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Democratizing the Digital Collection

New Players and New Pedagogies in Three-Dimensional Cultural Heritage

Jane-Heloise Nancarrow

“Digital heritage carries the potential to unmoor images from their material forms and surroundings and thereby offer novel forms of revitalization, reintegration, and possession.” ( Phillips 2011 ) Like many technologies of the “new museum,” three

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The End of the Beginning

Normativity in the Postdigital Museum

Ross Parry

This article is an attempt to frame a way of seeing museums after the digital revolution. By introducing the concept of the ‘postdigital’, its aim is to evidence a tipping point in the adoption of new media in the museum—a moment where technology has become normative. The intention is not to suggest that digital media today is (or, indeed, should be) universally and equally adopted and assimilated by all museums, but rather to use the experience of several (national) museums to illustrate the normative presence digital media is having within some organizational strategies and structures. Having traced this perceived normativity of technology in these localized institutional settings, the article then attempts to reflect upon the consequences that the postdigital and the normative management of new media have for our approach to museological research.

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Exhibitions as Research

Displaying the Technologies That Make Bodies Visible

Anita Herle

Drawing on a recent exhibition, Assembling Bodies: Art, Science and Imagination, at the University of Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (MAA), this article argues that curatorial techniques, involving a sustained engagement with objects, can play a vital role in anthropological research. Processes involved in the creation and reception of the exhibition facilitated the investigation of how bodies are composed, known, and acted upon in different times, places, and disciplinary contexts. Assembling Bodies attempted to transcend the dualism of subject and object, people and things, by demonstrating how different technologies for making bodies visible bring new and oft en unexpected forms into focus. Processes of exploration and experimentation continued after the exhibition opened in the discussions and activities that the displays stimulated, and in the reflections and ideas that visitors took away.

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Introduction

Museums, Power, Knowledge

Tony Bennett

Michel Foucault argues that truth is not to be emancipated from power. Given that museums have played a central role in these “regimes of truth,” Foucault’s work was a reference point for the debates around “the new museology” in the 1980s and remains so for contemporary debates in the field. In this introduction to a new volume of selected essays, the use of Foucault’s work in my previous research is considered in terms of the relations between museums, heritage, anthropology, and government. In addition, concepts from Pierre Bourdieu, science and technology studies, Actor Network Theory, assemblage theory, and the post-Foucaultian literature on governmentality are employed to examine various topics, including the complex situation of Indigenous people in contemporary Australia.

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James L. Flexner

concern with communities is likewise visible in evolving practices of the Laboratory of Archaeology at the University of British Columbia (Roth). A number of case studies examine the growing role of new technologies in museum archaeology. The use of online

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Repatriation as Inspiration

Multigenerational Perspectives on American Archaeology-Museum Relationships

April M. Beisaw and Penelope H. Duus

raises the question as to whether museums still need objects, or at least originals, given all that we can do with technology (e.g., Dawson et al. 2011 ). Celebrating heritage brought a new set of concerns over authenticity and authority. Larry J

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“The Changing of the Guards”?

British Prehistoric Collections and Archaeology in the Museums of the Future

Catherine. J. Frieman and Neil Wilkin

British Museum, to discuss the opportunities offered by emerging digital technologies both for research and for public engagement (as well as the complex relationship between the two). Finally, we will build on these case studies to present some broader

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Steamships to Suffragettes

A Case Study of Interpretative Museology, Public Engagement, and Digital Development

Nicolas Bigourdan, Kevin Edwards, and Michael McCarthy

technologies, and also a geographic information system (GIS) representation linking the remains on the wreck to the position of the artifacts raised in traditional databases (such as FileMaker Pro). While such programs have been implemented by a number of

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“We Owe a Historical Debt to No One”

The Reappropriation of Photographic Images from a Museum Collection

Helen Mears

awareness of their ethnic identity while living and studying outside Burma. Thus were the conditions for an emerging cosmopolitanism established, and then mobilized by increased access to communication technologies. Facebook in particular offered an

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Conjunctures and Convergences

Remaking the World Cultures Displays at the National Museum of Scotland

Henrietta Lidchi

curiosity, advancing knowledge and learning, and encouraging appreciation of science, culture, technology, and art. In all these discussions of universalism, we have various proposals as to the role of museums in fostering a cosmopolitan consciousness in its