Talk by Marie Riegels Melchior, Associate Professor in European Ethnology, The Saxo Institute, University of Copenhagen.
Time and place: Sep. 11, 2019 2:15 PM–3:30 PM, Seminarrom 425 P.A. Munch
In the talk Riegels Melchior will unfold and explain the term ‘Fashion Museology’ she initially introduced in the edited book Fashion and Museums: Theory and Practice (Bloomsbury, 2014) in order to organize and understand the developments around the entrance of fashion into mainly art and social history museums since the 20th century.
The term helped to describe and analyse what was going on particularly in the early 21st century, when the presence of fashionable clothing, fashion photography, fashion designers in museums seemed to explode, not only at the great international, metropolitan museums, but also at museums on the periphery of these around the world.
Further the talk will address the digitalization of fashion heritage on platforms like Europeana and Google Cultural Institute’s We Wear Culture and discuss the consequences and potentials of fashion museology for heritagization.
About the speaker
Marie Riegels Melchior is Associate Professor in European Ethnology, The Saxo Institute, University of Copenhagen. Her talk is based on the following published work:
- Riegels Melchior, Marie & Birgitta Svensson (eds.)(2014): Fashion in Museums. Theory and Practice, London: Bloomsbury.
- Riegels Melchior, Marie (2019): “Fashion Curation. Unpacking a new discipline and practice”, in Malene Vest Hansen, Anne F. Henningsen & Anne Gregersen (eds.): Curatorial Challenges, London: Routledge, p. 51-64.
- Riegels Melchior, Marie (in press): “Digital Fashion Heritage. Understanding europeanafashion.eu and the Google Cultural Institute’s We Wear Culture”, in special issue on fashion digital memories of Journal of Critical Studies of Beauty and Fashion (will be published autumn 2019).
Thoughts on stockfish from Lofoten
About the origin of the origin - a culture-historical description of dried stockfish.
Time and place: Apr. 3, 2019 2:15 PM–3:30 PM, PAM 425
Food as heritage
This presentation proposes a culture-historical description of the dried stockfish from Lofoten, which is one of the most successful “food-as-heritage” constructs in Norway. The stockfish from Lofoten was the first Norwegian product to have obtained a European Protected Geographical Indication.
Stockfish from Lofoten as a case study allows a parallel emphasis of the construction of a geographical indication as a political tool in a top-down perspective, the construction of local practices and identity through food, and the role of tourism in the cultural heritage process.
Food with historical and cultural roots
The stockfish from Lofoten is produced on the Lofoten Islands, offering climatic, geographical and cultural conditions worthy of a great “terroir” product. Already in the early middle ages, it was a central Norwegian food and export product.
By focusing on this particular PGI product and the role of the market’s actors in the construction of an official geographical indication, this presentation will provide a reflection on the relationship between all agents participating in the visibility and acknowledgement of cultural heritage, including EU regulations and local historians, the wind or, at last but not least, the markets.
To be able to understand the interaction between nature, animals, human actors, markets and material items, we propose here to focus on “translations” by following the evolution of the stockfish in an actor-network way.
Contextualising stockfish as heritage
After a diachronic overview of stockfish from Lofoten, from the Middles Ages until now, the presentation will give a more synchronic view of the market network upon which the food product builds, underlining the global dimension of local cultural heritage.
This would, for example, include the impact of climate change on natural specificities, the role of foreign workers in local fishery, the impact of the export market on local food practices, the significance of the national market on know-how and cuisines, or the political strategies linked to tourism development in the reconnaissance of cultural heritage.
About the speaker
Virginie Amilien is a research professor at the Oslo Metropolitan University (Norway), Department Consumption Research Norway (SIFO) she joined in 1999. She works as a cultural historian and anthropoligst on issues related to food, consumption and culture, with special emphasis on Norwegian food culture, national identity, food system in tourism, food practices, food consumption, culture of consumption, food and migration and especially local and terroir food products.
Monuments to loss: Naming the victims of the sixth mass extinction
In this talk, Dolly Jorgensen will examine the role of monuments as vehicles for making visible the ever-rising number of extinctions in the modern age. Open for all.
Time and place: Mar. 20, 2019 2:15 PM–3:30 PM, Seminar room 11 PAM
She will focus specifically on the placement of these monuments within natural history museum contexts, including the National Museum of Australia and Smithsonian Natural History Museum. Through these examples, she will demonstrate how monuments to lost species function as sites of naming and remembrance.
About Dolly Jorgensen
Dolly Jørgensen is Professor of History at University of Stavanger, Norway specializing in histories of environment and technology. Her scholarship is unconstrained by typical periodization boundaries: she is just as comfortable writing about 11thcentury forest management or 15th century urban sanitation as she is writing about 20th century offshore oil operations or contemporary efforts to resurrect extinct animal species. Her current research agenda focuses on cultural histories of animal extinction and recovery.
Foremothers: Repatriation and rehabilitation of lost cultural heritage
In this presentation, Eeva-Kristiina Harlin will talk about a co-operation project with Sámi visual artist Outi Pieski.
Time and place: Dec. 5, 2018 2:15 PM–3:30 PM, Seminarrom PAM 489
Eeva-Kristiina works with her PhD about repatriation of Sámi tangible heritage.
As part of this project, she has studied the history of ládjogahpir, Sámi cosmology and women’s history in the Sámi society.
Eeva-Kristiina and Outi have visited museum collections in Nordic countries and Europe and studied several ládjogahpirs.
With the help of these studies they have arranged workshops in Deanušaldi/Tana bru and Ohcejohka/Utsjok where Sámi women have had the possibility to rehabilitate the use of Ládjogahpir.
About the speaker
Eeva-Kristiina Harlin is a PhD reseacher in Giellagas Institute, University of Oulu. Her PhD deals with Repatriation politics of Sámi tangible heritage from several points of view.
Harlin has made surveys regarding Sámi tangible heritage in Nordic and European museums. Máttáráhkku ládjogahpir – Foremothers horn hat also forms a part of her PhD.
Unruly bodies and messy encounters
Time and place: Nov. 21, 2018 2:15 PM–3:30 PM, PAM 489
Arndís Bergsdóttir, Ph.D.
This presentation follows ongoing research that engages with matters of dis-/abled bodies in Icelandic museum archives. It speaks to the absences of unruly bodies and how the mess such absences make shed light on the relationships between museum practices, technologies, ideologies, materialities and discourses that emerge as dis-/abled matters. Excavations in The National Museum of Iceland‘s archives shed light on the absences of material objects pertaining to such unruly bodies. A study of rural heritage museums in Iceland yields similar results.
While it is widely accepted within current scholarships that museum processes generate narratives on histories and heritage that are less than inclusive, the absences produced by these very same processes have been of minimal concern. What is at stake here are by all means displacements from public historical narratives. But also, the subtle absences brought about by stereotypical depictions where fixed images create a narrow lense that promises perfect vision, yet removes valuable aspects of lived lives and experiences. Here it is not the absences as such that spike interest, but the mess they make when recognized. Here, the relational notions inherent in Post-human feminsm and STS prove useful. Also, Haraway‘s (2016) notion of accountabilities towards the technologies and processes that create specicif understandings is a point of departure.
Situated in the middle of „the mess“ and threading through its dynamic relationships, one encounter is knowledge management – are technologies that, in Haraway‘s (1988) terms promise wholeness and perfect vision. One of such are digital databases. This research illustrates how the digital database used to register collections in most Icelandic museums relies on categories that generate and re-generate matterings that create absences of subordination. This research is ongoing and is part of the multidisciplinary project Disability before Disability at the University of Iceland which engages with dis-/abled lived lives and experiences in a historical context.
Arndís Bergsdóttir has a Ph.D. in museology from the University of Iceland. Her unpublished Ph.D. thesis named „Absence Comes to Matter. Entangled Becomings of a Feminist Museology“ engages with new-materialist and STS frameworks to analyse and reevaluate women‘s absence in museum narratives. She has also authored several articles and book chapters on museums and museological issues.
Arndís is a post-doctoral researcher in the museum strand of the project Disability before Disability at the University of Iceland and an assistant professor at the University of Akureyri.
Materialising Others: Encounters with Things in the Postcolonial (Ethnographic) Museum
Professor Sandra H. Dudley, University of Leicester, will give a lecture about the relationships between (ethnographic) museums, on the one hand, and diverse, postcolonial polities, migration and notions of identity on the other.
Time and place: Sep. 11, 2018 2:15 PM–3:30 PM, P.A. Munch Seminarrom 10
"Powhatan’s mantle", from the Southern Chesapeake Bay region, Virginia, United States of America. Dating to c. 1600–38, this deer hide, shell and sinew object (235 x 160 cm) was part of the original Tradescant collection presented by Elias Ashmole to the University of Oxford in 1677. AN1685 B.205. Copyright Sandra Dudley.
The presentation zooms in to look in close focus at the roles of significant encounters between visitors and objects on display in apprehensions and misapprehensions of the Other. To explore this, it not only examines material, sensory and emotional aspects of those engagements, but in particular draws on the writings of Waldenfels.
This approach enables exploration of museum encounters in the context of Waldenfels’s notion of response. It leads to questions around the degree to which significant encounters open up the possibility of exploring the complexities, ambiguities and tensions, or, indeed, similarities, connections and ease, inherent in multicultural nations.
How far might they facilitate notions of belonging or difference, and to what possible ends?
Professor Sandra H. Dudley is Head of the School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester and previously worked at the Pitt Rivers Museum (University of Oxford). She has worked for two decades with refugees from Myanmar in Thailand, has recently completed a British Academy- and British Council-funded project with the National Museum Institute (New Delhi) and other Indian cultural organisations, is currently working with the British Council and other partners on the development of research and training focused around museums and cultural heritage in Myanmar, and has published widely on areas related to objects, exile and museums.
The materiality of loss and absence: memory, place and politics
A guest lecture with Dr Susannah Eckersley from Newcastle University.
Time and place: Mar. 7, 2018 12:15 PM–1:30 PM, P.A.Munch, room 489
House keys kept by former German home owners from Silesia after the post-WWII border change and their forced displacement. Silesian Museum Görlitz, Germany. Photo: Susannah Eckersley
Losses resulting from conflict, displacement, unexpected political or social change may be felt very deeply by individuals and within groups, but their significance is challenging to transmit to others, particularly when there is little material culture which remains.
That which does remain, has the potential to take on greater significance in relation to the intangible idea of loss and absence.
How can and do museums show the significance of absences, or of loss?
Looking at museum objects relating to the loss of home, of food and of childhood this talk will focus mainly on examples from Germany, as the basis for wider discussion of absence, memory, nostalgia, and the politics of emotions and belonging.
About the speaker
Susannah Eckersley is a lecturer in Museum, Gallery & Heritage Studies at Newcastle University, UK, with research interests in dark heritage and museums (particularly in relation to German history); memory, identity and belonging; the heritage of migration, diversity and representation; cultural policy; museum architecture and built heritage.
Recovering the Past and Mending Discontinues
Archaeology at the Nunalleq Site, Quinhagak, Alaska. A talk by Anna Mossolova on the mask making tradition of Yup’ik people in southwest Alaska over time.
Time and place: Feb. 28, 2018 12:15 PM–1:30 PM, P. A. Munchs house, room 489
The Nunalleq archaeological site on the shore of the Bering Sea in southwest Alaska has recently produced the largest and oldest collection of the pre-contact material culture of Yup’ik people. The artefacts that until recently had been locked in permafrost date from around AD 1400–1670.
The focus of this talk are the masks and mask fragments recovered from the site in the last seven field seasons. Remarkable in their number, size and variety of designs, the Nunalleq masks represent spirits, humans and animals embodying Yupiit’s ecologies and beliefs before colonial encounters.
Combining archaeological, ethnographic and oral-historic accounts, Mossolova will discuss the continuity and change of Yup’ik mask making tradition.
Furthermore, it will also show how the community-based archeology project brings forgotten stories back and helps the residents of Quinhagak to reconnect with their ancestors through revival of tradition craftsmanship and reclaimed cultural heritage.
About the speaker
Anna Mossolova is a PhD student at Tallinn University, Estonia. She is studying the dynamics – continuities and change – in the mask making tradition of Yup’ik people in southwest Alaska over time.
The objective of her research project has been to (re)explore ethnographic and archaeological collections together with Yup’ik community members as well as to document the modern ways of mask carving by shadowing and interviewing contemporary Native mask-carvers.
Museums of the Exotic World
In this guest lecture by Nathalia Brichet (Aarhus), we ask: What if future ethnographic museums were seen in light of Renaissance curiosity cabinets?
Time and place: Jan. 31, 2018 12:15 PM–1:30 PM, P.A. Munchs building, room 489
In this presentation Brichet will address this question in order to explore the potential of exotic and curious artifacts for the museum practices of an interconnected and post-colonial world.
Brichet suggest celebrating that objects become interesting through certain assemblages, and that the responsibility of the curator is to enlarge the world. Illustration photo: Wikimedia (CC0 1.0)
The curiosity cabinets held and exhibited all kinds of objects seen by the collectors to display the diversity, strangeness and beauty of the earth, thereby expanding the world of their visitors.
To ethnographic museums used to exhibiting objects as representing regional, cultural or ethnic categories, the cabinets may appear as assembled according to contingent systems of classification. But what the curiosity cabinets might point to by their jumbled character is a way to further the critique of representation that anthropologists have launched. Thus, the cabinets can help us make a virtue of the mutual constitution of artifact and perspective and, accordingly, show that principles of classification of objects are not universally (pre-)given by geography, chronology or other such orders.
In consequence, and based on two recent ethnographic collections and exhibitions, Brichet suggest celebrating that objects become interesting through certain perspectives and assemblages, and that it is the responsibility of the curator to co-create the artifacts and thus enlarge the world.
Might ethnographic museums of the 21st century aim not at representing the other, whether as same or different, but at creatively exoticizing the curious world we all share?
About the lecturer
Nathalia Brichet is a postdoctoral researcher with the AURA project; the Aarhus University Research on the Anthropocene.
She received her PhD in Anthropology in 2012 from University of Copenhagen. Brichet is also part of the research project “Natural Goods? Processing Raw Materials in Global Times” at the University of Copenhagen, which funded her postdoc research in 2013-2015.
Her research centers on extractive industries in Greenland and Denmark, focusing mainly on gold, rubies and brown coal.
Islamic Art Reinterpreted
Seminar presentation by Dr Melissa Forstrom from the Purchase College - State University of New York. Coffee and tea will be served. This event is open for all.
Time and place: Jan. 17, 2018 12:15 PM–1:30 PM, P.A.Munchs hus, room 425
After the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Islam and Muslim peoples have been politicized and represented as closely associated (if not inextricable) with religious fundamentalism and Islamic terrorism in many Western mass media representations.
Contemporaneously, there has been an increase in Islamic art exhibition, both temporary exhibitions and reinstallations of permanent collections in the USA and Europe.
Telling “Another Story”
These Islamic art exhibitions are often discussed in the media as telling “another story” of Islam, “bridging cultural divides” and “combating” negative media narratives.
This illustrated presentation investigates the relationships between contemporary mass media representations and the written interpretation in the following Islamic art exhibitions:
- New Galleries for the Art of Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia and Later South Asia at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
- Arts of Islam at the Louvre, Paris.
- Pearls on String: Artists, Poets, and Patrons at the Great Islamic Courts at the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore.
This paper explores oversimplified binaries between the media and museums and exposes the dialogical and sometimes reflective relationship between media representations of Islam and the exhibitions of Islamic art.
About the speaker
Dr. Melissa Forstrom is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Purchase College- State University of New York, where she teaches courses in Visual Arts Management.
Her doctoral thesis is titled: Interpretations and Visitors in Two Islamic Art Exhibitions (University of Westminster, 2017). In 2007, she received her Master of the Arts in Visual Culture (University of Westminster).
Museums and the art of activism
Open lecture by professor Richard Sandell, University of Leicester.
Time and place: Oct. 11, 2017 2:15 PM–4:00 PM, P. A. Munchs hus, seminarrom 6
Although the idea of museums as neutral, objective and bias-free has, over the past two decades, increasingly been challenged by studies which have revealed their political character, there is nevertheless considerable wariness and unease amongst practitioners about taking up practices that lend support for particular values, viewpoints and perspectives.
Most museums and their governing bodies remain highly cautious about their engagement with contemporary issues – especially those with the capacity to divide opinion and prompt controversy.
This seminar examines the emergence of an activist practice (Sandell and Dodd 2010 )– an approach to museum work that attempts to direct the organisation’s unique capacity to influence and shape the way we see the world towards the creation of more equitable and just societies (Janes and Sandell, forthcoming). Drawing on recent research and practice, Richard Sandell shares strategies for negotiating the challenges that surround activist practice and argues that, in our increasingly divided and uncertain world, museums must become more willing to take up a position; to articulate, uphold and seek to build support for the values that underpin fairness and equality for all.
About Richard Sandell
Richard Sandell is Professor of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester. His research and practice explores the capacity for museums, galleries and heritage organisations to lend support for human rights and social justice.
Invisible digital heritage encounters
Designing a ‘subtle mob’ for National Museum Wales. Open for all.
Time and place: May 8, 2017 12:00 PM–1:00 PM, P. A. Munchs house, rom 425
In 2016 we began work on a ‘subtle mob’ for St Fagans National History Museum, Wales. The project was a partnership between Cardiff University, Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales and yello brick, a creative marketing and street gaming company based in Cardiff. ‘Traces’ (‘Olion’ in the Welsh language version) is crafted for visitors to experience either on their own or in pairs.
‘Traces’ is not an audio guide. Nor is it a tourist guide. It is a site specific storytelling audio app which takes participants on a physical journey around St Fagans, meandering between fact and fiction, past and present. It is an artistic narrative interpretation or ‘composition’ which challenges visitors to experience St Fagans in a new way. It is both playful and thoughtful. The partner experience takes users on two separate journeys that interweave in ways that are expressly performative, but invisible to other visitors they might encounter within the grounds.
This contribution will introduce Traces and reflect on the potentials of invisibility, subtlety and silence within digital heritage encounters.
Dr. Jenny Kidd is Senior Lecturer in the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, Cardff University. Jenny researches across the fields of digital culture, museums and creative economy.
UNESCO and “sacred heritage” in Japan
Three presentations on how a recent flood of World heritage listings has affected sites and practices in Japan, both by imposing new, national narratives on such sites, and by introducing new actors into the process of their management. Open for all.
Time and place: Apr. 3, 2017 1:00 PM–2:30 PM, Sophus Bugges building, auditorium 2
Our focus will be on questions of signification and ownership at World Heritage sites in Japan.
Mark Teeuwen will talk about one of the largest and oldest city festivals of Japan, Kyoto’s Gion matsuri. This festival has undergone profound structural changes in recent years. Many of those changes occurred after the festival was listed as Intangible World Heritage in 2009. Mark asks the question whether there is a causal relationship between the listing and the subsequent restructuring of Gion matsuri.
Morgaine Wood’s presentation will be centered on Oura Church, one of her three proposed case studies. Oura Church is a Roman Catholic minor basilica in Nagasaki that is part of a larger ongoing World Heritage Site designation application; an application that has been met with delay and a deal of contention on the part of a number of stakeholder groups. Morgaine will discuss some of the issues that have arisen with the UNESCO application process, with particular focus on the construction of heritage narratives by Catholic Christians and the local government.
Aike Rots discusses the case of Sefa Utaki, a sacred grove in Okinawa that was registered as a World Heritage Site in 2000. Contrary to sacred sites in mainland Japan, Sefa Utaki is not legally classified as a religious organization, and there are no priests who have the authority to decide on ritual matters; nevertheless, it continues to be used as a place of worship by some Okinawans. In recent years, the number of tourists visiting the site has increased dramatically, which has given raise to tensions.
Museums and Cultural Centres in Melanesia: a series of experiments
Seminar presentation by Lissant Bolton from the British Museum in London. Coffee and tea will be served. All welcome!
Time and place: Mar. 8, 2017 12:15 PM–2:00 PM, P. A. Munchs hus rom 425
This paper discusses the history and significance of museums and cultural centres in Melanesia, in the western Pacific. Melanesia is a region of tremendous linguistic and cultural complexity, parts of which have been settled for over 55,000 years, but colonised only since about 1840. Museums and cultural centres were founded there through the twentieth century, but came into their own from 1975, as several Melanesian nations achieved Independence.
If museums are usually about preserving objects, in Melanesia they have a wider remit. Since the independence era they have often become organisations through which people try to act on -- to preserve and to promote -- indigenous knowledge and practice. They have become a series of experiments in ways to address, to value and to develop their cultural heritage.
This paper will set out the history of these museums and reflect on some of these experiments with the museum form.
Speaker's Biographical note:
Lissant Bolton is Keeper (Head) of the Department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas at the British Museum. Her research focusses on Vanuatu where she has worked collaboratively with the Vanuatu Cultural Centre for many years, but she has a broad interest in the Pacific region, in the role of museums and in the importance of objects.
Multiple Museum Practices: The Museum as Cornucopia
At this conference more than 40 scholars from museums and universities will present papers that highlight and discuss copies and practices of reproduction in museum con-texts.
Time and place: Oct. 24, 2016–Oct. 25, 2016, Norsk Teknisk Museum (The Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology) Kjelsåsveien 153
Museums are places where original objects are kept and exhibited. Still, copies - and the act of making copies - is central to an understanding of what museums are, what they do, and how they became perceived as stewards of the original, genuine and authentic.
Key Note Speakers
- Marcus Boon, York University, Toronto.
- Elizabeth Hallam, University of Oxford.
- Mari Lending, Oslo School of Architecture and Design.
- Felix Sattler, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.
There will be a Poster Session Monday 24. of Oct. Registration before the 20. of September.
The conference is part of the research project "Museums: A Culture of Copies" at the Center for Museum Studies at IKOS / University of Oslo.
From artefact to experience? Bringing religion and pilgrimage to life in museum contexts
What can we do with modern technology, scholarship, imagination and informed empathy to bring museums and exhibits with religious objects and subjects back to life? Marion Bowman will give the talk.
Time and place: Oct. 12, 2016 12:15 PM–1:30 PM, P. A. Munch’s house, 425
Museums are sometimes regarded as places where religious objects go to die. They lose their context; they are no longer considered ‘performative’, able to act; they become lifeless. Marion Bowman will use a selection of case studies to look at past and current practice and future opportunities.
About Marion Bowman
Marion Bowman is Vice-President of the European Association for the Study of Religions and an Executive Board member of the Working Group on Ethnology of Religion of the International Society for Ethnology and Folklore, SIEF. She has lectured in Religious Studies at The Open University since 2000 and is currently Co-Investigator on the AHRC funded project Pilgrimage and England’s Cathedrals, Past and Present.
Working at the interstices of religious studies and folklore/ ethnology, her research interests are rooted in contemporary vernacular religion - religion as it is lived; the experiences, worldviews, beliefs, practices and material culture of individuals and groups in in specific locations and contexts.
Sound Practice, using museum spaces for sonic presentations
Seminar by Jørgen Larsson. Everybody is welcome and there will be some refreshments served.
Time and place: Sep. 28, 2016 12:00 PM–1:30 PM, room 425 P.A. Munch building.
Combining modern presentation techniques with traditional buildings confronts us with a host of challenges. Especially striking is this when it comes to the employment of sound in old museum spaces, but even new buildings can give rise to huge difficulties in sound presentations.
In this seminar Jørgen Larsson will focus on some techniques and practical experiments that will help us develope knowledge about our spaces and advice on how to best use our senses combined with key insights and some new technologies to get the most out of sound presentations in museums and galleries.
Jørgen Larsson is a musician, artist and organizer. Apart from his work in art and music, he has started and led two groundbreaking institutions in Bergen, Bergen center for Electronic Arts (BEK) (2000) and Lydgalleriet (The Sound Gallery) (2007). Through Lydgalleriet he has curated more than 40 exhibitions. He often works with massive multichannel speaker setups and has collaborated with Nils Petter Molvær, Rolf Wallin, Jana Winderen and Brandon Labelle, among others, to facilitate technical and acoustical and artistic explorations of advanced sound systems.
Citizen Science and Public Engagement
A seminar on citizen participation, expertise, and knowledge sharing in cultural heritage archives and natural history institutions. Registration is required.
Time and place: Sep. 23, 2016 8:30 AM–4:00 PM, Oslo Science Park
The internet and digital technologies are changing how experts and audiences interact with museums and archives, and the ways in which cultural heritage institutions create knowledge from their collections.
The seminar aims to deepen our understanding of how digitization and participatory models are transforming knowledge practices in museums and archives. The seminar is organized as part of an interdisciplinary research project that includes learning scientists, historians, museum curators, architects, and specialists in biodiversity informatics, memory archives, and science and technolog.
- Science, Politics and Public Engagement. Bernard Schiele, Faculty of Arts, University of Québec, Montreal
- Citizen Science and Citizen Humanities: Perception, Representation and Interpretation. Dick Kasperowski, LETStudio, University of Gothenburg
- Authenticity and Accountability in Online Interactions. Christine Hine, Department of Sociology, University of Surrey
- Ethical Engagement Strategies for Citizen Science and Citizen Humanities. Alexandra Eveleigh, Wellcome Trust, London
- User Perspectives on Social Media, Crowdsourcing and the Cultural Heritage Mediascape. Emily Oswald and Per Hetland, Department of Education, University of Oslo.
The seminar is organized as part of the Cultural Heritage Mediascapes: Innovation in Knowledge and Mediation Practices (2015-2019), funded through the KULMEDIA program.
Museological framings of Islam in Europe
Klas Grinell from Museum of World Cultures in Gothenburg will present and open for a discussion about an ongoing European research project. Open for all.
Time and place: Mar. 2, 2016 12:15 PM–2:00 PM, P.A. Munchs hus, Blindern
The purpose of the project Museological framings of Islam in Europe is to analyse
- the exhibiting of Islam in Germany and the UK from 1945 to 2014;
- how the museums studied have created local and European framings of Islam;
- how these frames have related to changing official policies on the subject;
The aim is to produce new and unique results on the role of museums in the framing of Islam in Europe. In the project they aim to give a critical contribution to both museology and the research on images of Islam in Europe by combining these fields in an analysis of the relations of local and European frames with European and international cultural policy documents.
Klas Grinell is a curator of global contemporary questions and associate professor in History of Ideas and has produced a long range of exhibitions and publications.
"Rethinking Sami cultures in museums" book launch
Time and place: 3. feb. 2016 12:15–14:00, Room 425, P.A. Munch building
We are delighted to announce that the special issue of the Journal of Nordic Museology 'Rethinking Sámi cultures in museums' has now been published.
To celebrate the event, we are organizing a book launch on Wednesday 3 February, to which you are all warmly invited.
We will introduce the contents of the issue and discuss it around good food and fruitjuices.
The editors Eva Silvén (Nordiska museet, Stockholm), Rossella Ragazzi (Norges arktiske universitet - Tromsø museum) and Silje Opdahl Mathisen and Marzia Varutti (both IKOS) will start the discussion, and we will have presentations from authors.
Beyond museums: alternative sites of cultural display and indigenous cultural revitalization in Taiwan
This presentation focuses on contemporary indigenous artists and artisans in Taiwan and their role in the current revitalization of Taiwanese indigenous cultures. Open for all.
Time and place: Dec. 2, 2015 2:15 PM–3:30 PM, P.A. Munchs hus, room 425
Marzia Varutti will illustrate how indigenous communities are actively engaged in the creation of sites of cultural display – community centres, local markets, and artist workshops – which provide local, but no less significant, alternatives to museums and art galleries, mainly located in larger urban centres and managed by non-indigenous staff.
The relevance of local sites of cultural display set up and run by and for indigenous communities lies, among others, in their propensity to reveal unique indigenous approaches to curatorial practices. Drawing on the concept of ‘appropriate museology’ (Kreps 2008), Varutti will show how such alternative sites of cultural display provide unique insights into the centrality of performance, visual access to the making of artworks, and intangible cultural heritage (such as story-telling, skills, and indigenous terminology), in vernacular representations of indigenous cultures and identities.
These insights can be valuable tools to re-think, enrich and update both our understanding of the place of cultural heritage in identity-making, and of museological representations of indigenous cultures.
Museological lunch: A future for memory through photographs
What would we look for if our hometown were swept away? Memory in material form? Guest lecture by curator Fuyubi Nakamura about the aftermath of the tsunami in 2011. Open for all.
Time and place: June 2, 2015 2:15 PM–3:30 PM, P. A. Munchs hus, seminar room 425
The tsunami—triggered by the massive earthquake that hit north-eastern Japan on 11 March 2011—ruthlessly swallowed up several towns along the costal line, taking away the lives of numerous people.
Objects of memory
In the aftermath of the disaster, various kinds of local residents’ possessions—if they were deemed ‘valuable’—were rescued from the debris.
These recovered items were often called omoide no shina or ‘objects of memory’, which included family albums and photographs. The items were then cleaned by volunteers and later displayed with the hope of reconnecting them with their owners, or their family or friends.
Relief activities - rescuing photos
Fuyubi Nakamura reflects on the relief activities that she was involved with in Utatsu in Minamisanriku, Miyagi, northeastern Japan, from late May until late August 2011, in the aftermath of the Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami. Minamisanriku was one of the towns swept away by the tsunami.
Nakamura focus on one of the relief activities – that of rescuing ‘objects of memory’, especially photographs. Although damaged or fragmented, images in photographic prints survived because they are material objects, whereas digital images—stored on hard disks, CDs or memory sticks—were damaged in the water. Because of their materiality, photographic prints became not only objects and traces of memory but also serve as relics.
Nakamura consider the relationship between objects, images, and memory when people have lost virtually everything, as they did in this disaster.
About Fuyubi Nakamura
Fuyubi Nakamura (M.Sc., D.Phil. Oxford, 2006) is a socio-cultural anthropologist and curator, and joined the UBC Museum of Anthropology (MOA) in April 2014. She specializes in the anthropology of art, museum studies and material and visual cultures with special interest in Japan and its diasporas, India, Tibet and contemporary art. Fuyubi has taught in the graduate schools at the University of Oxford, the Australian National University and University of Tokyo.
Rethinking Sámi cultures in museums
The conference aims to bring scholars and practitioners from different disciplines and institutions together, in order to exchange perspectives and expand scholarship on Sámi issues related to museums. Registration is required.
Time and place: Nov. 26, 2014–Nov. 28, 2014, Eilert Sundts Hus, UiO
In the last few years, the politics of collection, representation and curation of Sámi heritage in museums have received increased attention and are now engendering a number of new opportunities and challenges for both museum theory and practice.
There is a felt need to bring academics and museum professionals in contact to build upon and valorize the excellent research on Sámi collections and displays that is being conducted in museums, colleges and universities throughout the Sámi area and beyond.
The intention with the conference is to offer a springboard for long-term exchanges and discussions that will foster our grasp of the politics of representation of Sámi cultures, both in an historical and contemporary perspective, and generate a better understanding of the roles that museums have played and can play in the (re)definition, interpretation, and representation of Sámi cultures.
- Prof. Christina Kreps, Museum of Anthropology, University of Denver, Colorado.
- Prof. Gunlög Fur, Linnaeus University, Sweden.
- Dr Birgitta Fossum, Director, Saemien Sijte / South Sámi Museum and Cultural Centre, Norway.
- Associate Professor Stein R. Mathisen, UiT the Arctic University of Norway.
- Mr Henrik Olsen, vice-president of the Norwegian Sami Parliament.
Structure of the conference
The conference will begin on Wednesday morning, 26th November, and will close on Friday 28th early afternoon (please see the conference program for details). In addition to 20 minutes paper presentations, there will be sessions for poster presentations introducing new and ongoing research projects or museum initiatives.The language of the conference is English.
Papers presented at the conference will be included in the conference proceedings, which will be published online. In addition, selected papers will be published in a special issue of the peer-reviewed journal Nordic Museology.
Conference organizers and institutional partners
Silje Opdahl Mathisen, Marzia Varutti - Department of Culture and Oriental Studies (IKOS), University of Oslo; Rossella Ragazzi, Tromsø University Museum, the Arctic University of Norway; Eva Silven, Nordiska Museet, Stockholm.
Institutional partners include the Norwegian Sámi Parliament and the Sami Museum Association.
The conference is funded by IKOS, Fritt Ord Foundation, the Norwegian Sámi Parliament, and the Institute for Comparative Research in Human Culture, Oslo.
Centre for Museum Studies,UiO, The University of Tromsø and Nordiska Museet
Museological lunch: Humanitarian Aid and Cultural Heritage Preservation
In 2005 an earthquake struck the island of Nias in Indonesia, and destroyed 50,000 homes. In this presentation you can hear about how the traditional houses were restored with help from humanitarian aid organisations and the Nias Heritage Museum. Open for all.
Time and place: Nov. 24, 2014 12:00 PM–1:30 PM, P.A. Munchs house 489
On March 25, 2005 an 8.7 earthquake struck the island of Nias off the northwest coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. The quake destroyed much of the island's infrastructure and some 50,000 homes.
While 80% of modern, concrete houses were destroyed, traditional style, wooden homes received comparatively minor damage. This is because the houses are an example of appropriate technology made to withstand the island's regular seismic shocks.
This presentation describes how the Nias Heritage Museum (Museum Pusaka Nias) has been helping villagers restore traditional houses in collaboration with a number of humanitarian and international aid organizations as part of their cultural preservation efforts.
The presentation is based on the recently published book chapter, "Cultural Heritage, Humanitarianism, and Development: Critical Links," in Museums, Heritage, and International Development. Paul Basu and Wayne Modest, eds. Routledge, 2014.
About Christina Kreps
Christina Kreps is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of Museum and Heritage Studies, Museum of Anthropology at the University of Denver USA. She has carried out research on museums and worked on heritage related projects in Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Europe, and the United States.
Trophies of Modernism: doing Archaeology, collecting ethnographic and making nations
Which kind of history are shared by buying an Indian girl in South America, giving Sami objects as gift to Spain, or keeping objects collected by mercenaries in Congo? Open guest lecture by Adriana Muñoz.
Time and place: Sep. 17, 2014 3:00 PM–4:30 PM, PAM room 425
Those histories are part of the formation of so called ethnographic collections and the birth of disciplines and practices in the frame of colonialism in Sweden and Europe.
During XIX century, Swedish archaeology and anthropology not only started shape the national disciplines but also formed the disciplines internationally. “Swedish men of science” were well quoted around the world and many international scholars were part of the Swedish academy of Anthropology and Geography.
In this lecture Muñoz want to introduce the Swedish, European and American network collecting “ethnographic” which formed the disciplines in the frame of the European colonial expansion and the formation of national states around the world.
About Adriana Muñoz
Speaker: Adriana Muñoz is currently curator at the Museum of World Culture, Gothenburg. She holds a PhD in Archaeology from the University of Gothenburg. Her PhD examined the relationship between political paradigms and how collections have been interpreted.
We will discuss what work the material presence of exhibitions do. This is a closed workshop. Registration is required.
Time and place: June 10, 2014–June 11, 2014, Tieranatomisches Theater, Berlin
- How do exhibitions, in their materiality, create atmospheres, shape meanings, distribute agency?
- Are exhibitions to be studied as media or representations, as embodiments or as agents?
- How do we account for and analyse different materialities?
Our goal is to open up for discussions where theoretical and analytical perspectives are presented in connection to empirical material, so that we can come out of these two days with a stronger sense of what theoretical and analytical resources are available for the study of exhibitions – historically as well as contemporary.
Tuesday, June 10
- Keynote Mario Schulze: “Things are changing. Epistemology and display since 1968”
- 3 precirculated papers
- Nathalia Brichet & Frida Hastrup: “Exoticizing our common world. Carving wonder out of little things”
- Leila Koivunen: “Coping with exotic materialities. The practice of wearing Chinese dresses in a Finnish mission exhibition (1911-1912)”
- Arndis Bergsdottir & Sigurjón Baldur Hafsteinsson: “The absence within. Gender and exhibiting (invisible) penises”
- Felix Sattler: “Current exhibition-projects at TAT”
- 3 working papers
- Lena Liepe: “The materialistic turn”
- Mattias Bäckström: “Making things matter. Atmosphere and contours in museum displays around 1900”
- Frans Lundgren: “Exhibition energies. Social museums, materialities of display and media innovation in interwar Europe”
- 3 working papers
- Espen Ytreberg: “Producing the 1914 Frogner Jubilee Exhibition as a media event”
- Cathrine Baglo: “The reenactment of the Congo Village, Oslo, May 2014. Reception, meaning and materiality”
- Anders Ekström: “The visibility of media at 19th -20th -century exhibitions”
Wednesday, June 11
- 3 precirculated papers
- Anniina Lehtokari: “From showcases to fire safety. Studying exhibition techniques in European museums in the early 1900’s for the construction of the Finnish National Museum”
- Ann-Sofie Hjemdahl: “Reading dress mannequins in museum exhibitions as technology, actor and mediator”
- Taina Syrjämaa: “Humanlike straw and plaster. Ethnographic mannequins’ intersecting routes with humans, objects and places (1876-)”
- Keynote Kerstin Poehls: “Materialisations of migration in museal spaces”
- 3 working papers
- Marie Riegels Melchior: “Dream-land. Fashioning the art of display”
- Anne Folke Henningsen: “Lifeless // lifelike. A tour amongst the mannequins in an ethnographic exhibition”
- Silje Opdahl Mathisen: “The aesthetics of ethnicity. Reflections on a hierarchy of materiality in exhibitions of Sami identity and ethnicity”
- 3 working papers
- Kristina Skåden: “Transnational materiality. Political, commercial and museological networks at the exhibition Die Strasse, Germany 1934”
- Kerstin Smeds: “Our interaction with objects in museums – and outside museums – in light of existential philosophy”
- Brita Brenna: “Showcase participation”
- Concluding remarks // Future activities
Center for Museum Studies, Brita Brenna, Oslo University in collaboration with Anders Ekström, Uppsala University, Taina Syrjämaa, Turku University.
In collaboration with Hermann von Helmholtz-Zentrum für Kulturtechnik and Lehrstuhl für Wissenschaftsgeschichte at the Humboldt University, Berlin. Financed by Stiftelsen Riksbankens Jubileumsfond – The Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation
Museological lunch: Some thoughts on repatriation and collecting policy
With Prof. Emeritus Tom Svensson from the Museum of Cultural History, UiO. The seminar is open to the general public.
Time and place: Apr. 3, 2014 12:15 PM–1:45 PM, P. A. Munchs hus, room 489
The issue of repatriation is an increasing concern in the museum word. For many central museums it has become part of their policy-making agenda. And here it should be emphasized that repatriation in no way is constrained to artefacts, even if these are most significant.
Diverse features of intangible heritage, such as research-based knowledge and recordings as well as various photographic material, supplement in our time what appropriately could be repatriated in terms of sharing.
Repatriation usually comes about as explicit claims from a receiving party. But the initiative can also emanate from a donating party. Common for the two means of repatriation is that they build on negotiations between equal parties ending with a formal agreement.
Besides the positive aspect of sharing, an additional motivation for repatriation is that a specific collection, or part thereof, may attain a better and more adequate localization than the original one both in terms of future research and of presentation by means of exhibitions. I will explore this argument further referring to ethnographic cases: the Netsilik, the Sámi and the Hopi.
About the speaker
Tom G. Svensson, Professor Emeritus, Museum of Cultural History, UiO Professor Emeritus. Tom Svensson is originally from Stockholm where he had his basic academic training (Fil. Dr. 1973). He has been a staff member of the Ethnographic Museum, later the Museum of Cultural History, since 1970. He has conducted fieldwork among the Sámi, the Ainu, the Nisga´a, and the Hopi, and has special interests in ethnopolitics, legal pluralism and æsthetic manifestations.
Marzia Varutti, seminar series on "Museums and indigenous peoples" in cooperation with the Centre for Museum Studies
Museological lunch: Rethinking museum natural history
This presentation will explore some of the ways that the Manchester Museum has been working to subvert museum natural history, in order to engage with contemporary issues, ideas and debates. Everyone is welcome.
Time and place: Mar. 19, 2014 12:15 PM–1:30 PM, P. A. Munchs hus, room 489
Natural history, as Foucault said, made history natural. Cabinets of curios evolved into encyclopaedias of creation, then evolution. Nature was sorted, labelled, ordered. Our surroundings were possessed by science. Fast forward a hundred years and what's changed? Not much by and large.
Henry McGhie is Head of Collections and Curator of Zoology at Manchester Museum. He leads the Museum's curatorial team, who are involved in making the collections and associated ideas accessible and engaging in exhibitions, university teaching and research, and public events.
“Texts, art & materiality” – workshop
The topic of the workshop is the transferral of meaning, between material objects and scientific texts, and between scientific texts and art.
Time and place: Aug. 20, 2012 9:15 AM–4:00 PM, Undervisningsrom 1 (room 3511), Georg Sverdrups hus
The exhibit “Animal Matters,” currently on display in Galleri Sverdrup, will serve both as a reference point and empirical example of how scientific texts, including objects, have been transformed into an art installation.
The exhibit has been installed by the artists Bryndís Snæbjörndóttir and Mark Wilson, and is based on articles written by nine researchers engaged in the project “Animals as Objects and Animals as Signs”. The exhibit focuses on the post-mortem materiality of animals, and seeks to draw attention to various representational conventions used in the portrayal animals. However, we welcome all participants who are working with material objects and issues of materiality across disciplinary boundaries.
- Adam Dodd: Introduction to the exhibition “Animal Matters
- Bryndís Snæbjörndóttir and Mark Wilson: The Significant Unreliability of Things: Animal Matters and Contemporary Art.
- Brita Brenna: Thing, text and glass case. An historical account of the communicative action of glass cases.
- Liv Emma Thorsen: The Tonkean macaq Monjet: From bones, mount and minutes to text– and art.
- Henry McGhie: Museums and nature– ideas, objects and campaigns.
- Plenary discussion of “Animal Matters”
Museum Politics in Europe 1990-2010: Negotiating professional and political utopia
EuNaMus conference in Oslo
Time and place: June 27, 2012 1:00 PM–June 29, 2012 1:00 PM, Georg Sverdrups hus
In a Europe realizing the impact of globalization and human mass migration, the role of the national museums is put to debate. Studies from five different countries on how nations (and EU) develop policy in order to deploy national museums in redefinition of the nation state will be presented at this conference, establishing an arena in which museologists and cultural politicians get the chance to meet and debate a matter deeply important to everybody concerned with cultural identity uses.
Besides presentations of research findings, the conference includes a panel debate with invited speakers and commentators.
This is your chance to negotiate political and professional utopia with prominent actors on the European museum political field in 2012!
The Hybrid Museum
The Museum as Dialogue Institution
Time and place: Oct. 25, 2011–Oct. 27, 2011, The Centre Franco-Norvégien en Sciences Sociales et Humaines, Paris
The seminar investigates the challenges to the methods and scopes of museums as well as their social and cultural functions and assess the extent to which museums create and mediate their image as centres of knowledge and communication and as complex cultural institutions.
The worldwide ‘museum boom’ of the last four decades or so has challenged the methods and scopes of museums as well as their social and cultural functions (Poulot, 2005: 76f.). The museum is now seen in terms of an agora, a forum or cultural centre. As Hilde Hein (Hein, 2000) explicates museums have shifted their priorities from the presentation of authentic pieces of art and artefacts to the production of experiences, that is, to transience and elusiveness. They shape values by using entertainment or rather edutainment. Exhibitions are more idea-oriented and centred towards the public. Design, spectacle and performance are central to display. Aesthetic aspects of the objects are given priority, to the detriment of their context of origin and their functions. Another characteristic of museums and exhibitions today is what Ruth Phillips (2007) calls the ‘entanglement of unrelated phenomena’, which in museums is carried out by blending art and artefacts and by using multidisciplinary approaches to their exhibitions.
The purpose of the seminar is to explore the negotiation and articulation of some of these changes and to address questions related to a general displacement of museums’ focal interests from constituting collections, researching on artefacts and ordering permanent exhibitions to adapting to market economy, arranging temporary exhibitions and offering experiences. The goal is to assess the extent to which museums create and mediate their image as centres of knowledge and communication and as complex cultural institutions. How they promote social cohesion and provide for different types of publics.
The seminar will focus on interconnected fields of inquiry. One deals with a new understanding of the place and role of collections both material and immaterial and they ways they are used in exhibitions. Collecting and displaying are central to a museum’s existence, but require ethical reflections and measures on issues pertaining to whose past it is, how it is exhibited and who owns the past. Another field of inquiry concerns collaborative projects and new forms of participation (Goodnow & Skartveit 2010) and the part played by the public and experimental mixed media. It entails considering museums in terms of process and interaction (Kratz & Karp 2006: 1) rather than seeing museums as contact zones where the agendas – historical, political, cultural and aesthetic – of the various participants are brought to the fore when preparing exhibitions (Clifford (1997: 188f.). Introducing the perspectives of process and interaction opens the path to new understandings of the museum as an institution and its place in society as well as the changes introduced by experimental mixed media, that is digital, interactive and internet-based by which museums become multi-sited and ramify beyond the concrete museum buildings.
Museums have increasingly been subject to fluctuating budgets. A third field of enquiry concerns museum politics and different modes of managing museums while enhancing their importance as manifold cultural institutions. They are steadily moving into the marketplace and rely more and more heavily on strategies borrowed from the business world. They talk in terms of “customers”, “box-office revenues”, “experience economy” and “resource management”. The tourist industry and in particular cultural tourism represents a significant source of national revenues in many countries and museums play an important economic role (Naguib, 2004). Trying to find a balance between what he calls the logic of “the all state” (le tout Etat) and that of “the all market” (le tout marché), François Mairesse (2010) proposes a third way placed in the logic of “the gift” (le don) and its’ various forms.
The seminar is part of the theoretical part of the Ph.D. courses offered to research fellows at the Faculty of Humanities, University of Oslo. It is organized in co-operation with the French-Norvegian Center of Social Sciences and Humanities (CFN) in Paris and the courses within Cultural History, Archaeology, African and Asian Studies (KRA) and Musicology, Theatre Studies, Aesthetics and History of Art and History of Ideas (MEK).
The fellow researchers are expected to present a draft for a research paper that discusses theoretical perspectives that may be relevant for their dissertation (max. 20 p.). Participation at the seminar gives 3 ECTs, and 1 ECT extra for presenting a final paper.
Funding: Participants will have to pay travel expenses (flight tickets). The stay in Paris (3 or 4 nights and all meals) will be covered by the CFN.
Saphinaz Amal Naguib, Bjarne Rogan and Øivind Lorenz Storm Bjerke
History – memory – myth: Re-presenting the past
International Society for Cultural History annual conference, Oslo.
Time and place: Aug. 3, 2011 9:00 AM–Aug. 6, 2011 3:00 PM, Blindern
Keynote: François Hartog, Directeur d'études, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Paris.
Museum history: Why, how and for whom?
Welcome to a research workshop at Center for Museum Studies
Time: 6. june 2011 10:00–15:00
Christopher Whitehead, Senior Lecturer in Museum, Gallery and Heritage Studies at ICCHS, Newcastle University, will during the first part of the seminar introduce his own museum and gallery histories under the title:
Researching Art Museum and Gallery Histories: cartographies of knowledge.
Among Whitehead’s many publications, of special relevance for this seminar are The Public Art Museum in Nineteenth Century Britain: The Development of the National Gallery (2005) and Museums and the Construction of Disciplines: Art and Archaeology in 19th Century Britain (2009).
In the second part of the day, Anne Eriksen, Liv Emma Thorsen and Brita Brenna from Center for Museums Studies and two or three other researchers/PhDs will contribute to the discussion with shorter papers. Please contact us if you want to contribute.
For those interested we will have a small reading seminar as preparation on May 27 12.00 - 13.00.
Museological lunch: "Revisiting Diaghilev"
Jane Pritchard, the Curator of Dance for the Victoria and Albert Museum and co-curator of the exhibition Diaghilev and the Golden Age of the Ballets Russes 1909-1929, will give a talk on the challenges of mounting a major exhibition on theatre within a national museum of art and design.
Time and place: 11. may 2011 12:00–14:00, 425 PAM
The presentation looks at the challenges of mounting a major exhibition on theatre within a national museum of art and design. - How do you select the material for inclusion? - How can you breathe new life into sets, costumes and properties from a century ago? - How can you reveal the lasting impact of a revolutionary theatre company? - What can you do to suggest movement?
Organiser: Anne-Sofie Hjemdahl Brita Brenna & Torild Gjesvik.
Museologisk lunsj: Marianne Heier: CREW - institusjonskritikk nedenfra?
Tid og sted: 26. jan. 2011 12:00–13:30, Rom 425 P. A. Munchs hus