Candidate for: BOARD MEMBER

Wenjia Qiu

Qian Xuesen Library & Museum, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China

ICOM No. 131901

Nominators: Andrew Simpson (Australia), Kai Zhang (China)

Biographical note

Wenjia Qiu is currently the international collaboration coordinator and the assistant to museum director at Qian Xuesen Library & Museum, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. She was in the UMAC Board (2019-2022) as secretary. She had an education background in English Literature and Social Policy. As an emerging museum professional, she has worked extensively in the university museum sector, within China and in the globe. Link to CV.

Qualifications for the position

I have worked as secretary in UMAC Board (2019-2022). In the past mandate, I supported all goals and activities to the Board, especially the President. During the mandate as UMAC Secretary, I think my achievements are two-fold:

  • Internally I’m responsible for the maintenance of UMAC’s daily operation. That includes duties to keep constant connection with ICOM Secretariat about UMAC membership, to answer queries of new members and to confirm membership for members-only activities. I also take charge of the updated mailing list UMAC-ML and meeting minutes within the Board, and to keep an archive of activities of this mandate. A Chinese social platform, UMAC WeChat, was also under my supervision to update with the latest UMAC news activities and research. All these jobs are to expand UMAC as a global community under ICOM and to increase the communication between UMAC members.
  • Externally I supported the Board to expand collaboration with university museum associations around the world and to empower university museum professionals through training, collaborations and webinars. To cite specific projects, I coordinated UMAC’s first online annual conference with Universeum in September 2021, and UMAC Post-Lockdown Series webinar in June-July, 2020.

As a young professional, I’m very fortunate to get engaged with UMAC Board and was selected as UMAC Secretary to make my contributions. If UMAC teaches me how to engage and collaborate with university museums in the global context, my daily job in Shanghai has enabled me to observe and build connections in a local and regional perspective. It is situated in China, and more broadly in Asia. I have worked nearly nine years in one of the best university museums in China as a museum educator and the assistant to the museum director. As my University is the secretary organization of the National Educational Alliance of University and College Museums in China, as well as the co-founder institution of Shanghai Educational Alliance of University and College Museums, I have coordinated series of activities and research projects about China’s university museums. Since 2019, more attention has been given to the regional collaboration. I have undertaken student programs with university museums in Hong Kong, and have initiated connection with University Museums Association of Kyoto and the Taiwan Association of University Museums.

I have also established a partnership between my museum with UMAC to develop the flagship project University Museums Training Week Shanghai (UMTWS), which takes place every April since 2017. UMTWS is the only regular international training program targeting university museum professionals and researchers. Nearly one hundred participants from mainland China, Hong Kong and Japan have benefited from the training. It also directly yields to an evident increase of Chinese university museum members in UMAC and more collaborative projects between UMAC and other university museums in China.

Main goals of candidacy

My first mandate in UMAC board is mainly to support the entire Board and the UMAC community as a whole. That entails a lot of coordination and practical daily routines. Several objectives, however, were not successful during my last mandate. These are:

-to increase more members from China, or more broadly from Asia

-to explore more research possibilities about university museums

Therefore, if I’m elected to the next mandate, I will focus on: 1) first mandate unsuccessful objectives 2) support the new Board and the new Chair to achieve UMAC’s robustness and sustainability.

Develop the objectives for the next mandate:

-to expand membership with a focus on younger professionals in China

– to facilitate and support the new Board to increase UMAC visibility in regions like Asia and Africa, where members are few.

– to continue the UMTWS and explorer the possibility of establishing an online platform to open all the past UMTWS teaching resources to researchers and the public.

– adapt UMAC project P-MUS into the context of China. Project P-MUS: Professionalising Museum Work in Higher Education: A Global Approach (2017-2019) is a UMAC research project taken years ago. Data about Chinese university museums were not collected sufficiently back then. A further study into this is needed.

– to explore more research possibilities about the theme of university museums’ third mission.

To accomplish the above goals, it’s extremely important for me to align with the new Board and new Chair’s mandate, to support them with concrete and detailed implementation.