Museums in the making - emerging modalities in East African independent museums

Hans, Rosalie (2018) Museums in the making - emerging modalities in East African independent museums. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

This research focuses on emerging independent museums in Kenya and Uganda, established since the 2000s, and the particular ways in which they are conceptualised in their east African context. It considers how museum-makers adapt and re-interpret the idea of a museum, reconfiguring the museum as a continuous process of translation that is fluid and changeable. While incorporating characteristics of ‘museumness’, such as the museum as knowledge repository, as a social technology and as a political entity, the independent museums are made up of several modalities at any point in time. They function as more than physical spaces and collections of material culture through the involvement of communities, the emphasis on larger cultural narratives and the utilisation of the museum as a vehicle for ethnic identity and visibility.

The thesis further investigates the ways in which east African independent museums are shaped by their relationships with national and international heritage actors. These larger networks of NGOs, national authorities and global organisations, such as ICOM and UNESCO, influence the on-going translation of the museum concept through the dissemination of a pervasive heritage and development discourse. Local to global interactions take place in the inverted ‘zone of contact’, where independent museums, located in the periphery, engage with international organisations in the centre, impacting upon thinking on museum development, standards and professionalism. As part of these negotiations, museum-makers conceive of their independent museums as nexuses of a rich cultural past and a prosperous future as well as potential instruments for social, economic and political recognition in the present.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Art, Media and American Studies
Depositing User: Gillian Aldus
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2018 10:34
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2018 10:34
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/69192
DOI:

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