This volume combines some of the most influential published research in this emerging field with newly commissioned essays on the issues, problems and lessons involved in collaborating museums and source communities. Focusing on museums in the UK, North America and the Pacific, the book highlights three areas which demonstrate the new developments most clearly: the museum as field site or 'contact zone' - a place which source community members enter for purposes of consultation and collaboration visual repatriation - the use of photography to return images of ancestors, historical moments and material heritage to source communities exhibition case studies - these are discussed to reveal the implications of cross-cultural and collaborative research for museums, and how such projects have challenged established attitudes and practices. As the first overview of its kind, this collection will be essential reading for museum staff working with source communities, for community members involved with museum programmes, and for students and academics in museum studies and social anthropology.
This edited volume critically engages with contemporary scholarship on museums and their engagement with the communities they purport to serve and represent. Foregrounding new curatorial strategies, it addresses a significant gap in the available literature, exploring some of the complex issues arising from recent approaches to collaboration between museums and their communities. The book unpacks taken-for-granted notions such as scholarship, community, participation and collaboration, which can gloss over the complexity of identities and lead to tokenistic claims of inclusion by museums. Over sixteen chapters, well-respected authors from the US, Australia and Europe offer a timely critique to address what happens when museums put community-minded principles into practice, challenging readers to move beyond shallow notions of political correctness that ignore vital difference in this contested field. Contributors address a wide range of key issues, asking pertinent questions such as how museums negotiate the complexities of integrating collaboration when the target community is a living, fluid, changeable mass of people with their own agendas and agency. When is engagement real as opposed to symbolic, who benefits from and who drives initiatives? What particular challenges and benefits do artist collaborations bring? Recognising the multiple perspectives of community participants is one thing, but how can museums incorporate this successfully into exhibition practice? Students of museum and cultural studies, practitioners and everyone who cares about museums around the world will find this volume essential reading.
Over the course of more than a decade, the Haida Nation triumphantly returned home all known Haida ancestral remains from North American museums. In the summer of 2010, they achieved what many thought was impossible: the repatriation of ancestral remains from the Pitt Rivers Museum at the University of Oxford. The Force of Family is an ethnography of those efforts to repatriate ancestral remains from museums around the world. Focusing on objects made to honour the ancestors, Cara Krmpotich explores how memory, objects, and kinship connect and form a cultural archive. Since the mid-1990s, Haidas have been making button blankets and bentwood boxes with clan crest designs, hosting feasts for hundreds of people, and composing and choreographing new songs and dances in the service of repatriation. The book comes to understand how shared experiences of sewing, weaving, dancing, cooking and feasting lead to the Haida notion of “respect,” the creation of kinship and collective memory, and the production of a cultural archive.
Anthropology has two main tasks: to understand what it is to be human and to examine how humanity is manifested differently in the diversity of culture. These tasks have gained new impetus from the extraordinary rise of the digital. This book brings together several key anthropologists working with digital culture to demonstrate just how productive an anthropological approach to the digital has already become. Through a range of case studies from Facebook to Second Life to Google Earth, Digital Anthropology explores how human and digital can be defined in relation to one another, from avatars and disability; cultural differences in how we use social networking sites or practise religion; the practical consequences of the digital for politics, museums, design, space and development to new online world and gaming communities. The book also explores the moral universe of the digital, from new anxieties to open-source ideals. Digital Anthropology reveals how only the intense scrutiny of ethnography can overturn assumptions about the impact of digital culture and reveal its profound consequences for everyday life. Combining the clarity of a textbook with an engaging style which conveys a passion for these new frontiers of enquiry, this book is essential reading for students and scholars of anthropology, media studies, communication studies, cultural studies and sociology.
Museums, modern concepts of culture, and ideas about difference arose together and are inextricably entwined. Relationships of difference -- notably, of gender, ethnicity, nationality, and race -- have become equally important concerns of scholarship in humanities and contemporary museum practice. Museums and Difference offers the perspectives of scholars and museum professionals in tandem, using the concept of difference to reexamine how museums construct themselves, their collections, and their publics. Essays explore a wide range of examples from around the world and from the 19th century to the present, including case studies of special exhibitions as well as broad surveys of institutions in Europe, the United States, and Japan.
caring for Maori meeting houses outside New Zealand
Author: Dean Sully
Publisher: Left Coast Pr
This book argues for an important shift in cultural heritage conservation, away from a focus on maintaining the physical fabric of material culture toward the impact that conservation work has on peopleas lives. In doing so, it challenges the commodification of sacred objects and places by western conservation thought and attempts to decolonize conservation practice. To do so, the authors examine conservation activities at Maori maraeameeting housesalocated in the US, Germany, and England and contrasts them with changes in marae conservation in New Zealand. A key case study is the Hinemihi meeting house, transported to England in the 1890s where it was treated as a curiosity by visitors to Clandon Park for over a century, and more recently as a focal point of cultural activity for UK Maori communities. Recent efforts to include various Maori stakeholder communities in the care of this sacred structure is a key example of community based conservation that can be replicated in heritage practice around the world.
The study of material culture is concerned with the relationship between persons and things in the past and in the present, in urban and industrialized and in small-scale societies across the globe. The Handbook of Material Culture provides a critical survey of the theories, concepts, intellectual debates, substantive domains, and traditions of study characterizing the analysis of "things." This cutting-edge work examines the current state of material culture as well as how this field of study may be extended and developed in the future. The Handbook of Material Culture is divided into five sections: Section I maps material culture studies as a theoretical and conceptual field. Section II examines the relationship between material forms, the human body and the senses. Section III focuses on subject-object relations. Section IV considers things in terms of processes and transformations in terms of production, exchange and consumption, performance and the significance of things over the long-term. Section V considers the contemporary politics and poetics of displaying, representing and conserving material and the manner in which this impacts on notions of heritage, tradition and identity. The Handbook charts an interdisciplinary field of studies that makes a unique and fundamental contribution to an understanding of what it means to be human. It will be of interest to all who work in the social and historical sciences, from anthropologists and archaeologists to human geographers to scholars working in heritage, design and cultural studies.