GALA conference 2017: Call for papers

Posted on January 3, 2017

GALA 2017 Meeting: “Curating the Future”


5–7 July 2017


Centro Studi e Archivio della Comunicazione (CSAC), University of Parma

The 2017 GALA conference at the University of Parma aims to open up spaces of discussion about the concept of ‘curating’ in theory and practice, whether it is ‘curating’ human knowledge, the natural environment, or the digital world. ‘Curating’ can be understood both as a metaphor and as a methodology, and the organisers invite participants to reflect on ‘curatorial practice’, locally and globally, in relation to culture, nature, technology, and pedagogy.


These questions play a crucial role in currents debates about the liberal arts, the arts more broadly, and curatorial practice in Italy. Traditionally hailed as a ‘home of the arts’, this country faces the challenges and problems of a boundless cultural archive putting incalculable pressure on institutions and individuals, long-term historical developments as well as people’s daily lives. In addition, Italy is facing multiple challenges concerning a particularly fragile environment, a problematically developing digital revolution and complex socio-economic transformations. Envisaging these local aspects as part of a wider, global panorama, we invite delegates to engage with the questions and issues raised by curatorial practice in light of the comprehensively comparative remit that characterizes the Network’s intellectual remit.


Possible topics for analysis and discussion include:


  • curating human knowledge: (re)defining the liberal arts; making the global student; preserving collective and individual memory; the role of the role of art practices, creative and cultural industries in a transnational world
  • curating the natural environment: the liberal arts and the natural world; eco-citizenship; rethinking conservation
  • curating the digital world: digital citizenship; technology and the archive; the archive in the digital economy
  • curatorial practice: crisis and opportunity in the heritage economy; rethinking conservation; the economics of curating; teaching in the archive; local and global perspectives


Please send proposals of 400 words, along with a short biographical statement, to the GALA Academic Director, Ian Gadd ( and CSAC Director Francesca Zanella ( by 28 February 2017.


The meeting will begin with a reception on the afternoon/evening of Wednesday 5 July, and run through to the end of Friday 7 July. We will follow the usual practice of mixing presentations from partners, presentations from local speakers, student presentations and discussions, networking and planning sessions, and social excursions. We will be based at CSAC in Parma’s former Cistercian Valserena Abbey, about 10km north of Parma.


CSAC website:


How to get to Parma


Suggested Parma hotels (special rates to be confirmed)

Please direct any questions about logistics to Francesca Zanella at