Last weekend I was grateful to be a part of planning and implementing the 2013 Symposium – The Politics of Representation: Reflections on Controversial Issues in Museums and Related Places in Japan and Hawai‘i, which was sponsored by the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, Museum Studies Graduate Certificate Program in collaboration with the Hawai‘i Council for the Humanities, Graduate University for Advanced Studies [SOKENDAI] and theUniversity of Hawai‘i Presidential Center Initiative.

This free two-day symposium was created in an effort to bring together scholars and professionals from Japan and Hawai‘i to discuss the challenges of working in visitor centers, museums, historic sites, and other related places.

Presenters spoke about their experiences researching and preparing exhibits, consulting with scholars and community stakeholders, talking to education specialists, and discussing problems with museum board members and staff. They also described audience responses, reflected on their experiences, and shared suggestions for the future.

Being a part of this event helped me to network with professionals in the museum and scholarly community of Hawai’i, hone my event planning skills, and allowed me to be a part of an event where speakers and attendees were free to speak about controversial/sensitive topics.

If you attended this symposium, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!