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Assembling and governing cultures ‘at risk’: centers of collection and calculation, from ethnographic museums to UNESCO World Heritage Lists

Harrison, Rodney (2013). Assembling and governing cultures ‘at risk’: centers of collection and calculation, from ethnographic museums to UNESCO World Heritage Lists. In: Harrison, Rodney; Byrne, Sarah and Clarke, Anne eds. Reassembling the Collection: Ethnographic Museums and Indigenous Agency. Santa Fe, NM: SAR Press, pp. 89–115.

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[About the book] Reassembling the Collection presents innovative approaches to the study of historical and contemporary engagements between museums and the various individuals and communities who were (and are) involved in their production and consumption. Reassembling the Collection is interdisciplinary in scope and international in coverage. It addresses fundamental questions about the nature, value, and efficacy of museum collections in a postcolonial world, and the entangled agencies of those who have made, traded, received, collected, curated, worked with, researched, viewed, and experienced them in the past and present. In moving beyond the concerns of the politics of representation that have dominated critical museum studies, Reassembling the Collection considers the material networks and affective qualities of “things” alongside their representational role within the museum and explores the ways in which concepts of agency and indigeneity need to be reconfigured in light of the study of these concepts within the museum context. The contributors explore key concepts including the idea of museums as “meshworks” of material and social assemblages; how an “archaeological sensibility” might inform approaches to understanding past and present relationships between people, “things,” and institutions in relation to museums; and the “weight of things” and sense of “curatorial responsibility,” which arises from a reconsideration of the nature of museum objects.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Copyright Holders: 2013 School for Advanced Research
ISBN: 1-934691-94-1, 978-1-934691-94-6
Keywords: museum exhibits; museums; collection management; indigenous peoples; popular culture
Academic Unit/Department: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > History, Religious Studies, Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: OpenSpace Research Centre (OSRC)
Item ID: 30886
Depositing User: Rodney Harrison
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2011 10:50
Last Modified: 04 Oct 2016 11:10
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