Accessibility statement

Emotion in the Museum | Conference Programme

Friday 13 March 2020, 9.15AM to 14 March 5:30pm

Event postponed

For reasons connected with the continuing spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and following the recent withdrawal of a significant number of speakers for this and other reasons, the organisers have reluctantly decided to postpone the Emotion in the Museum conference, which was due to take place in York on 13th & 14th March 2020. We are sorry for the difficulties that this will cause for delegates. As organisers of the event, we remain committed to the conference and will make every effort to hold this at a future date


This two day conference to be held on 13-14 March 2020 is a collaborative event organised by the Institute for the Public Understanding of the Past (IPUP) at the University of York and York Museums Trust.

How do museums feel? Which of their histories are emotive, for whom, and why? What kinds of emotions could or should be represented -- and evoked -- by engaging with history? How should emotional experiences be facilitated in museum and heritage spaces, and to what ends?

Please register via the University of York online store.

Please see further information regarding accommodation, travel, accessibility and our inclusion statement.

For the conference poster, please see our conference web page.


9.15-9.45 Registration (tea and coffee)

9.45-10 Welcome/Introduction

10–11.30 Sessions 1A and 1B

1A: General Perspectives

Samantha Jenkins (People’s History Museum)

Collecting emotive topics

Jennifer Pistella (Centre for the History of Emotions, QMUL)

Emotional places: historic spaces, their emotional history and the origins of the Victorian preservation movement

Jordan Kistler (University of Strathclyde)

What does fine art feel like? Emotions and classification in the Victorian museum 


1B: Emotion and Museum Learning

Jane Cockcroft (Ashmolean Museum)

Harnessing the imagination to emotionally engage: Imaginative Education in action in museums and heritage settings

Niamh Kelly and Clodagh Lavelle (Reimagine, Replay, Remake project)

Emotion and Young People in the Museum

Martin Brandt Djupdræt (Den Gamle By)

The role of atmosphere and emotions for wellbeing and learning: Best practices and research done at Den Gamle By and other open-air museums

11.30-11.50 Break (tea, coffee, biscuits)

11.50–12.50 Plenary Prof. Laurajane Smith: Registers of Engagement: Emotion in the Museum

12.50-1.50 Lunch

1.50-3.20 Sessions 2A and 2B

2A: Emotional Health and the Museum Workforce

Rachel Mackay (Historic Royal Palaces)

Preparing Front of House Teams for Emotionally Impactful Exhibitions

Eleanor O'Keefe (Historic Royal Palaces)

Working Emotions: the affective responses of heritage workers at the Tower of London, 2014

Museum Wellness Network

When stress is the emotion we feel most often


2B: Emotion and Everyday Life

Björg Sveinbjörnsdóttir and Vaida Bražiūnaite (Hversdagssafn Museum of Everyday Life, Westfjords, Iceland)

Everybody’s ordinary is extraordinary

Els Veraverbeke (Het Huis van Alijn)

The House of Alijn: a museum about emotions full of emotions

Alexander Scott (University of Wales Trinity St David)

Memory, Nostalgia and the City: Orhan Pamuk’s Museum of Innocence

3.20-3.40 Break

3.40-4.40 Plenary Sara Wajid MBE

4.50–6.20 Sessions 3A and 3B

3A: Emotional Engagements with Colonialism

Anna Vestergaard (SMK - National Gallery of Denmark

& University of Copenhagen)

Please do it for me? Affective work in the intersection of art and colonialism

Minju Oh (University of Leicester)

How do Negative Emotions Play a Role in Difficult History Museum?: Shame and Anger toward Japanese Colonial Period History in South Korea


3B: Designing Emotional Experiences

Dan Johnson and Paul Forster (PLB Ltd)

Make Them Feel It: Designing Emotional Experiences in Museums

Eithne Owens (Event Communications)

Once upon a time: storytelling that reaches the heart

Pippa Nissen (Nissen Richards Studio)

Evoking emotion through theatrical space

6.30-7.20 Drinks Reception



9–10.30 Sessions 4A and 4B

4A: Material Emotions

Alex Fitzpatrick (University of Bradford)

The Sadness of Skin, the Banality of Bone: The Spectrum of Emotions Regarding Animal Remains on Display

Lauren Ryall-Waite (Roehampton University)

Bodies of Emotion: Complicated legacies in anatomical displays

Layla Khoo and Iain Kelly (Independent, National Trust)

The Change in Attitudes exhibition, National Trust, Nunnington Hall; A Case Study


4B: Risk and Care in the Museum Sector

Ellie Miles, Meg O’Mahony, Claire Mead and Lucy Moore

#MeToo, sexual harassment and abuse in the museum workforce

Alexandra Woodall (University of Sheffield)

Agendas of Care

Tamsin Russell (Museums Association)

Psychosocial Hazards in the Workplace

10.30–10.50 Break (tea, coffee, biscuits)

10.50-12.20  Workshops


Lisa Baxter (The Experience Business)

The Imaginarium of Everyday Things

Esther Graham and Tali Krikler (Freelance, Ryedale DC Arts and Culture)

‘I am from Hama, famous for its water wheels…’: Exploring nostalgia, memory and the emotive object in practice

Emma Pegram (Academy of Medical Sciences) and Emily Scott-Dearing (Independent)

The Departure Lounge: unlocking emotions and providing a safety net

12.20–1.20 Lunch

                      Museum Detox Safe Space

1.20–2.50   Sessions 5A and 5B

5A: Measuring Emotion

Jessica Hoare (Cardiff University)

Framing Feeling: Understanding Emotional and Cognitive Processes in the Museum

Areti Damala (National de la Recherche Scientifique and Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris)

“Difficult” heritage, emotions, learning and meaning-making

Erin Canning (Aga Khan Museum)

Affect and museum collections information systems


5B: Emotion and Community

Elena Settimini and Alessio Francesco Palmieri-Marinoni (University of Sussex, University of Leicester

Remixing roles in the museum co-production: Memories, stories and emotions from the Palio di Legnano

Poornima Sardana (Independent)

The Hygge Heim Series in Delhi’s Museums

Gonul Bozoglu (Newcastle University)

Museum-like displays as emotional assemblages: marginal memory and the Greek communities of Istanbul


2.50–3 Short Break (tea, coffee, cake)

3–4      Plenary Dr Bernadette Lynch: ‘Emotion in museums: a critique and provocation’

4–5.30 Sessions 6A and 6B

6A: Difficult/Divided Pasts and Emotion

Joanne Rosenthal (Freelance Curator and Consultant)

‘Wonderful yet deeply saddening’: considering the emotional journey of the visitor through exhibitions dealing with difficult pasts

Elizabeth Crooke (Ulster University)

Living trauma, emotion and the activist museum

Elizabeth Carnegie & Jerzy Kociatkiewicz

Dances with Despots: exploring visitor engagement with the ‘ghosts’ of past regimes within Eastern Europe


6B: Institutional[ized] Experiences


Roz Currie and Lottie Tempest Mountford (Islington Museum)

Emotion as Glue: How empathy allowed the Echoes of Holloway Prison project to connect

Sara McDowell (Ulster University)

Unpacking the emotional labour of the present online: Remembering hidden histories

Cecilia Dahlbäck (Mittuniversitetet)

How to read this silence?

5.30 Close

Location: Bowland Auditorium, Humanities Research Centre, University of York

Admission: Registration is essential via the University online store