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CuratopiaMuseums and the future of curatorship$
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Philipp Schorch and Conal McCarthy

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781526118196

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526118196.001.0001

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Collecting, curating and exhibiting cross-cultural material histories in a post-settler society

Collecting, curating and exhibiting cross-cultural material histories in a post-settler society

Chapter:
(p.244) 15 Collecting, curating and exhibiting cross-cultural material histories in a post-settler society
Source:
Curatopia
Author(s):

Bronwyn Labrum

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9781526118196.003.0016

This chapter considers social history in a post-colonial contest. It specifically examines how the history of the majority culture in a post-settler society has and might be curated. Using Aotearoa New Zealand as its case study, it considers the figure of the Pakeha (non-indigenous) curator in relation to, and also in contrast with, indigenous collections and displays. What does a history curator look like in a post-settler society? Does the history curator continue the mutual asymmetry that has characterised relations and curatorial endeavours? Or is there a way to recognise cross-cultural material histories? In considering the development of history, and specifically social history, it suggests that a more useful concept is material history, rather than historical material cultures studies. The rest of the chapter ranges across a broad range of material history, including fashion and clothing, and design, to consider how contemporary museums deal with everyday life and its material aspects in museums, which are still to a large extent focussed on discrete objects and forms of material culture, and which carry the burden of the historical development of their collections into a post-settler world.

Keywords:   Museum, social history, material history, colonial, settler, curator, Aotearoa New Zealand

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