PAA Europe 2017: “Previous Possessions New Obligations” The Ongoing Responsibilities of Ethnographic Museums Musée d’Ethnographie de Genève (MEG) 21-23 November 2017

The annual PAA-E meeting entitled “Previous Possessions, New Obligations”: The Ongoing Responsibilities of Ethnographic Museums, will be held at the Musée d’Ethnographie de Genève (MEG) from 21 until 23 November 2017 to coincide with the exhibition L’effet boomerang. Les arts aborigènes d’Australie – The Boomerang Effect. The Aboriginal Arts of Australia (19 May 2017 – 7 January 2018).

The meeting title was borrowed from the document published in 1993 by the Council of Australian Museum Associations Inc. (CAMA) to guide the development of relationships between museums in Australia and Indigenous Australians. The conference would like to investigate the changing relationship between ethnographic museums and source communities.



While the papers can cover a wide range of topics, preference will be given to papers dealing with the following issues:

  • (new) forms of knowledge sharing and collaboration between ethnographic museums and Pacific peoples;

  • repatriation of objects;

  • roles of contemporary Pacific artists in historical and contemporary displays.

There are two types of presentations:

(a)  a 30 minute paper (20-25 mins talk, 5-10 mins discussion)

(b)  a 10 minutes report 


Abstract submissions (100-200 words) for reports or papers should be sent to Roberta Colombo Dougoud ( by 15 September. Acceptance will be confirmed by 1 October, allowing time for presenters to make their travel arrangements.



Full price:  CHF 45

Students/unemployed: CHF 35


Registration covers exhibitions entrance, teas/coffees with biscuits, symposium programme and storage visit. It will be possible from September onwards to register via the website of the MEG.


Tentative programme and accommodation

The detailed programme for the meeting and information about accommodation will be announced in due course. It is anticipated that the programme will include visits to the Musée Barbier-Mueller and to the Musée d’ethnographie de Neuchâtel (MEN).


Tuesday 21 November

·      Welcome at MEG

·      Visit of temporary and permanent displays

·      Paper sessions

·      Visit at Barbier-Mueller


Wednesday 22 November

·      Paper sessions

·      Visit of MEG’s storage

·      Dinner


Thursday 23 November

·      Excursion to Musée d’ethnographie de Neuchâtel

·      Paper sessions

·      General Assembly