Ethn05
Morality and material culture studies

Convenors:
Gretchen Stolte (University of Western Australia)
Stream:
Ethnographic theory and practice
Location:
Babel 204
Start time:
3 December, 2015 at 11:00
Session slots:
3

Short abstract:

This panel will explore the concept of morality in material culture studies, exploring issues unique to the discipline and how researchers and participants navigate such moralities. The papers in this panel reflect on the morality of material studies using case studies from across the globe.

Long abstract:

This panel explores the concept of morality in material culture studies, exploring issues unique to the discipline and how researchers and participants navigate such moralities. From artworks to artefacts, 'material culture' is broadly defined in order to fully explore the question: do material culture studies have a morality? Of main concern is the definition of morality within material culture studies. Arguably, morality could be defined as the ethics and perceived responsibilities of parties engaged with or working with objects of cultural significance. Such parties include cultural institutions, curators, source communities, government agencies and researchers. This panel has contributions from a wide variety of fields and backgrounds such as anthropology, art history, and museum studies working with material culture in a variety of capacities. The panel will discuss: the representation of objects, consultation and/or collaboration in the development of exhibitions, repatriation of material in museum collections, exhibition development in general, cultural protocols surrounding permissions of displaying objects, cross-cultural object encounters and artistic practices.