Local or Global? The Future of Diaspora and Immigration Museums – Aga Khan Museum

//Local or Global? The Future of Diaspora and Immigration Museums – Aga Khan Museum

Local or Global? The Future of Diaspora and Immigration Museums – Aga Khan Museum

Date: Wednesday, May 17, 6:30 pm
Price: $10 Regular, $9 Friends, $7.50 Students and Seniors. Museum admission free.

Join us for the next installment of Global Conversations — a series of hybrid panel discussions with arts and culture leaders from around the world addressing the big questions and challenging global issues of the day.

Diaspora communities speak to belonging across multiple generations and locations, encompassing a range of experiences from forced migration to skilled immigration. In the last three decades, these communities have been represented by a range of museums. Marking International Museum Day, this panel discussion explores how museums engage diaspora and immigrant communities and represent their stories, speaking to local and global issues and networks.

This conversation brings together leaders from diaspora and immigration museums across North America to address the aims, approaches, and concerns of these institutions and their constituencies in the 21st century. Panelists include:

  • Diana Abouali, Director of the Arab American National Museum;
  • Marie Chapman, CEO of the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21;
  • Palina Louangketh, Founder and Executive Director of the Idaho Museum of International Diaspora;
  • Dr. Ulrike Al-Khamis, Director and CEO of the Aga Khan Museum

The conversation will be moderated by Dr. Sascha Priewe and Dr. Sarah E.K. Smith.

This discussion builds on research into the diplomacy of diaspora and immigration museums that is being undertaken in the Faculty of Information & Media Studies at Western University, in partnership with the Idaho Museum of International Diaspora and the Aga Khan Museum.

The event will take place at the Aga Khan Museum and also be live-streamed via Zoom. 
Click here to register for the live stream in advance. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.


Diana Abouali

Diana Abouali is the director of the Arab American National Museum, located in Dearborn, Michigan. Previously, she was an assistant professor at Dartmouth College (New Hampshire, USA); head of research and collections at the Palestinian Museum (Birzeit, Palestine), and director of education, outreach and awareness at the Petra National Trust (Amman, Jordan). She serves on several boards and committees including ArteEast (NYC), CultureSource (Detroit), the Citizens Advisory Committee at the University of Michigan- Dearborn, and the general assembly of Taawon-Welfare Association (Palestine). Diana is Palestinian, was born in Toronto, Canada and grew up in Kuwait. She received her PhD in History and Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University in 2004.

Marie Chapman

Marie Chapman is CEO of the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, located at the National Historic Site in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The museum is Canada’s sixth national museum, the second to be established outside the National Capital Region and the only one in Atlantic Canada. Chapman has played a central role in the establishment of the museum and was appointed by the federal government in 2011 to be its first CEO, with reappointments in 2016 and 2021. She was the museum’s director of marketing, sales and development from 2003-2011 and has been its chief operating officer since 2008. Prior to that, she worked in development, marketing and fundraising for Mount Allison University, Dalhousie University and the IWK Health Centre Foundation, among other organizations. Under her leadership, Pier 21 has evolved into a national museum with the facilities, technology and team to share the diverse history of the Canadian immigration experience with visitors from across Canada and around the world.

Dr. Palina Louangketh

Dr. Palina Louangketh is an entrepreneur in the museum sector. She is a former refugee from Laos into Idaho, U.S.A. since 1981 and currently serves as the Advisor for the Idaho Lao Community. Her family’s two-year journey of uncertainty from war-torn Laos during the Vietnam era conflict and into Idaho has inspired her vision towards an innovative approach to honor the human journey on a global scale. As the Founder and Executive Director of the Idaho Museum of International Diaspora (IMID), a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, she is passionate about connecting the community to the cultures of the world through cultural art, music, literature, film, food, and other creative platforms. She holds a Doctor of Strategic Leadership, a Master of Health Science, and a Bachelor of Science. Dr. Louangketh teaches in the College of Health Sciences, the University Foundations Program, and Multicultural Studies at Boise State.

Dr. Ulrike Al-Khamis

CEO and Director of the Aga Khan Museum, Dr. Ulrike Al- Khamis is a recognized leader in the field of Islamic art and museology. Dr. Al-Khamis holds a Ph.D. in Islamic Art from the University of Edinburgh and has served as Co-Director at the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization as well as Senior Strategic Advisor to the Sharjah Museum Department in the U.A.E. She began her career in Scotland, where she worked as Principal Curator for South Asia and the Middle East at the National Museums of Scotland and Curator for Muslim Art and Culture at Glasgow Museums.


Dr. Sarah Smith

Sarah E.K. Smith is Assistant Professor and Canada Research Chair in Art, Culture and Global Relations. She is based in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at Western University in London, Ontario, where she runs the Practitioner Media Lab. Her writing and curatorial projects address contemporary art and museums, cultural diplomacy, as well as creative labour. Sarah is co‐founder of the North American Cultural Diplomacy Initiative, a multi-disciplinary research network of academics, policymakers, and practitioners in the field of critical cultural diplomacy. She is also a member of the International Cultural Relations Research Alliance. In 2015 Sarah held the Canada‐US Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Public Diplomacy at the University of Southern California.


ICOM Canada

ICOM Canada is the Canadian National Committee of the International Council of Museums (ICOM). As the only Canadian museums association dedicated to global museology, ICOM Canada connects the work and initiatives of Canadian museums to the global museum community and vice versa. The organization serves as a gateway for Canadians to the global museum community, connects its members to each other and to the world, and supports Canadian museums and museum professionals as agents of change at the intersection of local and global developments.

North American Cultural Diplomacy Initiative (NACDI)

NACDI is a multi-disciplinary research network of academics, policymakers, and practitioners in the field of critical cultural diplomacy (CD) from North America and beyond. Its objective is to advance new scholarship and research that provides greater understanding of how CD functions to connect North America globally; not merely as part of the “soft power” toolkit of nation states, but as a multi-directional practice that encompasses a broad range of non-state actors, including cultural institutions, managers, producers, consumers, and communities seeking to imagine counter-hegemonic possibilities and inclusive futures.

This event is supported in part by funding from the Canada Research Chairs program and sponsored by ICOM Canada, the Faculty of Information & Media Studies, and the North American Cultural Diplomacy Initiative.

2023-04-06T09:33:46-04:00April 6th, 2023|Events|