African healing and religious objects, from medicine pots to ritual
figures, are often subject to misinterpretations of their use and
As part of the Manchester Histories Week festival, this one-day conference brings together academics, museum curators, third sector consultants and creative practitioners to speak about their work with African medico-religious objects at Manchester Museum.

Incorporating academic papers, object-orientated presentations, audio-visual contributions and more, this one-day event seeks to open dialogues between researchers and diverse publics on recontextualising important collections which have previously been poorly understood. Bringing together an interdisciplinary panel of speakers we wish to promote research into the materiality and practice of African well-being, past and present, through an approach engaging specialists and local communities.

Submissions are invited from all backgrounds, but preference is given to those with relevant research experience focused on the museum’s collections. Artists and creative practitioners are also invited to contribute through their media of choice. Call for papers deadline is 10th March.

An exhibition of conference outcomes is scheduled for installation in Manchester Museum, June – July 2014. Each speaker will contribute a panel of text and images communicating their research for a general audience alongside a meaningful object from the collection. A printed exhibition brochure will be prepared and supporting electronic materials hosted on the official museum site. A project blog is also
maintained, providing a space for delegates and others with an interest in the event aims to communicate and collaborate.

The aim is to bring together participants with an interest in Africa, indigenous healing and religion, and Manchester Museum’scollections who would not necessarily meet due to their different specialities. The intent is to foster collaboration and public dissemination about this important Manchester resource.

Contact Manchester Museum’s Researcher in Residence Bryn Trevelyan James for further details