34th Annual ROM Colloquium: World Discoveries

Free symposium highlighting fascinating discoveries by Museum curators and experts

(Toronto, Ontario – February 1, 2013) On Friday, February 8, 2013, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) presents the 34th annual ROM Colloquium, a stimulating one-day event with curators and researchers highlighting their latest global discoveries and ongoing research.

The ROM 2013 Colloquium: World Discoveries gives everyone the chance to hear ROM experts give fifteen-minute presentations on the latest research in the arts, archeology and pure and applied sciences.  Spend the day or drop by to learn more about a specific subject.

This free event runs from 9:15 am to 6:30 pm in the ROM’s Signy & Cléophée Eaton Theatre. Enter through the President’s Choice School Entrance, at the south end of the building on Queen’s Park. Admission to the Museum galleries is not included. The day long event will feature The Iconography of Superheroes, Hostage to Cloth, Mutually Assured Distrust, CHANEL: The American Look, Six Months of Social Media, Rare minerals from northeastern Yukon and much more. 

The ROM is the largest field research institute in the country and is a world leader in several research areas, from biodiversity, palaeontology, and earth sciences to archaeology, ethnology and visual culture.  The ROM originates new information that furthers global understanding and historical and modern change in culture and environment.

This year’s Vaughan Lecture feature presentation is Death and destruction at La Real: mortuary rituals and social change in pre-Columbian Peru, delivered by Dr. Justin Jennings, Curator of New World Archaeology, ROM Department of World Cultures. It delves into the ritual destruction of mummies (600-1000 CE), in the belief that it would help society cope with drastic social change.

Detailed schedule of presentation abstracts is available upon request; lectures are subject to change.   

9:15-9:30 am        
Welcome - Dr. Mark Engstrom, Deputy Director – Collections & Research

9:30-9:45 am      
The Mystery of the Hidden Bateaux:  Paul Kane at the Dalles des Morts – Kenneth Lister, Department of World Cultures, ROM

9:45-10:00 am  
Rare minerals from northeastern Yukon - Kim Tait, Department of Natural History, ROM

10:00-10:15 am    
Using Gecko Adhesive Surfaces for Exhibition and Conservation - Julia Fenn, Conservation Department, ROM

10:45–11:00 am 
Hybridization in hawthorns: not just diploids! - Tim Dickinson*, Department of Natural History, ROM; Shery Han, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto; Mehdi Zarrei, ROM Green Plant Herbarium, Department of Natural History

11:00-11:15 am     
Online Botanical Outreach - Species - Deborah Metsger*, Jenny Bull, John Barker, Botany, Department of Natural History, ROM

11:15-11:30 am      
Why is Photography Important? - Deepali Dewan, Department of World Cultures, ROM

11:30-11:50 am     
Who painted John Brant? - Trudy Nicks, Department of World Cultures, Heidi Sobol, Conservation Department, ROM

1:00-1:15 pm         
The Oregon caves fossil jaguar, and the puzzle of the paucity of  fossil jaguars from the western USA - Kevin Seymour, Department of Natural History, ROM

1:15-1:30 pm         
European Influence in the Mandan Paintings and Drawings Collected by Prince – Maximilian Arni Brownstone, Department of World Cultures, ROM

1:30-1:45 pm         
Hostage to Cloth: European explorers in East Africa, 1850-1890 – Sarah Fee, Department of World Cultures, ROM

1:45-2:00 pm         
Six Months of Social Media - Ryan Dodge, Public Relations, ROM

2:30-2:45 pm        
A Centerpiece by Froment Meurice: Luxury Objects at the World’s Fairs - Peter Kaellgren, Department of World Cultures, ROM

2:45-3:00 pm        

Some assembly required - enigmatic Late Ordovician eurypterids from central Manitoba - David Rudkin, Department of Natural History, ROM

3:00-3:15 pm       
A Tale of the Caesar's Mushroom - Santiago Sanchez-Ramirez, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto, Department of Natural History, ROM

3:15-3:30 pm        
Sertularella mutsuensis Stechow, 1931 (Cnidaria: Hydrozoa: Sertulariidae) from Japanese tsunami debris: Systematics and evidence for transoceanic dispersal - Henry Choong, Department of Natural History, ROM

Flags of defiance. Military prowess and artistry in southern Ghana - Silvia Forni, Department of World Cultures, ROM

4:15-4:30 pm       
The Art of Pochoir in the Collections of the Royal Ontario Museum.  Arthur Smith, Library & Archives, ROM

4:30-4:45 pm       
The ROM's Late Archaic Greek Kore - Paul Denis, Department of World Cultures, ROM

4:45-5:00 pm        
CHANEL: The American Look - Alexandra Palmer, Department of World Cultures, ROM

5:30–6:30 pm       
VAUGHAN LECTURE:  Death and Destruction at La Real: Mortuary Rituals and Social Change in Pre-Columbian Peru. Presented by Justin Jennings, Department of World Cultures, ROM. Dating back to as early as 5000 BC, the people of the south-central Andes wrapped their dead in mummy bundles and left them to slowly decompose. This tradition was disrupted during the Middle Horizon (600-1000 CE) at a few sites where mummy bundles were slashed open, broken apart, and often burned. Though this destruction could be seen as a desecration of the dead, this talk suggests instead that these acts were part of a secondary mortuary ritual designed to cope with a period of drastic social change.