Academic Anthropology and the Museum: Back to the Future

Academic Anthropology and the Museum: Back to the Future

by Mary Bouquet
     
 

The book's central argument is well made. · Museum National

...focuses on anthropologists, but the consideration given to the relations between academic and museum worlds will be useful to any scholar with current affiliations or aspirations to engage with museum culture. In terms of the volume's original intent, as a work responding to the needs

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Overview

The book's central argument is well made. · Museum National

...focuses on anthropologists, but the consideration given to the relations between academic and museum worlds will be useful to any scholar with current affiliations or aspirations to engage with museum culture. In terms of the volume's original intent, as a work responding to the needs of those teaching and studying anthro-museology, it is an impressive accomplishment. · Anthropologica

The museum boom, with its accompanying objectification and politicization of culture, finds its counterpart in the growing interest by social scientists in material culture, much of which is to be found in museums. Not surprisingly, anthropologists in particular are turning their attention again to museums, after decades of neglect, during which fieldwork became the hallmark of modern anthropology - so much so that the "social" and the "material" parted company so radically as to produce a kind of knowledge gap between historical collections and the intellectuals who might have benefitted from working on these material representations of culture. Moreover it was forgotten that museums do not only present the "pastness" of things. A great deal of what goes on in contemporary museums is literally about planning the shape of the future: making culture materialize involves mixing things from the past, taking into account current visions, and knowing that the scenes constructed will shape the perspectives of future generations. However, the (re-)invention of museum anthropology presents a series of challenges for academic teaching and research, as well as for the work of cultural production in contemporary museums - issues that are explored in this volume.

Mary Bouquet teaches Cultural Anthropology and Museum Studies at Utrecht University College. Her publications include Bringing It All Back Home to the Oslo University Ethnographic Museum , published by Scandinavian University Press (1996).

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781571818256
Publisher:
Berghahn Books, Incorporated
Publication date:
11/01/2001
Series:
New Directions in Anthropology Series
Pages:
256

Table of Contents

List of Figures
Contributors
Acknowledgements
1Introduction: Academic anthropology and the Museum. Back to the Future1
Pt. IAnthropological encounters with the post-colonial museum
2The photological apparatus and the desiring machine. Unexpected congruences between the Koninklijk Museum, Tervuren and the Umista Centre, Alert Bay18
3Picturing the museum: photography and the work of mediation in the Third Portuguese Empire36
4On the pre-museum history of Baldwin Spencer's collection of Tiwi artefacts55
Pt. IIEthnographic museums and ethnographic museology 'at home'
5Anthropology at home and in the museum: the case of the Musee National des Arts et Traditions Populaires in Paris76
6'Does anthropology need museums?' Teaching ethnographic museology in Portugal, Thirty Years Later92
Pt. IIIScience museums as an ethnographic challenge
7Towards an ethnography of museums: science, technology and us106
8Behind the Scenes at the Science Museum, London. Knowing, making and using117
Pt. IVAnthropologists as cultural producers
9Unsettling the meaning: critical museology, art and anthropological discourse142
10Inside out: cultural production in the museum and the academy142
11The art of exhibition making as a problem of translation177
Pt. VLooking ahead
12Why post-millennial museums will need fuzzy guerrillas200
Bibliography212
Index231

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