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VIRTUAL - CfA: Teaching about the Ancient World in Museums

December 1, 2023

This is an online event.

Call for Papers Deadline: December 1, 2023

Call for Abstracts: *Teaching about the Ancient World in Museums: Pedagogies in Practice*

The editors of Teaching Ancient Egypt in Museums: Pedagogies in Practice (Routledge 2024) seek abstract submissions for the second volume in this series, Teaching about the Ancient World in Museums: Pedagogies in Practice.

Teaching with ancient material in museums presents unique challenges for educators, museum staff, and learners alike. Ancient objects are sometimes unprovenanced or are of questionable authenticity, and teaching with them necessitates discussions about provenance. In addition, ancient museum collections often provoke conversations about human remains, for which ethical considerations must be woven into pedagogy. Beyond this, contemporary stakeholder perspectives are often excluded from discussions about their ancient pasts and should be incorporated into collections stewardship and educational programming.

This volume will focus on methods and approaches for teaching about the ancient Mediterranean, ancient Western Asia, and ancient North Africa through material remains in museums. In our current moment, when both museums and many ancient studies subfields are reflecting on how to create more inclusive practices grounded in social justice and equity, developing ethical and equitable museum pedagogies to teach from ancient material will help shape more critical views of both ancient and modern cultures among students and museum visitors.

We invite participants to submit abstracts for essays that will share practical examples of object-based teaching in museums and/or with museum collections. Submissions can be based in museum collections anywhere in the world. Proposed essays should be geared toward generating conversations about best practices in museum pedagogy, curation, and collection stewardship. They must present case studies that are either in progress or completed, and should foreground contributors’ first-hand experiences, methodologies, and reflective teaching practices. We welcome contributions centered on material from the entirety of the ancient Mediterranean, ancient Western Asia, and ancient North Africa that represent teaching with museum objects in creative and inclusive ways. Essays should be co-authored by two or more authors, to reflect the collaborative nature of teaching and learning. These may include essays written in partnership between archaeologists, teachers, curators, docents, museum educators, community workers, artists, and others. An authors’ peer-review workshop will be held on Zoom after the first drafts of the volume’s essays are submitted, so that we can all learn from each other.

Proposed essays should center on object-based, practice-oriented learning experiences with clear goals. They may engage learners in a variety of groups, including children; teachers; university students; incarcerated communities; adult lay learners; artists/art students; informal online audiences, e.g. via social media; and learners who require accessibility accommodations. We are seeking contributions that fall into one of the following categories:
1. Teaching About Tricky Topics: essays that address teaching about topics considered to be difficult, problematic, or sensitive in museum pedagogy (e.g. teaching about provenance, colonialism, restitution, or with human remains).
2. Teaching Towards Accessibility and Inclusivity: essays that take the term “accessibility” broadly, including pedagogies that serve people who require accessibility accommodations, those that engage underserved and underrepresented communities, and those that represent equitable access to collections information.
3. Teaching Across Disciplines: essays that explore productive connections between material culture and fields outside of the ancient world, and those that reach across cultural boundaries.
4. Teaching in the Community: essays that center on case studies where object-based learning takes place outside of the museum proper, such as in schools, community centers, and online, and those that offer examples of meaningful co-creation with community partners.

The editors especially welcome submissions from colleagues working at institutions located in the MENA, SWANA, and Mediterranean regions. Cross-institutional and/or international collaborations are strongly encouraged. Prospective authors are invited to submit a title and abstract (200-300 words) in English that details their proposed essay topic and pedagogical methods by December 1st using this Google Form:

Please send any questions to the editors: Jen Thum (she/her,, Carl Walsh (he/him,, Lissette Jiménez (she/her,, and Lisa Saladino Haney (she/her,

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December 1, 2023


Jen Thum


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