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2008/1-2 Abstracts

From Nordisk Museologi 2008/1-2, Abstract pp. 5-32


Title: The legacy of Communism. Museums and Politics of Memory in Eastern Europe.

Abstract: In the post socialist countries the memory of communism is in the making. How to remember the period between WW2 and the fall of the Soviet Union is a disputed and contested subject in dissertations, in the activities of the so called institutes of national commemoration, founded in several post socialist states, in movies, in conferences, in commemorations and not least in museums. This article investigate how he heritage of communism is handled, collected and exhibited in some museums founded after 1989 in Hungary, Lithuania, Romania and Germany. The museums analysed are the "House of Terror" in Budapest, "The Museum of Genocide Victims" in Vilnius, "The Memorial of the Victims of Communism and of the Resistance" in Sighet (Romania) and "The DDR museum" in Berlin. These museums of communism are analysed in the framework of politics of memory and culture of memory. My approach is influenced by the New Museology putting techniques of representation in focus. By examining the staging of communism in museums I will not only find out what pictures of communism are produced, but also what effects politically and as regards identity these representations have. It is not my purpose to find out if the museum representations are true or in agreement with historical facts, but rather how the staging of communism in museums interacts with, constitute and change reality.
Key words: memory, communism, post socialist politics of memory, museums, memorial, terror, victims, "House of Terror", "The Museum of Genocide Victims" "The DDR museum".

*Lene Otto, Associate professor, European Ethnology

Address: University of Copenhagen Njalsgade 80, 2300 København S
Phone: +4535329464
E-mail: lotto@hum.ku.dk

From Nordisk Museologi 2008/1-2, Abstract pp. 33-54


Title: Experiencing enlightenment: reason and emotion in the memory of Dybbøl and l864.

Abstract: At the historical battlefield of Dybbøl in southern Denmark, the Danish defeat at the hands of the Prussian army in 1864 is commemorated. Focusing on visitors' practice at two widely different institutions devoted to the telling of the Dybbøl story, the article analyses the relationship between rational enlightenment and sensuous experience in the interpretation of war heritage. Scott Lash's idea of a 'second modernity is utilised in criticising a conventional and narrow conception of modernity characteristic of much museum theory, exemplified here by the work of Tony Bennett. Subscribing, in contrast, to an understanding of modernity which stresses visitors' sensations and experiences, the article argues that people appropriating heritage draw upon reason as well as emotion: visitors demand an 'ex perience of enlightenment'.

Key words: Memorials, modernity, war heritage, Dybbøl, visitor studies.

*Mads Daugbjerg, ph. d., er antropolog med speciale i kulturarv, turisme og national identitet.

Address: Dept. of Anthropology and Ethnography
University of Aarhus
8270 Højbjerg
Phone:+45 89 42 4618
E-mail: kunmd@hum.au.dk

From Nordisk Museologi 2008/1-2, Abstract pp. 55-73


Title: A dynamic cultural heritage — the twelve metamorphoses of Dybbøl.

Abstract: Dybbøl is the brow of a hill located about 30 km north-east of the border between Denmark and Germany. This area was once the former Danish Duchy of Schleswig, which was under German rule in the period from 1864 to 1920. Dybbøl was also the site of intense fighting during the Schleswig-Holstein Revolt of 1848-50 and the Danish-German War of 1864. There are remains of both Danish and German fortifications and earthworks, along with large mass graves in which troops from Denmark, Schleswig-Holstein and Germany lie buried.
After a plebiscite about the placing of the border was held in 1920, Schleswig was divided up, and the northern part - which included Dybbøl - became part of Denmark. This was followed by a comprehensive "Danishification" of the cultural landscape, which had previously been dominated by a large Prussian victory monument and numerous German memorial stones. A Danish nationalpark was set up at Dybbøl in 1924, with the backing of the local population and financial support from a national collection appeal, and formally opened by the Danish prime minister.
After this, Dybbøl became the epitome of the institutionalised cultural heritage of the state of Denmark, and would almost certainly be included in any "cultural canon" of the most significant geographical locations that have helped shape the Danish sense of national identity.
However, Dybbøl also features another - less comfortable - aspect of the Danish cultural heritage, bearing witness to Danish acts of vandalism perpetrated against the German monuments found here. Any study of the use of the history associated with Dybbøl uncovers layer upon layer of episodes that speak of conflicting interests and countless metamorphoses that led to the site being imbued with new values and a sequence of new identities.
And in step with the resurgence of nationalist sentiments in Denmark since the mid-1980s, there has been a corresponding, strengthened reannexation of the cultural heritage associated with Dybbøl. The need to cling on to and retain established, familiar positions and a fundamental sense of belonging are well-known aspects of the process of globalisation, and are seen throughout the world. In Dybbøl, this deepfelt need has resulted in the construction of a Danish fortification, and the Danish flag flying atop the many flagpoles has become more frequent sight.
This process can also be interpreted as an expression of Danish foreign policy taking on a more active role in the world.

Key words: Nationalism, canon, identity, cultural heritage, metamorphosis, memorial site, national symbol, battlefield, policy of remembrance.

*Inge Adriansen, adjungeret professor i kulturhistorie ved Syddansk Universitet, museumsinspektør ved Museum Sønderjylland - Sønderborg Slot

Address: Sønderborg Slot, Sønderbro l, 6400 Sønderborg
E-mail: inge.adriansen@museum-sonderjylland.dk

From Nordisk Museologi 2008/1-2, Abstract pp. 74-96


Abstract: Hero of Alexandria was a prolific inventor who lived in the 1st century CE and whose writings enjoyed a marked resurgence of popularity in Renaissance Europe. The Greek original of Hero's most influential text, the Mechanics, was lost early, and was only transmitted to the West in Arabic. The Greek text of his less important — and possibly unfinished — work on Pneumatics, however, found its way to Europe after the fall of Constantinople, where it had been preserved in what Will Noel calls 'the Ark for ancient literature'.
Texts often precede performance, but are equally often the consequence of a tradition of 'situated' or maker's knowledge. This paper looks at the ways in which knowledge became 'resituated' in the practice of Renaissance engineers, artists and garden architects through the rediscovery and diffusion of Hero's Pneumatics. It explores why Hero's Pneumatics enjoyed such new-found popularity in the 15th and 16th centuries, how Hero's texts were transmitted and interpreted, and to whom. The paper will argue that this revival in interest was due in part to the near-contemporary recovery of other classical texts, such as those by Archimedes, Vitruvius and Hermes Trismegistus. Finally, the paper will argue that the Renaissance memory of Hero's Pneumatics is best understood through built works rather than texts, and that these works played an important cultural and ideological role in the revival of neo-Platonism and neo-Pythagorean thought in post-Reformation Europe, losing their potency only with the end of the Thirty Years War.

Key words: Renaissance memory, Hero of Alexandria, Pneumatics, neo-Pla tonism, the Villa d'Este at Tivoli, the Villa Medici at Pratolino, the Hortus Palatinus at Heidelberg, museum, strategy of Visible listening'.

* Dr. James M. Bradburne, AADipl MCSD Director General

Address: Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi
Piazza Strozzi, 50123 Firenze ITALIA
Phone:+39 055 277 6461
E-mail: j.bradburne@fondazionepalazzostrozzi.it

From Nordisk Museologi 2008/1-2, Abstract pp. 102-115


Title: Protecting cultural heritage and museum collections. Preservation ideologies and management strategies in a digital age.
Abstract: Norwegian museums have been the subject of a great deal of public attention in recent yean. Unfortunately, this is not because of their interesting, compelling and thought-provoking exhibitions, but because of poor preservation practices and deteriorating collections. Previous reports have highlighted numerous failings in the management of these collections. A large portion of the collections has suffered through decades of poor storage. Some objects have even been damaged as a result of unacceptable storage conditions. Proper management of the collections has been hampered still further by the lack of common management systems. In the past ten to fifteen years, several projects have been launched in order to enhance collection management and to make the collections more accessible to the public. In this paper, we give a brief outline of the history of collections. We also provide a critical review of the projects and offer some suggestions as to what museums can do to further improve access to and the preservation of collections.
Key words: Digital, collections, collection management, collectionsbased research.

*Wenche Brun er arkeolog og ansatt ved Arkeologisk museum i Stavanger, hvor hun bl.a. arbeider med kildesikring og digitale dokumentasjonsmetoder.
E-mail: wenche.brun@ark.museum.no

*Kristine Orestad Sørgaard er arkeolog og ansatt ved Arkeologisk museum i Stavanger, hvor hun bl.a. arbeider med kildesikring og samlingsrevi sjon.
E-mail: kristine.sorgaard@ark.museum.no

From Nordisk Museologi 2008/1-2, Abstract pp. 116-138


Title: Permanent and Contemporary. Early variations on a Norwegian architectural collection. Abstract: In the mid-1920s, a collection of architectural material was founded on the initiative of the architect Georg Eliassen, in response to an increasing frustration among Norwegian architects over not being able to meet invitations to participate in international architectural exhibitions. Consisting of drawings, photographs and models, this collection was guided by a quite fascinating principle. By being updated every year, while eliminating older projects on a regular basis, the so-called Permanent Collection strove towards achieving absolute contemporaneity. Although founded on an anti-additive, anti-museum impulse, the collection kept increasing. By the mid-1930s, it included hundreds of models and innumerable drawings and photos, and in 1934 it was proposed that the collection could serve as the basis for a Norwegian museum of architecture.
This ambition failed to come to fruition, however, and most of the material that had been on frequent display during the late 1920s and early 1930s both in Norway and abroad (e.g. in Kiel, Budapest, Helsinki and Berlin) was later dispersed, lost or destroyed. The objects still in existence have been subjected to a classification that is both confusing and unsatisfactory, as their origins and whereabouts have not been described. Via extensive archival research, this article documents the history of a collection fallen into oblivion, framing it within a wider European context of collecting and exhibiting architecture.
Key words: Architectural collection, architectural museums, architecture on display, modernism, photographs, drawings, models, Georg Eliassen, Harald Hals.

*Mari Lending PhD

Address: Postdoktor, Institutt for fonn, teori og historie
Arkitektur og Designhøyskolen i Oslo Pb 6768 St. Olavs plass 0130 Oslo
E-mail: mari.lending@aho.no

From Nordisk Museologi 2008/1-2, Abstract pp. 139-156


Title:The problematic plurality.
Abstract: Recent years have brought a greater focus on the need for museums to reflect the multi-cultural society of which they are a part. In Sweden, Norway and the EU, this has resulted in the designation of special years to laud the idea of cultural diversity.
This article describes how the Nord- Troms Museum in Norway has worked to present the cultural history of Norwegians, Kvens and the Sami people. The museum has focused its presentation work on buildings and artefacts that represent particular features of ethnicity. At the same time, the museum is attempting to challenge the usual perceptions and stereotypical thinking associated with what is considered characteristic or typical for such features.
However, there are political and organisational implications associated with working within a cultural history context in which a majority population (the Norwegians), an indigenous people (the Sami) and a national minority (the Kvens) all have their place. The background for the Norwegian state's understanding of what constitutes cultural diversity in practice does not necessarily coincide with the views held by the Sami Parliament of Norway, or the organisations representing the Kvens. These implications make museum work that focuses on such issues into quite a challenge.
Key words: Museum, cultural diversity, ethnic minorities, indigenous peoples, rights, institutional structure.

*Gørill Nilsen, Førsteamanuensis Universitetet i Tromsø og Førstekonservator II Nord-Troms Museum

Address: Institutt for arkeologi, Det samfunnsvitenskapelige fakultet, Universitetet i Tromsø, 9037 Tromsø
E-mail: gorill.nilsen@sv.uh.nogorill.nilsen@sv.uh.no

From Nordisk Museologi 2008/1-2, Abstract pp. 157-168


Title: Collecting heads.
Abstract: The article discusses the dilemmas and challenges that arises when we include ourselves in our collections, in the sense of human skulls and heads. The human head is undoubtedly the most vital of body parts, and a body part that has a unique symbolic and cultural value. Included in a collection, a head can evoke a large number of potential meanings, varying with the institutional and cultural context of the collection. In an anatomical collection a head signifies primarily scientific value, whereas in an ethnographic museum a head signifies the exotic and distant. Skulls and heads, whether they are pure bone, tattooed, shrinked, decapitated, stuffed or pickled, are also museum objects that make good case studies for the continuous discussion on the ethics of human remains in collections. The article uses a number of examples of different ways heads have been included in collections to point at the challenges of collection management in such cases.
Key words: Human remains, heads, collection management, exhibition, ethics.

* Forsker Ole Marius Hylland

Address: Telemarksforskning, Postboks 4, 3833 Bø.
E-mail: Ole.Marius.Hylland@abm-utvikling.no

From Nordisk Museologi 2008/1-2, Abstract pp. 169-182


Abstract: The history of computers is short, but very important in regard to today's society. There are several computer museums in the world but only one computer museum association in Finland. The Finnish museum associations collection of computers was in jeopardy of being totally broken up in 2007. However, this internationally important collection was saved via a move to new storage facilities and the rebuilding of the collection. This article describes the story of a museum association that has collected the most important computers in Finnish IT history and the crisis it went through in order to continue its work.
Key words: History, information technology, museum value, museology.

*Emmi Tittonen M. A. is a post-graduate student at Jyväskylä University and worked as a project researcher in the documentation project of the collections of the Finnish Data Processing Museum Association. The project was conducted in the Jyväskylä University Museum, Section of Cultural History between October 2006 and December 2007.

Address: Jyväskylä University Museum Section of Cultural History P.O.Box 35
40014 University of Jyväskylä, Finland
E-mail: emtitton@jyu.fi

From Nordisk Museologi 2008/1-2, Abstract pp. 183-190


Title: Memory and oblivion. Seminar in Copenhagen 12th March 2008.
Abstract: The concepts of memory and oblivion and their historical changeability were in focus at a seminar that took place in Copenhagen in March 2008.
Through seven different presentations of this theme, it was shown how the acts of remembering and forgetting are active in the formation of new norms and of new cultural identities in periods of cultural transition such as late Antiquity and in the Reformation period.
The four keynote speakers were Paul Connerton, who spoke on three types of forgetting; James M. Bradburne, who dealt with memory in action in Italian late-Renaissance gardens; Charles Hedrick Jr., whose presentation was on transformations of the damnatio memoriae practice between late Antique and early Christian culture; and finally Andrew Spicer, who considered the process of erasing the Catholic past in post-Reformation Scotland.
Key words: Memory, oblivion, remembering, forgetting, late Antiquity, Reformation, cultural identity, transformation, transition.

*Line Suhr Marschner er mag. art i kunsthistorie og arbejder på freelancebasis.

Address: Sønderskovvej 15, 4180 Sorø
E-mail: line@linemarschner.dk

From Nordisk Museologi 2008/1-2, Abstract pp. 191-201


Title: Unique Nordic conference about cultural heritage pedagogy in Östersund.
Abstract: The Nordic Centre of Heritage Learning (NCK) spring conference took place in Östersund in Sweden on 20-21 February 2008. The conference programme was developed for people interested in heritage learning in the fields of archives, museums, art and the cultural environment, with the aim of contributing to development of the concept of heritage learning. The cultural heritage in its various forms is able to boost the competencies and community spirit of individuals, generate new business ideas and contribute to the knowledge necessary for a process of sustainable development. About 80 colleagues attended the conference and shared their experiences. The keynote speakers came from Austria, Denmark, England, Finland, Norway and Sweden.
Key words: Pedagogy of the cultural heritage, arts, museums, archives and cultural environment, The Nordic Centre of Heritage Learning (NCK), Nordic cultural heritage pedagogy.

*Martin Alfredsson, etnolog

Address: Jämtlands läns museum, Box 702, 83128 Östersund
E-mail: martin.alfredsson@jamtli.com

*Linn Åslund, arkivarie

Address: Landsarkivet, Arkivvägen 1, 831 31 Östersund
E-mail: linn.aslund@landsarkivet-ostersund.ra.se

From Nordisk Museologi 2008/1-2, Abstract pp. 202-215


Title: The future of Danish art museum research.
Abstract: It is possible to trace an internal problem in the world of Danish art museums. Research institutions of this type are undecided concerning their definitions and terms of research.
This appears to be problematic, as this type of institution faces heavy political demands that seem to be almost impossible to satisfy on account of the specific type of research cnducted at an art museum. I therefore consider it absolutely necessary to explain the fundamental research definitions relevant to Danish art museums, in order to show the essence of what makes them different from the scientific research tradition currently on the agenda.
Key words: Museum research, Danish art museums, research measurement, relevance to society, use to society.

* Signe Margrethe Eberhardt Sørensen, Mag.art.

Address: Mariedalsvej 16, 8220 Brabrand
Mobil: 41 90 02 59
E-mail: S_jensen79@hotmail.com

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