Cuban Posters for African Liberation 1967–1989
Sandra H. Dudley and Conal McCarthy
Engaging Anthropological Legacies toward Cosmo-optimistic Futures?
Sharon Macdonald, Henrietta Lidchi, and Margareta von Oswald
How to deal with the legacies of colonial and other problematic pasts is a challenge shared by most museums of ethnography and ethnology. In this introduction to the following special section on the same topic, the section editors provide an overview and analysis of the burdens and potentials of the past in such museums. They set out different strategies that have been devised by ethnographic museums, identifying and assessing the most promising approaches. In doing so, they are especially concerned to consider the cosmopolitan potential of ethnographic museums and how this might be best realized. This entails explaining how the articles that they have brought together can collectively go beyond state-of-the-art approaches to provide new insight not only into the difficulties but also into the possibilities for redeploying ethnographic collections and formats toward more convivial and cosmo-optimistic futures.
Repatriation and Ritual, Repatriation as Ritual
Laura Peers, Lotten Gustafsson Reinius, and Jennifer Shannon
This special section of Museum Worlds explores the entire process of repatriation as a set of rituals enacted by claimants and museum staff: a set of highlighted performances enacting multiple sets of cosmological beliefs, symbolic systems, and political structures. Some of the rituals of repatriation occur within the space of Indigenous ceremonies; others happen within the museum spaces of collections storage and the boardroom; others, such as handover ceremonies, are coproduced and culturally hybrid. From the often obsessive bureaucracy associated with repatriation claims to the affective moment of handover, repatriation articulates a moral landscape where memory, responsibility, guilt, identity, sanctity, place, and ownership are given a ritual form. Theory about ritual is used here to situate the articles in this section, which together form a cross-cultural examination of ritual meaning and form across repatriation processes.
Edited by H. C.
Raphael de Kadt
Mimi Sheller and Gijs Mom
A Focus on the History of Concepts
The special section “Knowledge Quests in the European Periphery” attempts to explore the different ways in which conceptual history’s methodologies could be applied to disciplines with which traditional conceptual historians have not previously engaged, such as the history of science, political economy, Enlightenment studies, postcolonial history, and transnational history. This special section, when read as a whole, opens up a multidisciplinary space in which center-periphery tensions are examined in the context of conceptual transnational exchange. Coming from different geographical places and cultural spaces within the European periphery, the three case studies draw their methodological background from conceptual history and aim to reflect on the center-periphery dichotomy by asking how historians from different historiographical traditions could take advantage of the methods and theories of conceptual history, as well as how conceptual history could take advantage of the coming together of disciplines that traditionally do not communicate with each other.
Owen White and Elizabeth Heath
This introduction to the dossier “Wine, Economy, and Empire” surveys the place of economic history in the field of French Empire studies over the last twenty years. Drawing upon the concept of “economic life” as defined by William Sewell, the authors argue that a renewed focus on economic activity within the French Empire offers new opportunities to interrogate commonplace ideas about chronology, imperial forms, and structures of power. The article briefly examines some of the specific avenues of inquiry opened by a conception of economic life as socially “embedded,” while highlighting recent works that exemplify the possibilities of this approach for scholars of empire.