International Conference: ‘Museums and Communities – The Heritage Of Belonging’


"Past" by Dan Perjovschi

This conference focuses on the interaction between museums and communities. In times of mobility and change, history museums play an important role in societal questions of social cohesion, identity and belonging. In search of their roots, people turn to heritage. History is popular as never before and it surfaces in all contemporary media. At the same time, the communication era offers new possibilities to form communities, based on common interests and preferences or popular and corporate culture. Museums in general, as part of the public sphere, are an important tool in this dynamic process of heritage formation and the performance of community.

To address these questions related to museums and communities, the Erasmus University Rotterdam organises an international conference in Rotterdamin November 2012. The conference features two keynote speakers. Richard Sandell will explore what happens when museums move away from the impartial narrative and adopt a more activist approach. Kevin Moore will present a paper on the complex relationship between museums and sports and its potential role in community building. In addition, several international experts from the field of museum studies will present fresh insights and new research results on how to engage communities in museums.

To register, send a mail with your name and affiliation to Hélène Verreyke at

Conference Program

9th of November Chair Prof. dr. Paul van de Laar
09:00 – 9:30 Registration & Coffee
9:30 – 09:45 Welcome by Prof. Dr. Dick Douwes, Dean of ESHCC and
Prof. dr. Marlite Halbertsma
Session 1: The heritage of belonging
09.45 – 10:45 Hélène Verreyke
Public participation in the museum. When practice creates meaning
10:45 – 11:00 Coffee
11:00 – 11:30 Luciana Aenasoaie
Let the Walls of History Speak: Constructing European Heritage through the
Restoration of Neamt Fortress, Romania
11.30 – 12.00 Louise Anne D. Marcelino
Making a Shoe Last: Reprogramming the Marikina Shoe Museum and the
Historic House of Don Laureano Guevara
12.00-12.30 An Lombaerts & Nadia Babazia
The Red Star Line connecting past and present
12:30 – 13:30 Lunch
Session 2: Questioning belonging
13:30 – 14:00 Susan Hogervorst
Musealization of memory. Survivor communities, camp sites and the re-
negotiation of the past
14:00 – 14:30 Robin Ostow
Museums as entrepreneursʼNewJewishin community building. Warsaw
Museum: Building a new history and a twenty-first century democracy
14:30 – 15:00 Maloe Sniekers and Stijn Reijnders
In the Gripʼt ofWantDutrouxtoBelong.Heritage that Doesn
15:00 – 15:15 Coffee
15:15 – 16.15 Keynote lecture: Richard Sandell
Activism and the museum
16:15 – 16:45 General discussion
18.00 Conference dinner
 10th of November Chair dr. Stijn Reijnders
Session 3: New heritage communities & New media
09.00 – 09.30 Registration & coffee
09.30 – 10:30 Dorus Hoebink
The museum and the performance of community
10.30-11.00 Jennifer A. Scott & Elissa BlountMoorhead
Building a Community Museum: Using Social Media to Engage Communities
at Weeksville Heritage Center in New York
11.00-11.15 Coffee
11:15 – 11.45 Marie Van Cranenbroeck
Social networkʻpassivewebsites, museums and audiences. From ʼ visitor to
ʻactiveʼco -creator of cultural heritage?
Session 4: How public heritage participation changes the museum
11:45 – 12.15 Jacqueline van Leeuwen & Hildegarde Van Genechten
“Tell me, what did you gain?” How to assess the creation of value in co-
creative museum projects
12.15 – 13:00 Lunch
13.00-13.30 Susan Ashley
A museum of our own. Immigrant museum-making in Canada
13.30 – 14.00 Ciara Canning
Out in the Open or Out of our Depth? A case study of a museum project
working with homeless people
14:00 – 15:00 Keynote lecture: Kevin Moore
Museums and sport: the heritage of belonging?
15.00-15.30 General discussion and concluding remarks
15.30-17.00 High tea


Conference Information

Conference venue

The conference will take place at The Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAi). The NAi is situated in the centre ofRotterdam, about 15 minutes walking distance from Rotterdam Central Station. The NAi is part of the Museumpark and is located diagonally opposite Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. The NAi can be reached using public transport, with the metro, tram 7 or 20 (to Eendrachtsplein), or bus 32 (to Rochussenstraat).

The Netherlands Architecture Institute (Nai) / Museumpark 25 / 3015 CBRotterdam /

The organising committee

Prof. dr. Marlite Halbertsma, Prof. dr. Paul van de Laar, Dr. Stijn Reijnders, Dr. Hélène Verreyke, Dorus Hoebink MA.

This conference concludes the Community Museums Past and Present project, which is part of the NWO programme Cultural Dynamics ( The Community Museums Past and Present project is financed by the VSB foundation.

If you have any questions concerning the conference, accommodation or transport please do not hesitate to contact Hélène Verreyke:


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