Sharing Knowledge as a Step toward an Epistemological Pluralization of the Museum

in Museum Worlds
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  • 1 Ethnological Museum of Berlin a.scholz@smb.spk-berlin.de
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ABSTRACT

This article starts from the question of whether the concepts “cosmopolitan memory” and “shared heritage,” with their inherent universalism, are helpful when dealing with ethnographic collections from the Amazon. After presenting some historical context information on the collections in focus, I contrast different notions of “cosmopolitanism” and “cosmopolitics,” drawing on Latin American perspectives. The latter claim to represent an epistemological alternative to a Europe-centered cosmopolitan project. They propose a focus on difference, which in relation to the museum and its working processes means looking at the collections through the others’ lenses. This approach is applied to a collaborative research project between the Ethnological Museum of Berlin and an indigenous university in the Amazon, in order to document and reflect on the outcomes and dilemmas that have emerged thus far.

Contributor Notes

ANDREA SCHOLZ is a postdoctoral fellow at the Ethnological Museum of Berlin. In her current project, she focuses on and practices collaborative research between the museum and representatives from indigenous universities and organizations in Brazil, Colombia, and Venezuela. After receiving her doctorate in ethnology from the University of Bonn, she worked as a scientific assistant at the Ethnological Museum Berlin and at the Humboldt Lab Dahlem, where she directed the exhibition projects “Sharing Knowledge” and “Man-Object-Jaguar.” Her research interests include the material culture of the Amazon, museum research and practice, knowledge systems, collaborative methodologies, and legal anthropology. E-mail: a.scholz@smb.spk-berlin.de

Museum Worlds

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