Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality.

Accepted Paper:

A "museum of world cultures": the writing of a phantasm  
Mischa Twitchin (Goldsmiths, University of London)

Paper short abstract:

In what sense might the universalising of a "world cultures museum" imply a neo-colonial concept, distinct from any anticipated decolonising concept? And how does this concept distinguish itself from that of the "global contemporary art world"?

Paper long abstract:

In 2010, Neil MacGregor, then the director of the British Museum, published his best-selling book, "A History of the World in 100 Objects". Despite the varied dialogues that it contains, how is the temporality of a concept of "world cultures" addressed (indeed, promoted) between its distinct singularities of history, world, and object - each one drawn from the BM's own collection? Now part of the consultative committee of the Humboldt Forum, how does MacGregor's thinking about curating "cultures" compare with that of either Charles Esche or Olu Oguibe, for example? Furthermore, how does the idea of a "world cultures museum" address changes in the affordances of objects and their images in the digital era? And, of course, in what sense might the universalising of a "world cultures museum" be a neo-colonial concept, distinct from an anticipated decolonising one? Drawing on the example of an "ethnographic fiction" of my own - in the form of an essay-film, "Dahlem Dorf" ( - I will explore these questions as they challenge the scope of museum ethnography in relation to the so-called "global contemporary" art world.

Panel P124
Museums of world culture: history and future of an idea
  Session 1 Tuesday 14 August, 2018, -