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1999/2 Summaries

From Nordisk Museologi 1999/2, SUMMARY pp. 3-14

Torun Ekeland

The Didactics of Museums as a Dilemma of  the Accounters of Knowledge

This article focuses on the didactics of museums by comparing the representation of pre-history in school textbooks and museum texts respectively: the arrangements of artifacts and the written texts.
A major change occurred at the beginning of the 20th century, along with the emergence of the modern project, when the focus of both expressions was directed towards the users, the students and the museum public. In the modern period, historical memory was connected to a specific didactics which later underwent a process of transformation. This transformation first became evident in school textbooks.
The article argues that the didactics of the modern project, which has explained acquiring of knowledge as a receptive process, has been the basis of the didactics in modern museum design. This understanding is questioned today.
In archaeology there is a recognition that multiple stories may interact, and that there is no Archimedes point. This article suggests that this recognition must motivate the encouragement of multiple presentations in museums. The knowledge accounters must offer associative options by constructing knowledge which presents different explanations of how we have understood the past, with reference to material culture. If museums see themselves as part of the ongoing social discourse, the task is not to instruct the public, but to operate as an interface between various stories or expressions of the artifacts they present.

Torun Ekeland arbeider som høgskolelektor ved seksjon for kultur- og samfunnsfag ved Høgskolen i Finnmark, Alta.
Adr: Høgskolen i Finnmark, Seksjon for Kultur- og Samfunnsfag, Follums vei 31, N-9500 Alta
Email: torune@hifm.no

From Nordisk Museologi 1999/2, SUMMARY pp. 15-22

Ritva Palviainen

The role of museum education at a university of the Third Age

Museum education is most often connected with the cooperation between museums, preschools and schools. The best known teaching methods are traditional guided museum visits and workshops. Museum education is often considered as a supplement to exhibitions. Museums have much more to give. Museums have the expertise of their personnel, their collections, archives, publications and research, which reach outside the museum walls to the cultural landscape, built environment, sites and monuments - to everyone's everyday experience. All these offer diverse alternatives for many different ways of teaching and for lifelong learning. Museum education is, indeed, for all and museums should have the competence to handle and offer adult education too.
The Museum of Central Finland and The University of the Third Age in Jyväskylä, Finland, have worked in cooperation for a long time. The seminar on Tradition (or Cultural heritage) and Oral History has been held every second year since 1993. The students are senior citizens, interested in cultural heritage, history, discussion and writing. The seminar gives them theoretical and practical tools for recording heritage and for writing about it. The aim of the seminar is to produce a publication based on the articles written by the students. The photographs and other pictures come mainly from their own or other private collections. Three illustrated paperback books edited by the seminar leader have been published to date. The seminar was accepted as a case study for a Socrates Project in Adult Education and the Museum sponsored by the European Commission.

Ritva Palviainen är museilektor vid Mellersta Finlands museum, Jyväskylä.
Adr: Mellersta Finlands museum, PB 634, SF-40101 Jyväskylä
Fax +358-14 624 933
email: ritva.palviainen@jkl.fi

From Nordisk Museologi 1999/2, SUMMARY pp. 45-54

Göran Bolin

Bourdieu, filmswappers and the æsthetics of video nasties

The article discusses different ways of arguing cultural value among Swedish Film Swappers. Against a background of theories on taste as a structuring principle for social status, the author discusses on the one hand a countercultural aesthetic strategy aimed at legitimating otherwise illegitimate cultural artifacts such as video nasties (video films with graphically explicit depictions of physical violence) by either incorporating them into the legitimate film canon, or by replacing the legitimate canon with a new canon based on such films, and on the other hand a subcultural strategy that refuses to discuss the films in terms of art and legitimacy at all. The paradoxical outcome of these strategies is that the individuals comprising the subculturally informed aesthetic disposition are afforded the highest positions within the social field of the Film Swappers, although they also are excluded and deprived of such positions if regarded in relation to the whole social field of film tastes.

Göran Bolin, FD, är lektor i medie- och kommunikationsvetenskap vid Södertörns högskola
Adr: Medie- och kommunikationsvetenskap, Södertörns högskola, Box 4101, S-141 04 Huddinge
Fax: +46-(0)8 585 88 080
e-mail: goran. bolin@sh.se

From Nordisk Museologi 1999/2, SUMMARY pp. 87-110

Claes Hallgren

Hjalmar Stolpe (1841-1905) ethnographer and curator

The paper portrays Hjalmar Stolpe (1841-1905), a Swedish archæologist and ethnographer, best known for his excavations of Birka, the famous Viking Age site west of Stockholm. He is less known as an ethnographer although his research on the development of ornamentation has gained some international recognition. His ambition to popularize ethnography in exhibitions is the focus of the paper.
His contemporary, the anthropologist Franz Boas (1858-1942), conceived his exhibitions in accordance with his theories; in contrast Stolpe did not try to communicate the result of his own research in the exhibitions. Instead, like Boas, he wanted to illustrate the cultures in limited areas - not to bring out the similarities of widely separated cultures, but to indicate their individual character which was in fact also the basis of his own research on ornamentation.
However his general theory of culture was influenced by Darwin and he tried to show the gradual refinement in historical sequences of ornaments. Of course this was incompatible with Boas' ideas and consequently in his work on primitive art Boas criticised Stolpe's view.
In practice, as a producer of exhibitions, he wanted however to counteract the popular belief in a universal law of development in all human cultures. Every region or people should be understood in its own context.
In Stolpe's day as well as nowadays anthropological theory is difficult to translate into exhibitions. The case of Hjalmar Stolpe illustrates clearly this still current problem in ethnographic museums.

Claes Hallgren, FD, arbetar med ett forskningsprojekt knutet till Folkens Museum, Stockholm.
Adr: Skånegatan 68 A, S-116 37 Stockholm
e-mail: xfal53c@tninent.se

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