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[Curator: The Museum Journal] Appel à communications (en anglais) : “Sonic Museum”

Museum professionals frequently invoke “multi-sensory” and “immersive,” to recognize the role of both concepts in translating museum knowledge and creating emotional, memorable experiences. This special issue of Curator will explore the contribution of sound to multi-sensory awareness. We seek manuscripts that consider how museums are experimenting with sonic experience to advance emotional responses, balancing stimulation and reflection, knowing and feeling.

Music and sound can contribute to museums in various ways: as a museum object, interpretation tool, visitor’s engagement device, architectural revelation, creative opportunity for artists, and as conceptual model. How is sound implicated in visitor’s understanding of themselves and their relationship to history and culture? How can sound affirm, comfort, and challenge? This Special Issue will welcome perspectives from designers, acousticians, technicians, policy makers, front-end delivery personnel, museum educators, and curatorial staff.

Topics could include (but are not limited to):

  • Multi-sensory and immersive: Clarifying definitions, goals, potential, and risk. Considering sonic elements of multisensory experience, emerging technology platforms, and the ephemeral;
  • Sounding objects such as musical instruments and other sound-producing devices: Delivering on intangible/sonic heritage, what can be “played;”
  • Sound in art, as art (time-based media art) or used to convey environmental or science content;
  • Extending the museum: Case studies or reviews of digital/portable content (take home or in the museum, mobile apps, pre-/post-museum online discovery, or post-visit experience;Building and exhibition design’s impact or contribution to spatial awareness of architecture;
  • Accessibility considerations for visitors requiring hearing or visual accommodations; and
  • Reviews of soundscapes, sound and/or music museums and exhibitions (successes and setbacks, case studies)

Theme Issue Editors:

Kathleen Wiens PhD, Exhibition Developer at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Winnipeg, Canada

Eric de Visscher, Andrew W. Mellon Visiting Professor, V&A Research Institute, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK

Submission Guidelines:

Submission of research papers, forum articles, exhibit reviews and book reviews are welcomed.

Deadline for abstracts is April 30th, 2018. Authors will be notified of their accepted papers by June 15th,

2018 for anticipated draft completion by August 2018. Abstracts should be emailed directly to the guest editors for consideration.

All accepted papers must comply with Curator guidelines.

Editor, John Fraser, Ph.D. AIA

Curator: The Museum Journal publishes quarterly in print and online with a current circulation reaching around the world through its over 2800 subscribers. Through Wiley’s philanthropic initiatives, access is also extended low-cost or free access to an additional 4,586 developing world institutions. is the companion social media supplement to the print journal, offering further opportunities for exploration and debate on museum issues through the Join the Discussion blog and Virtual Issues.


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