Held in Trust: Curiosity in Things

January 24-25, 2019, Otago Museum, Dunedin, New Zealand

A conference co-sponsored by Otago Museum and the Centre for Research on Colonial Culture, University of Otago

Call for papers

The history of museums has largely been framed under the rubric of colonial domination or building cathedrals of science. But what are the bigger stories that motivated the creation of the collections?

Objects have the capacity to tell stories of lives and communities that are interconnected over space and time. Objects are the tangible material world of scientific endeavour and during the nineteenth century trade in them boomed, yet accounts of the political context surrounding their discovery and translocation are overlooked.

Looking beyond object biographies, tales of eccentric collectors, acquisition and institutional histories, this conference foregrounds the global context of commercial trade and exchange networks that contributed to the patterns of knowledge discovery and creation. What then are the bigger stories of culture, economics and politics that formed our colonial museums?

We invite contributions that address the broad theme of knowledge production in the colonial museum.

Keynote speakers:

  • Professor Tony Ballantyne FRSNZ Co-director Centre for Research on Colonial Culture and Pro-Vice Chancellor Humanities, University of Otago
  • Professor Simon Ville, Senior Professor of Economic and Business History, School of Humanities and Social Inquiry in the Faculty of Law, Humanities and Arts, University of Woollongong
  • Associate Professor Conal McCarthy, Director of the Museum and Heritage Studies programme at Victoria University of Wellington.

Please send your abstract (max. 250 words) and one-page CV to crocc@otago.ac.nz.

For further information, please contact Rosi Crane at Rosi.Crane@otagomuseum.nz.

Deadline: September 15, 2018

Posted: July 24, 2018