Museums, Scholarly Enterprise and Global Assemblages: A Response to ‘Artifacts and Allegiances: How Museums Put the Nation and the World on Display’

Journal article


Dewdney, A (2016). Museums, Scholarly Enterprise and Global Assemblages: A Response to ‘Artifacts and Allegiances: How Museums Put the Nation and the World on Display’. Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power. 24 (1), pp. 6-12.
AuthorsDewdney, A
Abstract

In considering the outlines of the emerging global cosmos of which museums and received notions of liberal cosmopolitanism are a small historical part, we now have to consider the movement of capital and labour, the continuation of the military-industrial complex, climate change and the human relationship with other species. This is the new global assemblage and, as in any network, we should be able to discern, as in the manner of fractals, the elements of the whole within specific networks or sub-assemblages. One of the problems with the way the ethnography of the book treats the movement of people is as a social reality external to the museum. This has a number of consequences for how the museum assemblage is constructed. The impact of the migration of people is seen as something museums have to adapt to, rather than as part of the assemblage of the museum itself. Levitt is right in pointing to migration as a crucial factor in the future of human habitation, culture and communication: why then leave the movement of people within the museum, the museum’s audience, out of the account? Of course, there are serious conceptual, logistical and resource issues entailed in studying audiences in any depth and the project of the lone scholar is singularly ill equipped to undertake such research. But without some way of considering the practices of audiences, we know little of the cosmopolitan outlook or otherwise of the museum’s visitors.

KeywordsMuseums; Audience; Cosmopolitanism; 1601 Anthropology; 2002 Cultural Studies; Anthropology
Year2016
JournalIdentities: Global Studies in Culture and Power
Journal citation24 (1), pp. 6-12
PublisherGordon & Breach
ISSN1070-289X
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1080/1070289X.2016.1260021
Publication dates
Print28 Nov 2016
Publication process dates
Deposited20 Nov 2017
Accepted07 Jun 2016
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY 4.0
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https://openresearch.lsbu.ac.uk/item/87152

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