iSchool Colloquium Series presents: "Material objects and mobility at the British Museum: Developing technologies and new cultural partnerships"

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iSchool Colloquium Series presents: ``Material objects and mobility at the British Museum: Developing technologies and new cultural partnerships``, featuring guest speaker Jonathan King.

Date: Monday March 28, 2011
Time: 2:00pm – 3:30pm
Place: University of Toronto St. George Campus, Claude T. Bissell Building, 140 St. George Street, Room 224/225.

Abstract:  New technologies have transformed the way anthropology collections are used at the British Museum. Central to this is the way in which in the last decade the epistemology, or the nature of knowledge, within the museum has been transformed. Three interrelated developments brought this about: the availability of the collections on line, 1.8m objects since 2008; the foregrounding of the museum as a research institution, with a budgetary increase from £100,000 to £2m in eight years; and the development of partnerships with nations, museum corporations and individual peoples. This paper will look at the way the technologies of mobility have altered spatially defined cultural relationships between the Museum and overseas partners in the last five years.

Agency and hybridity are the guiding principles in this process – agency because the partnerships and projects arise from in-coming requests to the British Museum, hybridity because none of the projects derive from formulaic structures. Instead the partnerships are concerned with the two-way exercise of knowledge and power across distance. In each area and each continent these initiatives vary: in Africa partnerships arose out of requests for training, and are symbolised through the current circulating exhibition of Ife antiquities. In the Pacific partnerships are markedly different: currently with the National Museum in Canberra, around historic aboriginal collections, and an Australian season summer 2011; and with programs in Melanesia and Polynesia. In the Americas initiatives in the Andes (Ecuador and Peru), are matched with Middle American projects, and North American  relationships in the Arctic, Pacific Northwest and Great Lakes. These can be placed in the wider museum context , of initiatives in the Middle East and Asia, and the project A History of the World in 100 Objects.

For more information, please visit: http://www.ischool.utoronto.ca/news-events/colloquium/ischool-colloquium...

Event details
Date: 
Monday, 28 March, 2011 - 14:00
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