CfP: Migration, Home, and Belonging


International Committee for Museums of Ethnography (ICME) Annual Conference

Theme: Migration, Home, and Belonging

Washington, D.C., USA, The National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), Smithsonian Institution

Conference, October 17-19, 2017

Post Conference tour, October 20-22

ICME is interested in how your museum or research is addressing historical and contemporary concerns related to Migration, Home, and Belonging. We are sending a wide call for papers, which can relate to the theme in a myriad of ways. Abstracts can outline how diverse audiences are making the museum a ‘home’ and how the museum facilitates them finding a sense of ‘belonging’ to their sites. Alternatively abstracts could discuss historical work on collections and consider ‘migration’ from the perspective of object biographies.  

The National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) is an excellent location for ICME to address the theme of Migration, Home, and Belonging.  Exhibitions at the NMAI, Nation to Nation: Treaties Between The United States and American Indian Nations for example tell histories of Native presence in the Western Hemisphere.

NMAI raises a range of diverse voices and gives voice to communities that have not been exhibited in a museum setting.  Most importantly, the NMAI speaks of the strength of peoples making new homes and creating spaces of belonging. Migration, Home, and Belonging are universal concepts of socio-culture. These concepts impact the development of the sense of self, sense of place, and sense of other.  The fundamental ideas of community, identity, and shared responsibility create a sense of belonging, therefore a home. Through adversity, peoples have maintained integrity with home and belonging vis a vis (im)migration.

The role of the ethnographic museum is to promote understanding and tolerance of others in innovative ways through the growing collections of material culture, intangible heritage, and interpretative value, which we hold in trust. The conference poses the question of how to make the museum into a place that is inclusive for all voices to be heard in an age of global migration.

We invite you to make your voice heard. Please send us an abstract (200 word maximum) with your ideas for a paper (20-30 minutes) or panel discussion related to the theme. In addition, this year we also welcome proposals (10 minutes) about your current work in the ethnographic museum that lies outside of the main theme. The conference poses the question of how to make the museum into a place that is inclusive for all voices to be heard in an age of global migration.

The following information should be included with the abstract:

Name(s) of Author(s)

Affiliation(s) & full address(es)

Title of submitted paper

Abstract in English (no more than 200 words)

Support equipment required


Abstract submissions should be sent as a WORD document attachment to:

Earring Martin:

Ulf Johansson Dahre:‎

Viv Golding:

Sylvia Wackernagel:

Mario Buletic:

DUE by June 1, 2017.

Conference information

Details of the ICME conference (Registration forms, registration fee information, hotels, and other details) will be available at the end of April on the ICME web site and in the next ICME News 82:

Conference Fee 

Approximately 200 Euros (to be confirmed). The conference fee will cover the printed programme, lunches and coffee breaks, the welcome and farewell party. 

3 day Post-conference tour in New York

The post conference tour fee will be approximately 250 Euros, paying for the bus transport, hotel, meals, and museum admissions. 

Yujie Zhu