Across Anthropology

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Reframing anthropology: contemporary art, curatorial practice, postcolonial activism, and museums
How can we rethink anthropology beyond itself? In this book, twenty-one artists, anthropologists, and curators grapple with how anthropology has been formulated, thought, and practised ‘elsewhere’ and ‘otherwise’. They do so by unfolding ethnographic case studies from Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Poland – and through conversations that expand these geographies and genealogies of contemporary exhibition-making. This collection considers where and how anthropology is troubled, mobilised, and rendered meaningful.

Across Anthropology charts new ground by analysing the convergences of museums, curatorial practice, and Europe’s reckoning with its colonial legacies. Situated amid resurgent debates on nationalism and identity politics, this book addresses scholars and practitioners in fields spanning the arts, social sciences, humanities, and curatorial studies.    

Preface by Arjun Appadurai. Afterword by Roger Sansi

Contributors: Arjun Appadurai (New York University), Annette Bhagwati (Museum Rietberg, Zurich), Clémentine Deliss (Berlin), Sarah Demart (Saint-Louis University, Brussels), Natasha Ginwala (Gropius Bau, Berlin), Emmanuel Grimaud (CNRS, Paris), Aliocha Imhoff and Kantuta Quirós (Paris), Erica Lehrer (Concordia University, Montreal), Toma Muteba Luntumbue (Ecole de Recherche Graphique, Brussels), Sharon Macdonald (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), Wayne Modest (Research Center for Material Culture, Leiden), Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung (SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin), Margareta von Oswald (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), Roger Sansi (Barcelona University), Alexander Schellow (Ecole de Recherche Graphique, Brussels), Arnd Schneider (University of Oslo), Anna Seiderer (University Paris 8), Nanette Snoep (Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum, Cologne), Nora Sternfeld (Kunsthochschule Kassel), Anne-Christine Taylor (Paris), Jonas Tinius (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

Ebook available in Open Access.
This publication is GPRC-labeled (Guaranteed Peer-Reviewed Content).

List of images


Introduction: Across Anthropology
Margareta von Oswald and Jonas Tinius

Museums and the Savage Sublime
Arjun Appadurai

Transforming the Ethnographic : Anthropological Articulations in Museum and Heritage Research
Sharon Macdonald

“Museums are Investments in Critical Discomfort”
A conversation with Wayne Modest

Frontiers of the (Non)Humanly (Un)Imaginable : Anthropological Estrangement and the Making of Persona at the Musée du Quai Branly
Emmanuel Grimaud

“On Decolonising Anthropological Museums : Curators Need to Take ‘Indigenous’ Forms of Knowledge More Seriously”
A conversation with Anne-Christine Taylor

Troubling Colonial Epistemologies in Berlin’s Ethnologisches Museum : Provenance Research and the Humboldt Forum
Margareta von Oswald

“Against the Mono-Disciplinarity of Ethnographic Museums”
A conversation with Clementine Deliss

Resisting Extraction Politics : Afro-Belgian Claims, Women’s Activism, and the Royal Museum for Central Africa
Sarah Demart

“Finding Means to Cannibalise the Anthropological Museum”
A conversation with Toma Muteba Luntumbue

Animating Collapse: Reframing Colonial Film Archives
Alexander Schellow and Anna Seiderer

“Translating the Silence”
A conversation with le peuple qui manque

Art-Anthropology Interventions in the Italian Post-Colony : The Scattered Colonial Body Project
Arnd Schneider

“Dissonant Agents and Productive Refusals”
A conversation with Natasha Ginwala

Porous Membranes : Hospitality, Alterity, and Anthropology in a Berlin District Gallery
Jonas Tinius

“What happens in that space in-between and beyond this relation”
A conversation with Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung

Material Kin : “Communities of Implication” in Post-Colonial, Post-Holocaust Polish Ethnographic Collections
Erica Lehrer

“Suggestions for a Post-Museum”
A conversation with Nanette Snoep

Representation of Culture(s) : Articulations of the De/Post-Colonial at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin
Annette Bhagwati

“How Do We Come Together in a World that Isolates Us?”
A conversation with Nora Sternfeld

The Trans-Anthropological, Anachronism, and the Contemporary
Roger Sansi

List of contributors

Visual constellations across the fields

Some lists to inspire the reader


Publication: June 18, 2020