Centro de Investigação em Sociomuseologia CISMus

 

A investigação desenvolvida no Departamento de Museologia é realizada no âmbito Centro de Estudos de Sociomuseologia.(CISMus)

No entanto decorre atualmente o processo de articulação visando a criação de uma nova Unidade de Investigação denominada Centro de Estudos Interdisciplinares em Educação e Desenvolvimento (CeiED) da Universidade Lusófona, tendo para esse fim sido submetida uma candidatura junto da FCT (Processo RG-4114-1490)

Centro de Investigação em SocioMuseologia (CISMus)

SocioMuseology Research Centre (SMRC)

1. Introduction. 3

2. Vision Statement

2.1. Goals and Strategic Priorities

3. Research Areas Framework

4. Policy to Increase Research and Scientific Productivity

4.1. Organisation Structure

COA - Steering Committee

Scientific Director

Executive Director

Heads of the five Research Areas

Secretary

4.2. Supportive Structure for Research

Key Strategies

4.3. Increasing Scientific Productivity

Key Strategies

4.4. Policy for Scholar Programmes and Student Participation in Research Activities

Key strategies

5. Policy for Quality Control

Key strategies

6. Research Areas & Topics

6.1. Sociomuseology, Heritage and Development

6.2. Sociomuseology, Human Rights and Globalization

6.3. Museology and Education

6.4. Museology Expography and Technologies

6.5. Museums and Service Sciences

6.6. Museums, Territory, Architecture and Design

 

 

1. Introduction

Establishing of the new SocioMuseology Research Centre (SMRC)within the Department of Museology of the Lusófona University requires the setting up of a structure, scientific and operational, to provide guidance and bring added value to theory, to the practice and to the training in museology field.

The here outlined Strategic Research Plan, for the SMRC, evince both the research needs and the possibilities of the Centre to reach the goals to be set, being aware that research drives innovation and development, enhance training skills and provide expertise for providing services to the community.

 

2. Vision Statement

To promote research in heritage sciences, by means of the relations established  and to be established with the international scientific community.

To train and support, both scientifically and materially, young researchers, namely those preparing  master and doctorate theses.

To spread scientific culture through the publication of the  obtained results in books, in accredited national and foreign journals and in different formats of meetings, conferences and public debates, using the adequate technical resources of information, communication and dissemination.

To work with a clear understanding that Heritage sciences covered a widespread field of research and practices. In consequence SMRC recognising that is impossible to cover all subjects dealing with heritage sciences make a clear option to deal with non less wide field of Museology and in particularly with the increasing area of Sociomuseology.

This option results from the work developed in the last 20 year in the department of Museology  promoting  conceptual discussion, pos graduate training programs, external services, international cooperation and multifaceted dissemination activities.

At present time, with this roots our main goal is to conduct the SMRC in order to be a place where the reflection of theories and practices in Museology and Sociomuseology, in their broad senses, take place and make possible to act as a generator of knowledge and of tools and solutions tailored to the issues of heritage and museology mainly in Portugal and the lusophone countries.

The Centre, the Department of Museology, the staff and learners at all levels will participate routinely in strategically conceived and designed research and scholarly initiatives that contribute significantly to a sustainable management of territory, bringing benefits to the societies, increasing the economies viability and preservation and valorisation of culture and heritage.

We gather a SMRC with a clear scientific cut, with human and qualified resources, adequate technological means and with a flexible structure.

 

2.1. Goals and Strategic Priorities

  1. Create an appropriate infrastructure to support research and education growth and foster a strong culture of research at the ULHT; positioning the SMRC within the Portuguese, European, Portuguese speaking counties and global context as a centre of excellence in research and innovation,
  2. Develop a research policy to promote interdisciplinary approaches, to facilitate the collaborative identification of research needs and opportunities, and harmonise and develop synergies among different levels at the University, within the Department and with the community, in order to grow the number of projects in international and nationally recognised programmes,
  3. Build a sustainable structure - easy manageable - to set up a sustained and long-lasting facilitation service in order to enhance the research participation, the development of proposals, to provide advices on project administration and management processes, and improve communication with researchers for disseminating of opportunities and funding information,
  4. Build a structure reliable for actively participating in research projects, especially in sponsored international programmes,
  5. Strengthen the academic quality and reputation, with support for the training and careers of researchers, in order to enable the SMRC to attract and retain excellent people who perform research in the areas of interest,
  6. Increase the relationship and develop synergies between research and scholarship, in order to enhance the teaching excellence, ensuring the supply of a well-equipped, educated urban planners generation,
  7. Further expand the community outreach and continue to engage in partnerships in order to improve the share our findings broadly as a public service, foster the transfer of knowledge into communities, enhancing their capacity building and enriching their quality of life,
  8. Set up effective means of bringing together researchers from both developing and industrialised countries to solve problems of common interest,
  9. Increase the enrolment and promote student success, grow and diversify the academic offers in order to improve higher educated students participation in research and practice, and the transfer of technology,
  10. Develop and maintain space, equipment, and other resources necessary to support the enhancement of research.
  11. Promote postgraduate studies and advanced training activities of young researchers, professionals and citizens

 

3. Research Areas Framework

SMRC  is committed to critical issues of particular relevance to the sustainability of museums and other  cultural institutions dealing with heritage in a broader sense. To offers guiding principles and better coordinate the research efforts five research areas are recognised which encompass the broadest range of contemporary issues, museum and museology is faced with.

The research areas are:

 

  • Sociomuseology, Heritage and Cultural Development
  • Sociomuseology, Human Rights and Globalization
  • Museology and Education
  • Museology and Computing
  • Museums and Service Sciences
  • Museums, Territory, Architecture and Design

 

In the Chapter 6 are compiled the main topics for each of the six research areas. Although in the transversality and linkages within the areas, integrated approaches and the cross-cutting themes should obtain priority.

 

4. Policy to Increase Research and Scientific Productivity

The first goal of SMRC is to position ourselves in the research and academic community both national and international across the globe, as an excellence research centre. To achieve this is necessary to increase the institutional and staff capacity. The capacity building is focused on creating and fostering a supportive environment for academic, research and community services. This includes building policies towards (a) an efficient management structure and staff with adequate qualifications, (b) supportive structure for increasing research activities, (c) providing incentives for increasing scientific productivity and (d) fostering doctoral programmes and increasing student participation in research and academic activities.

These five equally important strategic goals were identified after careful deliberations based on current and future strengths of SMRC. These are:

4.1. Organisation Structure

In the multidisciplinary research themes the SMRC  is committed together with the Department of Museology  and the staff to build a sustainable framework to foster the research activities and scientific collaborations.

In order to improve the research performance and drive knowledge exchange and innovation it is necessary to build a rational coordination of tasks and duties oriented towards achieving common goals as well as continuity through time. The following is a description of the essential contents:

COA - Steering Committee - is an advisory board of independent experts

  • Provide scientific guidance and advice,
  • Evaluate and monitor the SMRC  performance,
  • Support in the CRSMUS's endeavours,
  • Review existing research policies and procedures on a regular basis and propose modifications, as necessary,
  • Provide input on demand.

 

Scientific Director

  • Provide the overall direction and management of the CRSMUS,
  • Perform tasks which allow the SMRC  to fulfil its mission and purpose,
  • Provide scientific advisory and negotiate agreements for research,
  • Act as a bridge between the organisation and the outside world,
  • Represent the SMRC  at conferences and official occasions,
  • Ensure realistic goals are set for an organisation, and that these goals are met,
  • Support the co-director to fulfil the tasks and duties.

 

Executive Director

  • Support the director to fulfil the tasks and duties,
  • Monitor the administrative and financial performance of CRSMUS,
  • Ensure the strategic plan is in place and monitored,
  • Coordinate the flow of information both internally and externally.

 

Heads of the five Research Areas

  • Coordinate the priority-setting processes for research topics,
  • Monitor all activities and projects,
  • Support the development of proposals and projects,
  • Assists researchers and support of the responsible conduct of research,
  • Set up work procedures and conduct research,
  • Enhance the student's experience extending their participation in research.

 

Secretary

  • Support the activities of the staff members,
  • Keep record of research and scientific activities,
  • Maintain databases and collate information about research activities,
  • Keep the communication among the staff and as well as partners,
  • Liaison with internal and external contacts.

 

4.2. Supportive Structure for Research

A major goal of SMRC  is to establish a corporate programme that increases partnership opportunities, supports research, scholarship and creative activities. A resulting goal is to make the SMRC  a reliable partner this requires not only an efficient management structure and skilled staff but supportive structures for increasing the activities.

 

Key Strategies

  1. Set priority in the developing of joint, multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research proposals, and utilise the five strategic research themes to advance research,
  2. Enhance capacity building, advance knowledge and skill in research coordination and accomplishment, lending mutual support at all stages of the research, e.g. research training workshops for preparation of proposals, approaches to develop and evaluate research outcomes,
  3. Ensure the SMRC  staff and researchers is educated in the standards for the design, conduct, reporting, and supervision of research,
  4. Develop short term research projects aiming at enabling the SMRC  to create a portfolio and especially to provide basic knowledge for the participation in international research consortia,
  5. Establish in a long term special research fund for bridging grants and small projects aimed at preliminary data collection, library study, scholarly investigation trips, etc.
  6. Increase the exchange of strategic Information, e.g. research calls, bids, conferences, meetings, missions, research results and funding for scholarships, e.g. email circular,
  7. Increase funding especially external funding from European programmes, via e.g. increase the number of research proposals submitted,
  8. Develop a public relations and communications campaign to inform potential research partners, scientific and academic spheres, and to take advantage of their ability to attract resources for financing projects,
  9. Create supportive services for research proposals and increase the use of the central services provided by the University (International Relations Service),
  10. Encourage the staff to participate in additional activities, apart from the cooperation as a research partner,
  11. Establish a regular meeting schedule, extend invitations to appropriate meeting participants, e.g. students.
  12. Develop a database to ensure continuity and to enable measuring success and progress using standard criteria, such as, publication record, grants, reference citations, and career investigator awards.
  13. Obtain the approval and support of all partners involved in the adoption and implementation of the action plan.
  14. increase the square footage of research space

 

4.3. Increasing Scientific Productivity

In order to make of the SMRC  a place where knowledge of Urban Planning Science is generated requires clearly a supportive environment to advance such knowledge, tailored to different addressees. This means besides creating profound know-how increase the institutional and staff capacity and the exploitation of new technologies and the application of research results.

 

Key Strategies

  1. Utilise the five strategic research areas and their themes to advance disciplinary, multidisciplinary, and interdisciplinary essays, briefings and publications,
  2. Put in place mechanisms to stimulate and facilitate the publication of research results and students works, in the Department's journal  Cadernos de Sociomuseologia, and in accredited national and foreign journals
  3. Promote the qualification of Department's journal Cadernos de Sociomuseologia trough the implementation of a most effective peer reviewed structure in accordance with the international standards
  4. Encourage and enable the participation of staff and students in conferences, workshops and similar, to disseminate the SMRC  and research results, provide financial support,
  5. Facilitating the exchange of ideas and best practices,
  6. Enhance access to data and information, especially on research results and encourage information sharing, e.g. via new communication media (blog, facebook, etc).
  7. Promote coordinated actions and synergy; facilitate coordination among research and academic staff, and partner's organisations,
  8. Encourage personnel exchange for training purposes and promote in-person and virtual collaborative opportunities,
  9. Advance  the organisation of the Encontro Nacional Museologia e Autarquias creating a more effective network of collaboration between the SMRC and Municipalities also at an international level
  10. Promote networking and foster the scientific exchange via hosting an annual conference to present the results of SMRC  (research and academic) as well as to invite potential partners.

 

4.4. Policy for Scholar Programmes and Student Participation in Research Activities

Being part of a University which offers two levels of degrees (master's and PhD degrees) opens up an excellent opportunity to combine and make use of synergies between research and academic fields.

Engaging scholarly activities in research and vice-versa can add exciting dimensions to the both activities, e.g. generating innovative solutions or new ways of looking at challenges. For students the engagement in research activities facilitates the development of a comprehensive and invaluable skill set. The linkage will not only bear the ongoing transfer of knowledge but also provide insights in current methodologies, processes and the access to new and emerging technologies. The opportunities for students will be provided by activities including: teamwork, knowledge creation, critical thinking and testing, project management, proposal writing, reporting skills, public speaking and presenting, improvement in foreign languages, interpersonal skills, etc. The kind of exchange activities and the time frame will be decided according to each research programme.

 

Key strategies

  1. Foster the scientific and technical knowledge transfer between the academic and research communities, especially the forefront of knowledge of research projects,
  2. Create of a strong research culture with benefits to the students and enhance the opportunities to participate in research activities, e.g. encouraging their participation scientific events, in workshops, meetings, etc.,
  3. Align the teaching and research to five research themes and ensure that the forefront of knowledge fully reflect the commitment to preparing students for the challenges of the 21st Century,
  4. Foster the skills and learning experiences of the students, besides participating in diploma and degree programmes,
  5. Each research area prepare annually a proposal for themes of interest for students works (according to the grades and provide support to fulfilment of these, e.g. for final thesis, master degree and PhD thesis,
  6. Enhance student learning outcomes, e.g. organisation of workshops, summer schools, encouraging publications,
  7. Provide around research performances support especially to doctoral students, Students colloquia and the annual Workshop de Investigação em Sociomuseologia,
  8. Create opportunities and encourage the networking activities of students (e.g. Erasmus, participation on international activities, etc.).

 

5. Policy for Quality Control

Being aware that only planning or theoretical application cannot be guarantee complete success, there is the need to implement a framework for monitoring and evaluation within the CRSMUS. This topic is in fact another landmark then it will support the consolidation and/or improvement of research activities and scholar's programmes.

The first instance for monitoring and evaluation the performance of the SMRC  is its directive board composed by the Director, Co-Director and the Heads of the Research Areas. As the Co-Director is in charge of monitoring the administrative and financial performance as well as ensuring the strategic plan is in place he/she will be responsible for this task - although all play an essential part in continually improve the services the SMRC  delivers-  internally and externally.

The SMRC  welcomes and will follow the recommendations the Steering Committee (COA)

 

Key strategies

  1. Develop and implement an evaluation framework. At this stage of implementation of SMRC  this should result in easy approach with a simple set of indicators (quantitative and qualitative),
  2. Based on the monitoring approach and results obtained deliver contribute to research policy formation,
  3. Provide contents and arguments for rethinking  the SMRC 's approach,
  4. Establish a regular meeting schedule of SMRC  with the COA, provide them the necessary information,
  5. Provide an annual evaluation and monitoring report.

 

6. Research Areas & Topics

This section presents objectives for each area and details the research topics and their priorities. These topics will be developed within the lines of Theoretical and Conceptual Research (ITC), Operational Research (OR), Applied Research (IA), as well as the provision of Services for Community (CS). To carry out their tasks the research areas will apply various methods and research techniques always tailored to the needs of each project.

The SMRC is oriented to research and teaching of new museological practices, in particular community museology, ecomuseology, network museums, economuseology, associative based museums,  neighbourhood museums, currently recognized by the International Council of Museums, acting from a perspective of social inclusion, the promotion of the values of participation and the respect for Human Rights. In Portugal and in Brazil 95% of all museological institutions correspond to the above practices. The Sociomuseology approach comes to conceptual issues, promoting understanding and the development of different forms of museological practices. It promotes the clarification and elaboration of methodologies, the understanding of the place of the new information and communication technologies, their links with other areas of knowledge and recognition of the museums as entities providing services.

The SMRC believes that Sociomuseology is defined as a means of social and communication intervention, for the benefit of the development of the communities that it serves. Sociomuseology is not limited to the traditional tasks that so often reduce Museums to simple warehouse condition. This goal of transformation of the individual and of society has profoundly changed the conservation paradigm of "keeping, studying and admiring" based on objects and not on the relation object/heritage with the community/public/users. The SMRC considers Sociomuseology as an area of knowledge in the process of consolidation with increasing autonomy and independence for the various disciplines that until recently almost exclusively deal with museums:  History and History of Art, Archaeology, Anthropology, Architecture and others.

What characterizes  the activity of the SMRC is also the recognition that both students and researchers as museological institutions, operate in an increasingly demanding and complex social and economic context. The SMRC acknowledges on the one hand that students look for skills and qualifications that will allow them to manage the heritage/society relationship, regardless of the type of Museum and the different social and cultural contexts where the heritage is inserted.

The SMRC considers that students, for a variety of purposes, aim for:

 i) being polyvalence,

ii) developing critical faculties,

 iii) being able to solve different problems that the interpretation of the heritage places in different social and cultural contexts,

 iv) being able to work in teams and museums with diverse institutional cultures,

 v) being able to integrate different knowledge about the heritage.

The SMRC recognizes that in the last decades museological institutions in general have sought to respond to the new societal challenges, change the forms of technical and organizational performance and adopt new communication features.

The SMRC recognises that its place as instance of research and teaching is to clarify this complexity and of course contribute, in an interdisciplinary perspective for building solutions that can overcome the challenges of the contemporary world by making innovative contributions to society in specific areas.

In this context 2 research areas were defined taking into account the previous experience of the Department in respects to themes and research lines that argued the 17 theses and the 60 dissertations produced  under the post-graduate programs -MSc and PhD- of the Department by Portuguese and Brazilian, French and Cape Verdean students:  "Museology, Heritage and Cultural Development" "Museology and Education"

The creation of four partially new areas was also considered, one dedicated to the use/design of information and communication technologies "Museology and computing", another to the broad and promising area of "Museums as service providers", still another to, "Museums, Territory, Architecture and Design " and finally one dedicated to "Sociomuseology, Human Rights and Globalization"

The six research areas and topics are:

 

6.1. Sociomuseology, Heritage and Development

Rationale

After a time when museological institutions were regarded only as a place of contemplation and cultural enrichment of individuals, the emphasis is centred on the enormous potential they contain as instruments of development in particular at local and regional level.

This research area deal with museologic theory, in a broad sense and its relations with other areas of knowledge.

This area aims to analyze the development issues in their relationship with the local and regional socio-economic contexts as well as the deepening of theoretical and methodological knowledge required for the analysis of different development contexts (economy, society, culture ...) and different scales (national, regional and local) and different typologies such as: Archeology, Anthropology, Sociology and Arts

This research area aims to promote the study and the construction of public policies that affect, directly or indirectly, the cultural and heritage sector of society dealing with local identities, minorities and cross-border societies.

 

6.2. Sociomuseology, Human Rights and Globalization

Rationale

Globalisation determines the action of museological institutions all over the world. The emergence of new currents of thought such as Altermuseology provides new challenges for museums.

The understanding of the new roles of museums depends on such large socio-cultural categories as the concepts of identity, diversity, biodiversity, gender and multiculturalism. In this sense, new approaches have been treated by museology, taking into account new concepts of cultural heritage, tangible and intangible heritage, social memory in its diachronic and synchronic perspectives, as well as problems involving memories and forgetfulness, power and resistance.

The action of museums is increasingly confronted with questions relating to human rights both in time of peace and in the context of wars and social conflicts. How can museums operate in contexts of poverty, natural disasters and conflicts?

This area of research includes also the issues of ethics in the definition of museological action and the limits of that action.

 

6.3. Museology and Education

Rationale

This research area aims to reflect on the role of educational action, its relations with the different cultural backgrounds having as reference the construction of knowledge in the fields of Museology and Pedagogy. This research area aims to discuss and analyze the educational, dimension of the Museum and the strategies and methodologies used in different contexts; to analyze and discuss the concepts of cultural and educational action, within the framework of the analysis and discussion of multiculturalism and social hybridism; to analyze aspects related to the management of the museums and their interfaces with cultural and educational action;

6.4. Museology, Expography and Technologies

Rationale

The Museum must continually build new ways to capture the attention of visitors and meet their expectations and specific needs. The relationship between museology and computing has come to occupy an increasingly important place in particular in the field of expography. This research area aims to reflect about this relationship, seeking to clarify its limits and combinations?. New technologies as communications resources. The Museum's responsibilities as a user of these technologies and its role as a factor in the development and/or innovation of new technologies. In this exploratory and experimental context a laboratory of Museology (LEME) was created, which aims to support and implement practical solutions in order to explore technologies that work either as independent installations or as a resources for exhibit interpretation. The museum based on the notion of information, generator of dynamics and interactivities. This research line also deals with new technologies and the use of social networks as resources for communication and participation.

 

6.5. Museums and Service Sciences

Rationale

Museums need to understand the meaning of the approach that will be able to recognise, support and sustain them as service providers, in the same way that specialists in services need to receive a request from museums to reflect explicitly on the specificities of these institutions which, in many ways, are socially and economically central in the contemporary world. In this sense, Museums need to involve knowledge from the areas of innovation, marketing, design and new information and communication technologies. These areas of knowledge endow museums with factors that aim to improve the quality of their relation with their publics and/or users.

Museums are currently a constructive element of cultural activity in every country, they hold a central place in identity, culture, leisure and education. They are at the heart of cultural public policies and the activity of companies which supply museums with services, equipment and software in the growing economy of the information and communication technologies. Whether they are traditional museums, which preserve and exhibit their collections for multiple purposes, including those of education and leisure, or whether they are museums conceptually sustained on Sociomuseology and therefore anchored in such concepts as development, territory, participation and social inclusion, in both cases they can be understood as organizations that are expected to provide services, that live up to the expectations of their publics/users/consumers.

 

6.6. Museums, Engineering, Architecture, Territory, and Design

 

Rationale

This research area aims to foster studies about the museological infrastructures, in terms of design, management and integration in urban spaces and sustainability. The architecture in its articulation with the Museum programming. The Museum and sustainability: environment and energy. Architecture as communication scenarios. New construction technologies, new computational resources and domotics. Museological spaces and different scales of project: Building, exhibitions, furniture, design, city, territory.

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