Session Detail (parallel) Panel 25: Museums as “Engineered” Environments – A Dialogic Approach to Researching Museum Collections Coordinator(s) Elizabeth Bonshek, Lindy Allen Session presentation
Anthropological practice in museums continues to be criticised as anachronistic, “weary” and “tired”, and museums as trophy houses embedded in the colonial past. This panel challenges this notion with papers that actively contest this notion and instead reveal the museum as an active field site―albeit an engineered environment― where Pacific communities, artists, anthropologists, and curators are undertaking research collaborations on museum collections.
The things in museums provide a unique and tangible link to events, to places, to people and to customary practices and knowledge from the past, and the panel seeks to give focus to how these research engagements have impacted on or been part of the recovery and reshaping of knowledge and identity.
This work is underpinned by a dialogic approach where multiple and differing perspectives about these “things” are elicited, where ideas and understandings are exchanged and interchanged, and where new knowledge, meanings and narratives about the past emerge. We seek to reveal the nuanced and complex nature of interactions in museums as engineered environments and how these engagements sit apart from the now longstanding narrative of decolonisation and Indigenous-colonial settler relationships that currently pervade much anthropological, historical writings about museums and museum collections. To submit a paper, please follow these instructions: Create an account at pacific-studies.net, or, if you already have one, log in, then come back to this page. You can create an account, log in, update your profile or ask for a password reminder at any time from the homepage in the member's corner. Having an account will allow you to easily submit papers in future conferences as well, and it will enhance your visibility and that of Pacific Studies in general.