Museum Temporalities - Research Center for Material Culture
27 November 2015

Museum Temporalities: Time, History and the Ethnographic Museum

Annual Conference | 26-27 Nov 2015 | RCMC

Museum Temporalities brings together scholars and curators to think critically about the often tense relationship between ethnographic curation and display and notions of time. 

Time, History and the Ethnographic Museum

How do ethnographic museums deal with temporal categories such as past, present and future? What role does history and memory play within these museums and how do they address their now contested histories of representation. Both in scholarly and popular debates ethnographic museums in the West have been accused of representing “others” as out of time, or as cultures of the past, or lacking contemporaneity. This conference looks critically at this relationship between time and the museum from multiple perspectives.

The conference will bring together an impressive list of speakers from across the world. Noted among them are Johannes Fabian, one of the most important anthropologies in recent years and Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, world renown theorist of performance and museums studies.

Additionally by bringing critical attention to questions of time, the conference will open up discussion on a topic that has received very little attention both in scholarly and non-scholarly debates on museum. Important among these debates is the ways in which ethnographic museums represent ‘others’ as out of time or ahistorical.

To view more videos of the Annual Conference, visit the RCMC YouTube channel.

Image: Mitra Tabrizian, Surveillance, 1990. TM-6412-1


Confirmed speakers include: Johannes Fabian (University of Amsterdam), Susan Crane (University of Arizona), Renata Peters (University College London), Peter Pels (Leiden University), Jenny Walklate (Leicester University), Cecilia Hurley (l’Université de Neuchâtel), Benoit de L'estoile (CNRS (CMH) and Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris), Genner Llanes Ortiz (Centre for Research and Higher Studies in Social Anthropology), Monique Scott (Bryn Mawr College), Riemer Knoop (Reinwardt Academy), Mary Bouquet (University College Utrecht), Philipp Schorch (Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich) and Frédéric Keck (Museum Quai Branly).