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Hybridity--Objects as Contact Zones

A Critical Analysis of Objects in the West African Collections at the Manchester Museum

Emma K. Poulter

Bringing together a retheorization of the “contact zone” (Pratt 1992; Clifford 1997) and the idea of hybridity, this article uses these concepts as analytic tools to raise questions about the meaning and materiality of objects in the collections at the Manchester Museum. Through a series of case studies I illustrate how connections spanning centuries between West Africa and the northwest of England are embodied in museum collections. By focusing on the materiality of museum objects it is possible to unravel these connections, as well as the fractions and fissures they point to.

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Book Review Essays and Reviews

Kylie Message, Eleanor Foster, Joanna Cobley, Shih Chang, John Reeve, Grace Gassin, Nadia Gush, Esther McNaughton, Ira Jacknis, and Siobhan Campbell

Engagement at the Whitworth and Manchester Museum, has said, the pursuit of museum activism is only valuable if “We [museum practitioners and scholars] … speak to people who feel and think differently to us” (214). Our comments from this point extend from