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3 million Euros for Culture Studies

Tema Q: Culture Studies has received close to 3 million Euros from the EU's Seventh Framework Programme to conduct three years of research on the role of national museums in shaping national identity politics in Europe.

What do the museums mean for national identity, how do they express who we are and what knowledge is used to build the image of nations and nationality. These are some of the issues that the EU project will seek to illuminate.

“National Museums are not just buildings but also bastions of knowledge and cultural institutions, attractions and workplaces. All aspects are to be investigated”, says Peter Aronsson, professor of History and Cultural Heritage at Tema Q, which coordinates the project.

The project is called European National Museums: Identity politics, the uses of the past and the European citizenship and is one of two research projects in social sciences / humanities coordinated by a Swedish university to receive funding from the Seventh Framework Programme.

Eight universities in Hungary, Estonia, Great Britain, Greece, Norway, France, Italy and Sweden are participating in the project, which is the largest ever at the Department for Studies of Social Change and Culture, of which Tema Q is a part.

There are plans for the equivalent of 25 full-time researchers studying developments in 30 countries with a focus on politicians’ planning, how historical conflicts have been handled, how stories have been created and received by visitors in different countries.

Tema Q has at least five researchers and a number of visiting researchers involved in the project.

“There are big differences between how national museums in different parts of Europe create self-images and the differences have a bearing on how European and national identities evolve”, says Peter Aronsson.

In the past three years, six international conferences on national museums and their role in national identity politics have been held thanks to funding from the EU’s Marie Curie Actions initiative. They have made it possible to identify the research in this field and build a large network of researchers.

Peter Aronsson is already planning for the future.

“We want to know more about the role that cultural institutions such as libraries, archives and national museums play and can play in the development of cultural heritage and the identities that are being created today”.


Therese Winder 2009-11-18




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Last updated: 2009-11-18