Empire, Indigeneity, and Colonial Heritage Collections: Confronting Difficult Pasts, Enabling Just Futures

Call for Papers, WLIC 2023

The IFLA Rare Books and Special Collections Section (RBSC) and the Indigenous Matters Section (IM) are seeking proposals for presentations and sessions for their Joint Satellite Session at the IFLA World Library and Information Congress 2023 in Leiden on the 18th and 19th of August, 2023.

This Satellite Conference will be devoted to the role that individuals working in the area of special collections and heritage can have in confronting the ongoing legacies of colonialism, and creating space for Indigenous perspectives. How can librarians, archivists, and curators contribute and act to engender a deep and critical understanding of the ongoing impacts of empire and colonialism and actively engage in actions of repair and reconciliation? What role do heritage collections play in reshaping global and Indigenous futures? How can the sector be responsive to Indigenous ways of knowing, to respectfully incorporate a decolonial and Indigenous approach to our work? How can we incorporate approaches that build on the work that is being done in communities and by minoritized librarians, particularly Indigenous librarians, in integrating Indigenous knowledges and languages? What new ways of working can be developed to engender collaboration, learning, and engagement with more diverse audiences? What is the future relationship between librarians and curators who work with documentary heritage and those whose heritage they curate?

Interested speakers will submit proposals for 20 minute presentations that will be thematically clustered and chaired by members of the IM and RBSC Standing Committees. Ample time for discussion and collaboration will be made across the two days. The conference will begin with a keynote speaker and close with a locknote speaker.

Theme: decolonising collections, elevating Indigenous voices, heritage collections and reparative justice

We invite presentations particularly, but not limited to, the following themes:

  1. Approaches to decolonizing special and heritage collections
  2. Relationships of Indigenous memory traditions within the library sector
  3. Digital or physical repatriation of collections
  4. Emerging best practices for working with displaced heritage collections
  5. Collaboration between communities and special collections
  6. Visions and goals for the future
  7. Descriptive practices and vocabularies used in describing rare books and special collections
  8. Examples of difficult conversations and the use of special collections to talk about legacies of conflict
  9. Learning from difficulties and failures as well as successes

*We encourage speakers to think creatively about their presentations for this session. Artists, film-makers, community organizers, etc. are highly encouraged to submit proposals!

Papers must be submitted in an electronic format and must include the following information:

  • Title of proposed presentation
  • Style of presentation (paper, panel, or session)
  • Abstract of the proposed paper, panel, or session (no more than 500 words)
  • Name(s) of presenters and positions and or titles
  • Employer or affiliated institution
  • Contact information including email address and telephone number
  • Short biographical statement of no more than 100 words
  • Note a willingness to comply with IFLA’s Authors’ Permission (if submitting paper for publication)
  • Papers / PPTs will be published in IFLA’s online Repository following conference
  • Confirmation that at least one speaker can attend the Satellite Meeting and present in person if selected

Send proposal abstracts (500 words or less) by 15 May, 2023 to Garrelt Verhoeven g.verhoeven@library.leidenuniv.nl and Mark Anthony Puente puentema@purdue.edu

Important dates:

15 May 2023 (Monday): Deadline for submission of abstract

29 May 2023 (Monday): Notification of acceptance

24 July 2023 (Monday): Deadline for submission of presenter information and final paper

7 August 2023 (Monday): Deadline for submission of slides

Please note:

At least one of the authors must be present to deliver the presentation during the Open Session in Leiden. The presentation must be an original submission not presented or published elsewhere. All authors presenting papers at the WLIC 2020 will be made available online via the IFLA Repository under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.

Authors of accepted papers must complete the IFLA Authors’ Permission Form. All expenses for attending the Satellite Meeting (e.g., travel, accommodation, etc.) are the responsibility of the authors/presenters. No financial support can be provided by IFLA.

Congress Participation Grants: List of opportunities for support is available on the Apply for Grants & Awards webpage.

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Islamic manuscript
Islamic manuscript
Islamic manuscript
Islamic manuscript


Cite this blog post
IFLA Rare Books & Special Collections Section (2023, April 21). Empire, Indigeneity, and Colonial Heritage Collections: Confronting Difficult Pasts, Enabling Just Futures. Rare & Special: News from the Rare Books and Special Collections Section of IFLA. Retrieved June 18, 2024, from https://doi.org/10.58079/pvlp

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