First book in the National Museum project
One of the largest research projects ever at the Department of Cultural Studies has issues its first publication. National Museums – New Studies from Around the World now lies ready.
“This is great. And there are still seven or eight books to come. This is a huge task we’ve taken on,” says Peter Aronsson, professor of Cultural Heritage and the Uses of History in the Department of Cultural Studies.
“What’s greatest is that, through the project, we’ve helped a lot of younger researchers. There are around 200 people involved.”
European National Museums: Identity politics, the uses of the past and the European citizen (EUNAMUS) is financed by the EU Seventh Framework Programme, a 30-million-euro project that involves eight universities in Europe. In all, it deals with 25 years of work, with research that will cover development in 30 countries.
It’s a question of how national museums’ operations reflect the countries’ views of themselves, their growth, and their futures.
“The first book, National Museums – New Studies from Around the World, scans a diversity of museums; it has a broad perspective and also includes museums outside of Europe. In the future, there will be a focus on European national museums,” Aronsson says.
What’s been most surprising about the research results up to now?
“We started out from many of the lesser-known museums. And it’s striking how the museums of the former Eastern bloc, Poland and Romania for example, promote their country’s history. They’re both nationalistic and political; it’s obvious how they set the nations in relation to the Soviet state and point out the time under Soviet occupation as a parenthesis in history.
The editors-in-chief for National Museums – New Studies from Around the World (Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group) are, besides Aronsson, Arne Bugge Amundsen, professor at the University of Oslo, and Simon Knell, professor at the University of Leicester. The book is just over 500 pages and will be released in early November.
Last updated: 2010-10-19