The history of European nation-building and identity formation is inextricably connected with museums, and the role they play in displaying the acquired spoils and glorious symbols of geopolitical power in order to mobilize public support for expansionist ventures. This book examines the contemporary debate surrounding the museum in postcolonial Europe.
Although there is no consensus on the European colonial experience, the process of decolonization in Europe has involved an examination of the museum’s place, and ethnic minorities and immigrants have insisted upon improved representation in the genealogies of European nation-states. Museological practices have been subjected to greater scrutiny in light of these political and social transformations. In addition to the refurbishment and restructuring of colonial-era museums, new spaces have also been inaugurated to highlight the contemporary importance of museums in postcolonial Europe, as well as the significance of incorporating the perspective of postcolonial European populations into these spaces.
This book includes contributions from leading experts in their fields and represents a comparative trans-historical and transcolonial examination which contextualises and reinterpretates to the legacies and experiences of European museums.
This book was published as a special issue of Africa and Black Diaspora: An International Journal.
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About the Author
Dominic Thomas is the Chair of the departments of French and Francophone Studies and Italian at the University of California Los Angeles, USA. He is the author of Nation-Building, Propaganda and Literature in Francophone Africa (Indiana University Press, 2002) and Black France: Colonialism, Immigration and Transnationalism (Indiana University Press, 2007).
Table of Contents
Museums in Postcolonial Europe/Postcolonial Europe in Museums: An Introduction - Dominic Thomas, University of California, Los Angeles, USA
Colonial Museums in a Post-Colonial Europe - Robert Aldrich, University of Sydney, Australia
"The Remains of the Day": The British and Commonwealth Museum - Corinna McLeod, Grand Valley State University
Finding a home in Hackney? Reimagining narratives of slavery through a multicultural community museum space - Zoe Norridge, New College, Oxford University, UK
Museum Practices and the Belgian Colonial Past: Questioning the Memories of an Ambivalent Metropole - Véronique Bragard and Stéphanie Planche, Belgium
Displaying Colonial Artifacts in Paris: Musée Permanent des Colonies to Musée du Quai Branly - Fassil Demissie, De Paul University, USA
Le Musée d’Art au Hasard: Responses of Black Paris to French Museum Culture - Bennetta Jules-Rosette and Erica Fontana, University of California San Diego, USA
Will the Musée du Quai Branly Show France the Way to Postcoloniality? - Herman Lebovics, SUNY – Stony Brook, USA
Still the Family Secret? The Representation of Colonialism in the Cité nationale de l’histoire de l’immigration - Mary Stevens, University College London, UK
Object/Subject Migration: The National Centre of the History of Immigration - Dominic Thomas, University of California, Los Angeles, USA