The permanent and official blog of the University of Leicester's School of Museum Studies PhD student conferences and special events.

25 October 2011

Contest winners!

Congratulations to Dominic, who was the winner of our contest; he will get to attend Museum Utopias for free! Runner-up Nuala has been awarded a 50% fees discount. Congratulations! Look for our next contest in the New Year for your chance to win!

21 October 2011

Historical Utopias: Utopia, Ohio

We've already introduced you to Utopia (Texas), and this week, we present you with another Utopia, this one in Ohio. Sadly, this place does not have a Utopian museum - it has a population of just over 9,000 people. However, it has a very interesting history which makes it far from an ideal place. According to the state historical marker (2003) which stands in the town:
Utopia was founded in 1844 by followers of French philosopher Chaqrles Fourier (1772-1837). Fourierism, based on utopian socialism and the idea of equal sharing of investments in money and labour, reached peak popularity in the United States about 1824 to 1848. The experimental community of Utopia dissolved in 1846 due to lack of financial success and disenchantment with Fourierism. John O. Wattles, leader of a society of spiritualists, purchased the land and brought his followers to Utopia in 1847. The spiritualists, who sought secluded areas to practice their religion, built a two-story brick house on the shore of the Ohio River. A flash flood on December 13, 1847, killed most of Wattles' people. The majority of the few survivors left the area. Thus, the idea of the perfect society, or utopia, died. Henry Jermegan of Amelia, laid out the present village in 1847.
You can find out more about Utopia (OH) here.

16 October 2011

Contest entries: time to vote!

Our contest for discounted registration was sadly under-entered. For a while, it looked as if we were going to have a de-facto winner. But we do have a choice for you, and here it is, with justifications.

1. N.M.M. nominated The Museum of Broken Relationships (represented at last year's conference) because it is

most democratic, send it your story and your object, with (hopefully) no editing of these stories. Also a wonderful travelling museum.

2. D.W., on the other hand felt that:
Surely any traditional national museum (e.g. British Museum) thinks itself utopian, presenting the nation as an ideal, and at the height of civilisation!
What do you think? Will it be a plucky little start-up museum, or an international icon? Who will get to attend the conference for a reduced rate? Go ahead and vote in the sidebar, on Facebook, or on Twitter (use the hashtag!). Voting ends at midnight on October 25.

13 October 2011

11 October 2011

Historical Utopias: Nutopia

This weekend was the birthday of John Lennon, and to celebrate, we are profiling his and Yoko Ono's vision: Nutopia. Announced on April 1, 1973 (April Fool's) this was an artistic and political statement. Reminiscent of the hopeful world he described in his 1971 song, Imagine, it is an idealistic concept. The national anthem was three seconds of silence. Read the declaration, watch the announcement, live the dream.