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Science, Magic, and Religion: The Ritual Process of Museum Magic (New Directions in Anthropology)

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Overview

For some time now, museums have been recognized as important institutions of western cultural and social life. The idea of the museum as a ritual site is fairly new and has been applied to the art museums in Europe and the United States so far. This volume expands it by exploring a range of contemporary museums in Europe and Africa. The case studies examine the different ways in which various actors involved in cultural production dramatize and ritualize such sites. It turns out that not only museum specialists, but visitors themselves are engaged in complex performances and experiences that make use of museums in often unexpected ways.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781571815200
  • Publisher: Berghahn Books, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/14/2004
  • Series: New Directions in Anthropology
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Bouquet teaches Cultural Anthropology and Museum Studies at Utrecht University College. Her recent publications include Academic Anthropology and the Museum, also published by Berghahn Books (2001). Nuno Porto is Lecturer at the Department of Anthropology, University of Coimbra, where he teaches museology, material culture, and the history of anthropology.

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Table of Contents

Introduction : science, magic and religion : the ritual processes of museum magic 1
Memorialising the future : the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester 29
Unwrapping mummies and telling their stories : Egyptian mummies in museum rhetoric 51
Congo-vision 75
The scourge of Chief Kansabala : the ritual life of two Congolese masterpieces at the Royal Museum for Central Africa (1884-2001) 95
Paradise in the making at Artis Zoo, Amsterdam 119
The natural magic of Monte San Giovanni : authority, authenticity and ritual in Sardinia 141
The performance of heritage in a reconstructed, post-apartheid museum in Namibia 161
Haunted art : visiting an exhibit in Weimar 182
Enchantment and its dilemmas : the museum as a ritual site 209
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