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FRIHUMSAM-Fri hum og sam

Negotiating 'Indigeneity': museums, indigenous cultural heritage, and indigenous activism

Awarded: NOK 1.3 mill.

Research findings suggest that: 1)Indigenous Peoples all over the world are increasingly involved in the curation of their heritage in museums, in connection to a global movement of indigenous revitalization. 2)A number of challenges, issues and concerns (e.g. fights for land rights, language rights and political self-representation) are shared among Indigenous groups in Taiwan, Norway, Canada and the USA. These issues find expression in museums. 3)The demands of Indigenous Peoples to museums are transforming museum theory and practice in complex ways discussed in my outputs. MONOGRAPHS forthcoming 2016 Museums and Indigenous Peoples. Rethinking museum theory and practice through indigenous perspectives. 'Museum meanings', London: Routledge. 2014 Museums in China. The politics of representation after Mao, 'Heritage Matters', Boydell & Brewer.ISBN 9781843838883 EDITED VOLUMES /JOURNAL SPECIAL ISSUES 2016 (in preparation) Spectacular bodies: The body problem in museums and exhibitions, co-editor with B. Brenna, A. Hjemdahl, S. O. Mathisen. 'Museum meanings' London: Routledge (tbc) 2015 (in press) 'Rethinking Sámi Cultures in Museums', co-editor with S. O. Mathisen, E. Silven, R. Ragazzi. special issue, Journal of Nordic Museology. PEER-REVIEWED ARTICLES 2016 (forthcoming) A kaleidoscopic vision: exhibiting and imagining the Viking Past in Fra Istid Til Kvitekrist, Primitive Tider special issue. 2015 Crafting Heritage: Artisans and the Making of Indigenous Heritage in Contemporary Taiwan, International Journal of Heritage Studies, 21(10):1036-1049. 2014 Polysemic objects and partial translations: Museums and the Interpretation of Indigenous Material Culture in Taiwan, Museum Anthropology 37(2): 102-117. 2013 Controversial indigeneity: museums representing non-officially recognized indigenous groups in Taiwan, Journal of Nordic Museology, 2:17-32. BOOK CHAPTERS 2016 (submitted) Materializing the past: mannequins, history, and memories in Chinese and Taiwanese museums, in M. Varutti, B. Brenna, A.S. Hjemdahl and S. O. Mathisen (eds) Spectacular bodies: The body problem in museums and exhibitions, London: Routledge (tbc) 2013 Learning to share knowledge. Collaborative projects between national and indigenous museums in Taiwan, in Golding V. & Wayne M. (eds), Museums and Communities: Curators, Collections and Collaboration, Oxford:Berg. OTHER SCIENTIFIC PUBLICATIONS 2016 (forthcoming) Entre silence et activisme: le rôle des musées taiwanais dans la reconnaissance indigène, Exposer, s'exposer: de quoi le musée est-il le contemporain?, Museum of the Civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean Publishing. 2014 [Book Review] European Museums in the 21st century, vol.1,2,3, Basso Peressut ed, Journal of Nordic Museology 1:122-128. 2013 [Exhibition Review] Villa Sovietica, Journal of Museum Ethnography 26:150-175. 2012 [Book Review] The lives of Chinese objects, L.Tythacott, JRAI 18(4):889-890. ORGANIZATION OF SEMINARS/CONFERENCES > Co-organizer (with S. O. Mathisen, E. Silven, R. Ragazzi) international conference Rethinking Sami cultures in museums, UiO 26-28 Nov 2014. > 2012-15: co-organizer, Museological lunch seminars, IKOS, UiO. TEACHING 2012- ongoing, lecturer, Master in Museology IKOS, UiO. 2012-2015, lecturer, School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester, UK. Since 2013: PhD student co-supervision, S. Bollo, thesis Chinese cultures on display, URPP Asia & Europe, University of Zürich/CH. INVITED PRESENTATIONS (most recent) 2015 (forthcoming) Transformative dialogues between museums and Indigenous Peoples, Museological Seminars, IKOS. 2015 Transformative dialogues between museums and indigenous artists. Notes from Taiwan, workshop Museums, Contact Zones and Innovating Heritage, UiT Museum, Tromsø,June. 2015 Objects, (non-)narratives and 'museum times, workshop Time and the Non-Narrative, IKOS, Moss, May. 2014 Public debate on repatriation, Kulturhistorisk Museum, UiO. Invited discussant, Nov. GRANT APPLICATIONS 2015: Exploring and Theorizing Indigenous Museums, ERC Starting Grants; short-listed, not successful. Only 4 candidates short-listed from UiO, only me for humanities. - Exploring and Theorizing Indigenous Museums, revised, NFR FRIHUM - Learning from the borderland: the new museum ethics emerging from pioneering museum practice. Group project, NFR KULMEDIA. Not successful. - Beyond Repatriation. Individual sub-project, Contact-Zones led by R. Ragazzi, UiT, for submission to HERA. 2014 conference grants: Norwegian Sámi Parliament, Fritt Ord Foundation, Inst. for Comparative Research in Human Culture, 2013 Kulturhistorie Museum, UiO (with G. Gowlland UiO/SOAS) collection grant. RESEARCH VISITS Feb-Mar 2015: School of Museum Studies, Leicester Univ. (UK) Jun-Jul 2014: Museum of Anthropology, British Columbia Univ, Canada. Feb-Aug 2013: College of Indigenous Studies, Donghwua Univ. Taiwan. Pedagogical Skills course, 100 hours, UiO.

Indigenous activism is increasingly engaging museums in demands for social justice, yet this phenomenon remains under-researched and poorly understood. Recent scholarship in museum studies has examined how museum initiatives have enabled indigenous group s to re-appropriate their cultural heritage. These analyses however have not taken into account the actions of indigenous activists and their impact on museum practice. At the same time, activism has emerged as a major theme in studies of indigenous movem ents, yet the central role of cultural heritage in indigenous activists' actions has not been addressed. Overlooking the interplay of activism and museums impedes a full understanding of contemporary processes of (re)definition of indigenous identities. This research project thus aims to further the understanding of the relationship between museums and indigenous activism. Theoretically, the study brings together, and builds upon, three areas of research: museum studies, indigenous studies and material c ulture studies. Methodologically, the project deploys an interdisciplinary research tool-kit combining methods in museum studies and social anthropology. Empirically, the investigation focuses on Taiwan and, to a lesser extent and in a comparative perspec tive, on Norway. In both settings, museums, indigenous cultural heritage, and indigenous activists play a key role in the ongoing (re)definition of indigenous identities. Research findings from Taiwan and Norway will be examined and interpreted in relatio n to other international contexts (including Australia, Canada and USA). The research is likely to open up a new field of enquiry in museum studies by generating new insights - relevant also to anthropology, culture studies and socio-political research - that illuminate the relationship between indigenous activism and museums, and the role of cultural heritage in the politics of representation of indigenous groups.

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