Anthropological Traditions, Critical Theory and Museological Diversity 
Sachiko Kubota (Kobe University)
Anthony Shelton (University of British Columbia)
Kenji Yoshida (National Museum of Ethnology)
SOAS Senate House - S311
Saturday 2 June, 14:30-16:00, 16:30-18:00 (UTC+0)

Short Abstract:

This panel will examine the motivation and operation, ideologies, policy and social situations of local people surrounding diverse anthropological and Ethnological museums in the world. We invite papers on these topics from comparative point of view.

Long Abstract

Recent years have focused on the diversity of Anthropological schools and their influence in constructing distinct variants of museum ethnography. Historically ethnographic discussion was largely dominated by Anglo centric anthropology. The committee on World Anthropologies of the American Anthropological Associations and the World Council of Anthropological Associations have attempted to acknowledge and correct this bias. Moreover in June 2017, the first conference on international museologies was held in Mexico City. In a similar vein, this panel will apply some of the insights developed in these meetings to discuss the diversity and differences of anthropological/ethnological museums including local and indigenous museums worldwide.

The Anthropological museums were built in many European countries in the early 19th century. They strongly reflected the colonial history. Whereas in other area, such as in Asia and Africa, anthropological museums were built in latter half of the 20th century, which clearly show the different social context of their establishment and also their distinct idea and social meanings.

The social background and the concept behind the establishment of the local and/or indigenous peoples museums are diverse and require further detailed research. Some were built from outside initiative to preserve local distinctive culture. While others were motivated by the commercial interest of local people. This panel will examine the comparative motivation and operation, ideologies, policy, attitude and social situations of local populations surrounding diverse museum models. By examining the museums comparatively, we will more easily facilitate an understanding of the widening cultural difference surrounding the world's museums.

Accepted papers: