“A Cyborg Walks into a Museum: Collections and the Changing Relationships between Mind, Body and Object."

How can museums accession, catalogue, care for, and exhibit objects that are intimately bound to human consciousness? As museums have been traditionally focused on the past, the concern has often been of preserving objects that have already been collected; however, the figure of the cyborg both in fiction and reality provide a reason for museum professionals to proactively explore how we will care for today’s and tomorrow’s objects in the future.

Lauren during her presentation.

“Queering Museums: Negotiating Difficult Knowledge & Museum Structures”

Through looking at discussions about queer identities within museum spaces and highlighting connections that can be drawn between these negotiations and debates around ‘difficult knowledge’, this paper argues how queer representation is in fact ‘difficult knowledge’ and elucidates how museums can move towards a more transformative and productive structure through the lens of ‘queering’, a direction that has been discussed yet not concretely nor sufficiently solved.

There are many ways for you to participate in the conference this year. First, I would like to encourage you to make a submission to before January 8th, 2015. Second, we are looking for volunteers. More specifically, if you are a first year and think the idea of co-chairing the conference next year sounds cool, email Catherine Lamoureux for details on becoming the Legacy officer. Third, you can also visit the Student Conference website, e-mail us at and holler at Catherine, Cady, Alex, or Robin when you see us with your questions!

1 comment:

  1. I am very excited for next year's conference! Your advertising campaign is brilliant and I am sure you will receive some fantastic submissions! A great place to test out ideas and ask important questions for museum and information professionals.