Tag Archives: Museology

Publication: Unpacking the Collection: Museums, Identity and Agency

S. Byrne, A. Clarke, R. Harrison and R. Torrence (eds)  2011 – Unpacking the Collection: Museums, Identity and Agency, One World Archeological Series, Springler, USA

details: http://www.springer.com/social+sciences/archaeology+%26+anthropology/book/978-1-4419-8221-6
contents:  http://books.google.fr/books?hl=fr&lr=&id=k2aVJUGDVisC&oi=fnd&pg=PR5&dq=unpacking+the+collection+loumpet-galitzine&ots=Jrlyp0DzrN&sig=e5vA12GoS-67PkGuuDsc1kQtlww#v=onepage&q=unpacking%20the%20collection%20loumpet-galitzine&f=false

CFP : Museum International – Universal Exhibitions and the Representation of Cultures

Call for Papers

The Journal MUSEUM International published by UNESCO promotes research on heritage and museum policies. It promotes exchanges of professional practices and experiences worldwide. MUSEUM International is committed to publishing interdisciplinary papers fostering a constructive dialogue on issues at stake in the international arena.

For its 2011 Spring issue, MUSEUM International invites authors to submit papers on the following them:



From their inception in 1851 to last year’s 2010 in Shanghai, universal exhibitions all tended to put cultures and civilizations on stage to celebrate their distinctive qualities. Although being ephemeral enterprises, some of them have left lasting testimonies such as the Crystal Palace in London, the Musée du Trocadéro in Paris etc …

Universal exhibitions witnessed successive paradigmatic shifts of representing culture which, eventually, shaped museography. The most important change occurred in the last decades with the worldwide recognition and promotion of cultural diversity. This has put a final end to the hierarchical and aesthetical classification of cultures that has been for a very long time the modus operandi of museums.

Taking into account the impact universal exhibitions have had on museums and the way they display cultures, papers submitted should address issues such as:

  • Architecture as a legacy of universal exhibitions to museum; ephemeris architecture;
  • Displaying folklore and indigenous cultures, representation of otherness in national and international contexts;
  • Beyond Art and Aesthetic, the anthropological paradigm of collections building;
  • Cultures on stage: geopolitics of universal exhibitions.

Articles must be submitted in English, French or Spanish. They should be no longer than 2500 words. A five-line abstract and a brief bio are also requested. For further information, please consult Guide for Authors.

Deadline for submission: 20 May 2011 Enquiries and submission of papers at clt.museum@unesco.org

Publication: Revue AQIP N.2 L’interprétation du patrimoine

Nous souhaitons vous informer du lancement du deuxième numéro de la Revue de l’AQIP: L’interprétation du patrimoine. La revue sera  en ligne sur le site web de l’association : http://www.aqip.ca. Ce numéro porte sur les formations en interprétation.En espérant que la lecture sera enrichissante et stimulante,

Pour toute information, n’hésitez pas à nous contacter.


L’équipe de rédaction

L’AQIP – L’association québécoise d’interprétation du patrimoine

Audrey Quintane

Doctorante en sciences humaines appliquées

Assistante de rédaction de la revue AQIP

Call for Papers: The Circulation of Museum Objects

American Anthropological Association Meeting, New Orleans,

November 17th- 21st, 2010

Panel organizer: Chris Wingfield, Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford / University of Birmingham – chris.wingfield@prm.ox.ac.uk

Deadline for title and abstract: Friday 19th March.

When things become museum objects, they can appear to be removed from the world of normal circulation. The process of collecting ethnographic objects has been described in terms of detachment and excision (Kirshenblatt-Gimblett 1998). Storage technologies in museums such as locked doors, alarm systems and glass cases all serve to restrict the movement of museum objects. Museum labeling and documentation can attempt to define museum objects as an immoveable and fixed part of a particular museum’s collection.

Nevertheless many museum objects continue to circulate within and between museums through exchanges and loans. Particularly charismatic objects can be regular travelers between exhibitions staged in different world cities.[1] In some ways it may be more sensible to think of museum objects as forming part of a particular sphere of exchange (Douglas and Isherwood 1979), rather than as being removed from circulation altogether. When museums are closed down, their collections may be transferred to other museum institutions, but can also be sold and returned to other arenas of circulation through the market. Repatriation has also seen museum objects enter new spheres of exchange in recent years.

As well as the circulation of the material objects themselves, museum objects circulate through indexical forms (Gell 1998). Casts and physical replicas of particularly iconic objects can form part of the way in which they circulate.  Other indexes include photographs and drawings in museum publications, as well as scale models that may be sold in museum gift shops. For some museum objects, there is a relationship between their relative immovability and the number of indexes that circulate in the world.

This panel will seek to understand museums as institutions which on the one hand restrict and block the circulation of their objects, but on the other, channel their circulation in particular directions, and through particular spheres. By bringing some of the resources of anthropological exchange theory to the analysis of museums and their objects, it is hoped that museums may be understood in relation to the networks in which they operate, rather than as isolated monolithic institutions. In emulation of recent work on the anthropology of colonial archives, it is suggested that focusing on the circulation of museum objects may be a step towards an anthropology of museums that operates ‘along the grain’ (Stoler 2009).


Douglas, Mary, and Baron C. Isherwood (1979) The world of goods : towards an anthropology of consumption. Allen Lane, London.

Gell, Alfred (1998) Art and agency : an anthropological theory. Clarendon Press, Oxford.

Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Barbara (1998) Destination culture : tourism, museums, and heritage. University of California Press, Berkeley ; London.

Stoler, Ann Laura (2009) Along the archival grain : epistemic anxieties and colonial common sense. Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J. ; Oxford.

[1] For an exploration of the idea of the charismatic museum object, see Wingfield, Christopher (2010) Touching the Buddha: encounters with a charismatic object. In Museum Materialities: Objects, Engagements, Interpretations, edited by S. H. Dudley, pp. 53-70. Routledge, London & New York.