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Accepted Paper:

Representing Cultures in Peripheral Museums in Bulgaria: World, National, and Local Cultures in Ethnographic and Regional History Museums  
Cengiz Haksöz (Philipps-Universität Marburg)

Paper short abstract:

Museums place Bulgaria and its national culture into world culture and display its cultural aspirations. I evaluate museumification strategies, policies, and practices.

Paper long abstract:

Dominant groups and states have a monopoly in the construction of sites of collective memory or memoryscapes to reflect the dominant understanding of collective memory. However, dominant groups never could control all spheres of collective memory construction. Regional history and ethnographic museums in Bulgaria have served to affirm as well as to hegemonize dominant groups' ideologies and discourses. On the one hand, they serve to place Bulgaria and its national culture into world culture. On the other hand, museums also display the nation-state and later the state-socialist state's cultural aspirations. The nation-state controls how the world, national, and local cultures are going to be represented. Since the last decade of the state-socialism, local history museums are also used as venues of legitimization of forced name-changing campaigns against the Turkish-Muslim minorities. Even though there is some important modification in exhibitions of museums in larger cities during the post-1989 era and Bulgaria's EU accession, most of the peripheral museums' curations remained as they were during the state-socialism. This paper evaluates strategies, and politics of visibilities on the regional, national, and transnational levels in the cases of museumification policies and practices in peripheral Bulgaria.

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