Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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The Harry Ransom Center presents

Ethical Challenges in Cultural Stewardship

April 4-6, 2019


The 13th Flair Symposium is an opportunity for interdisciplinary conversations about pressing ethical questions confronting museums, libraries, archives, and communities today.

In the symposium's keynote, New York Times bestselling writer Joyce Maynard will reflect on her correspondence, at age 18, with J.D. Salinger, its consequences, what happened to those letters twenty-five years later, and what we can learn from the story in the age of the Me Too movement.

Panel discussions with archivists, attorneys, conservators, curators, educators, librarians, scholars, and others will address:

  • Where does a collection belong? Who decides?
  • What happens when ethical questions in the present call for researchers and institutions to reexamine approaches to existing collections?
  • How should ethics inform decisions about deaccessioning, repatriation, change in mission, and collection development?
  • How should institutions and communities responsibly collect, curate, conserve, and provide access to records of oppression, hate, and violence?
  • How should institutions and communities confront and rectify exclusionary practices?

Questions from symposium participants will encourage a thought-provoking exchange of ideas and perspectives on ethical practices today.

The symposium will conclude with a discussion of how organizations and individuals can build more ethical institutions and practices.

The symposium takes place at the Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin, April 4-6, 2019, and will be webcast live in its entirety.   View the program

Follow the symposium using #flair2019.


The symposium is generously supported by The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation and the Fleur Cowles Endowment Fund.

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