WeberWorldCafé „Museum, Power, and Identity“

On June plakat wwc11, 2015 the Max Weber Stiftung and the Forum Transregionale Studien invite you to the third WeberWorldCafé.  It will take place from 3-8 pm at the Museen Dahlem in Berlin (Lansstr. 8). Under the title „Museum, Power, and Identity“, experts from Amsterdam, Berlin, Delhi, Poitiers, Pretoria, New York and Vienna will discuss implications of exhibiting non-European art and the question what stories the objects in museum collections can tell us today. Due to limited space please register with your name and affiliation via if you would like to attend.

We particularly invite students, young scholars and the interested public to discuss with: Mathias Alubafi (Pretoria), Beatrice von Bismarck (Leipzig), Miriam Brusius (Oxford), Sophie Engelhardt (Berlin),Menno Fitski (Amsterdam), Britta Hochkirchen (Bielefeld), Paola Ivanov (Berlin), Axel Michaels (Heidelberg), Nabila Oulebsir (Poitiers), Monika Pessler (Wien), Verena Rodatus (Berlin), Avinoam Shalem (New York), Wendy Shaw (Berlin), Kavita Singh (Neu-Delhi), Mathilde ter Heijne (Kassel), Dorothea von Hantelmann (Kassel).

The WeberWorldCafé „Museum, Power and Identity” is organized by the Max Weber Stiftung – Deutsche Geisteswissenschaftliche Institute im Ausland and Art Histories and Aesthetic Practices, a research program at the Forum Transregionale Studien in cooperation with the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.

The 19th and early 20th centuries are the time of the great foundations and expansions of museums in Europe. In many cases, the museum collections are closely tied to the colonial and national histories of their respective countries. The systems for ordering objects from all over the world in separate collections, for example in museums for Asian or Islamic art, in painting galleries for European art, or in ethnological museums, still play an important role today. In many cases, museums’ ordering systems reflect the national narratives of the 19th century and the myth formation of national identities.

By displaying the artifacts of past cultures, on the one hand, and foreign cultures, on the other, the collections offered themselves as grand stories of the birth and progress of civilization. How can the same works of art, artifacts, and objects be exhibited today without falling into controversial categories like “Europe” and “the Other”? How is it possible to deal productively with a distinction between art, ethnology or history, and material culture? What stories can the objects in museum collections tell today?

At the WeberWorldCafé “Museum, Power, and Identity” on June 11, 2015 in the Museen Dahlem, Berlin, we may discuss these and other questions at different tables with the following table hosts:

1. Identity, Language and Museum: Dr. des. Britta Hochkirchen (Universität Bielefeld), Dr. Nabila Oulebsir (University of Poitiers)

2. Cultural Heritage, Belonging and Ownership: Dr. Sophie Engelhardt (Mitarbeiterin der Staatsministerin für Kultur und Medien), Prof. Dr. Kavita Singh (Jawaharlal Nehru University)

3. Decolonizing Knowledge – Decolonizing Aesthetics: PD Dr. Paola Ivanov (Ethnological Museum Berlin), Prof. Dr. Wendy Shaw (Freie Universität Berlin)

4. The Practice of Curating: Prof. Dr. Beatrice von Bismarck (Universität Leipzig), Menno Fitski (Rijksmuseum Amsterdam)

5. Object Biographies and Theory of Things: Dr. des. Verena Rodatus (Ethnological Museum Berlin), Prof. Dr. Avinoam Shalem (Columbia University)

6. Ritual and Performance: Prof. Dr. Mathias Alubafi (Human Sciences Research Council, Pretoria), Prof. Dr. Axel Michaels (Universität Heidelberg)

7. Artistic Intervention: Prof. Mathilde ter Heijne (Kunsthochschule Kassel), Prof. Dr. Dorothea von Hantelmann (Kunsthochschule Kassel)

8. The Archive and the Unconscious: Dr. Mirjam Brusius (Oxford University), Monika Pessler (Sigmund Freud Museum Wien)

The series WeberWorldCafés (WWC) is planned and organized by Gesche Schifferdecker (Max Weber Stiftung). The WWC on „Museum, Power and Identity“ is curated by Hannah Baader (Art Histories and Aesthetic Practices / Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz) and Stefanie Rentsch (Forum Transregionale Studien).

Find out more about the format and past WeberWorldCafés on our blog!

Max Weber Stiftung

The Max Weber Foundation promotes global research, focused on the areas of social sciences, cultural studies and the humanities. Our research is conducted at ten institutes in various countries across the globe with different and independent fields of focus. Through our globally operating institutes, we are able to contribute to the communication and networking between Germany and our host countries or regions. By promoting academic dialogue and merging academic and non-academic employees from several countries with different cultural backgrounds, the Max Weber Foundation is able to strengthen the internationalization of research.

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