Otherwise: Rethinking Museums and Heritage

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, 27-28 July 2017

As part of the World Cafe section of the Centre for Anthropological Research in Museums and Heritage (CARMAH) 2 day symposium Otherwise: Rethinking Museums and Heritage, I was invited to host a table on ‘hauntology’. Abstract below.

First defined by Derrida in “Spectres of Marx”, the term ‘hauntology’ asks us to consider the affective force of what is no longer present, and to acknowledge the failed futures that haunt contemporary life. In this sense hauntology offers a useful vector for rethinking museums and heritage in a way that revitalises their relation to the injustices, exclusions and disturbances of the world. How can we work with or against the absent presences (human and non-human) that are central to the heritage field? What forms of collecting, display and interpretation are required to confront the hauntological within society? How might an aesthetics of the ‘ghostly’ inform meaningful political action in the present? This table will address these and other questions as part of a critical-creative exploration of the hauntology/heritage dynamic.

CARMAH, Otherwise 2017

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