CFP: Stedelijk Studies 8 -- Towards a Museum of Mutuality


Engendering integration while acknowledging differences is one of the biggest challenges facing museums globally today. Institutions must reconceptualize the relationship between their collections and the engagement with (new) audiences at all levels. In response, there has been a shift in the museum model, both theoretically and on the level of institutional arrangements, from the museum as a site of authority to the post-museum as a site of mutuality (Falk, 2012). The act of curating at its most basic is about connecting different concepts and cultures, and bringing their elements into proximity with each other in order to create innovative ways of seeing that counter social injustice and promote equity on all possible levels. Beyond the museum as “contact zone” (Clifford, 1997), and following Terry Smith (2012), the curatorial turn is interested in exploring new contexts and relationships, and working with an artifact’s ability to reveal hidden knowledge. Museums have become spaces for knowledge creation (Hein, 1998; Hooper-Greenhill, 1999) as well as agents of social regeneration and vehicles of broad social change (Sandell, 1998). Similarly, feminist and postcolonial researchers and museum practitioners seek to decentralize the universal, Western epistemological logic as only one way of seeing things. The striking concordance between these two fields speaks to the need for setting up knowledge networks that bridge different epistemologies, iconographies and vocabularies (Mbembe, 2016). These diasporic networks by implication also affect museums everywhere when it comes to issues of representation, inclusion, and exclusion.

Debates around the place of the audience and the social role of the museum have emerged since the advent of new museology (Vergo, 1989; Sandell, 1998). More recently, sponsors and policy makers have demanded that museums become radically shared public spaces and that they play an important role in social cohesion through increased accessibility and public participation (Belfiore, 2009; Lynch, 2011; McSweeney and Kavanagh, 2016). However, it is only relatively recently that museums around the world have begun to recognize the powerful role of displays and exhibitions in the process of lifelong learning and transnational identity constitution (Falk, 2012; Levitt, 2015; Clover, 2015). Museums have the potential, as Borg and Mayo explain, to be “conceived of as sites of struggle, of cultural contestation and renewal” (2010). Acknowledging that objects tell different stories to different audiences­­— some of which may be contradictory—and that these differences need to be excavated through innovative curatorial and educational practices, raises important questions that must be addressed at the global level.

This special issue of Stedelijk Studies aims to frame and interconnect these current movements towards making museums spaces of mutuality. We welcome both theoretical contributions and more practice-based research focussing on questions such as:

  • In our contemporary global world, what kinds of citizens are museums creating?
  • How can nationalism and cosmopolitanism be brought together under museum roofs in different cities and nations around the globe?
  • How is this new imperative of exposing multiple voices and representation impacting exhibition culture(s) and the position of the expert in museums?
  • How are institutions negotiating issues of public agency and empowerment?

The issue, titled Towards a Museum of Mutuality, will be edited by Prof. Dr. Rosemarie Buikema, Prof. Dr. Emilie Sitzia, Dr. Margriet Schavemaker, Rosa Wevers, and Vasso Belia.


Stedelijk Studies is a high-quality, peer-reviewed academic journal which publishes research related to the collection and on the institutional history of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, museum studies (such as education and conservation practice), and current topics in the field of visual arts and design.


Deadline for the abstract is September 7, 2018.

Deadline for the essay is December 7, 2018.

Publication of the issue is May, 2019.

Contact Info: 

Esmee Schoutens
Managing Editor Stedelijk Studies

Van Baerlestraat 31
1071 AN Amsterdam
Postal address:
Postbus 75082
1070 AB Amsterdam

Contact Email:


CFP: Material Culture Review

Material Culture Review/Revue de la culture matérielle (MCR) is Canada’s only scholarly journal dedicated to the study of material culture. Published twice annually, the journal documents cultural artifacts, describing their historical contexts and roles in society.

Material Culture Review invites submissions of new research on material culture and its related topics from the fields of cultural history, public history, art history, cultural geography, folklore and ethnology, archaeology, anthropology, architecture, museum, conservation and heritage studies. The editors encourage submissions from scholars at any phase of their career, curators and professionals from the museum and heritage world, and from independent scholars with an interest in material culture. Papers may be submitted in English or French languages.

Additionally, the editors are currently interested in developing theme issues around the following topics:

·         Labour and Material Culture

·         Material Culture of Belief

·         Needle Work

·         Material Culture of Agriculture

·         First Nations Material Culture

·         Inventorying Culture

·         Cultural Tourism

·         The Virtual Museum

Scholars interested in guest-editing a theme issue are invited to submit a proposal to the editors. The journal is pleased to receive unsolicited as well as commissioned works. Please visit for submission guidelines.

Submit abstracts, manuscripts, or questions to:

Material Culture Review/Revue de la culture matérielle

Cape Breton University

1250 Grand Lake Road, Sydney, Nova Scotia

Canada, B1P 6L2

Māori ancestors repatriated to New Zealand by the Peabody Museum

Yale University News, July 11, 2018

"On the morning of June 21, the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History voluntarily transferred the remains of seven Māori and one Moriori tūpuna, or ancestors, to representatives from the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, known as Te Papa.

The Māori and Moriori ancestors had been in the Peabody’s care since they were donated to the museum in the 19th century. In 2003, the New Zealand government mandated Te Papa to “develop a formal programme for the repatriation of kōiwi and koimi tangata (Māori and Moriori skeletal remains) from international institutions to iwi (tribes),” codifying an effort to reclaim ancestral remains that began several decades ago. Overseen by the Peabody’s repatriation coordinator, Erin Gredell, Thursday’s repatriation makes Yale the third American university to return Māori and Moriori ancestors to Te Papa since the mandate.

“For over 100 years, the Peabody Museum has been honored to care for the Maori and Moriori ancestors, and we hope their return brings healing and joy to their descendants,” said David Skelly, director of the Peabody and the Frank R. Oastler Professor of Ecology. “As Mr. Herewini so elegantly stated during today’s ceremony, we are all part of the reconciliation process, and on behalf of the Peabody Museum and Yale University I would like to thank our distinguished guests for inviting our participation.”

The delegation from Te Papa included Te Herekiekie Herewini, head of repatriation for Te Papa; Te Arikirangi Mamaku, repatriation program coordinator and courier for Te Papa; and two Māori elders, Te Hemanawa Temara (Hema) and Tamahou Temara (Tamahou). The delegation and representatives from the Peabody began the day with a private ceremony where Māori elders and Te Papa representatives were able to “pay respects to the tūpuna and to prepare them for their journey home.”"

More here. 

UBC Museum of Anthropology receives $1.4 million Northwest Coast art donation

The Georgia Straight, July 5, 2018

"Rare early works by famed Haida artist Bill Reid are part of a $1.4 million Northwest Coast art collection that's just been donated to the UBC Museum of Anthropology.

The works, which include metalwork, carved masks, weavings, totem poles, and more, are a gift from late Calgary philanthropist Margaret Perkins Hess.

Hess, who was better known as “Marmie”, was a long-time art collector who died last September at the age of 100. Her estate is donating her significant collection of Northwest Coast metalwork, carved masks, weavings, totem poles and other unique items to MOA.

“UBC is honoured and delighted that Margaret Hess has entrusted MOA with this remarkable collection of Indigenous art,” said Professor Santa J. Ono, president of UBC. “These works will not only enhance MOA’s collection of Northwest Coast art, but will foster greater awareness and understanding of Indigenous cultures for our campus community, museum visitors and the wider B.C. community.”

Hess counted members of the Group of Seven among her friends, and was taken with Indigenous art during travels to B.C. and Nunavut. In 1970, she founded Calgary Galleries to create a platform to showcase Indigenous art."

More here

Position Announcement: Repatriation Research Specialist, National Museum of the American Indian

This position is located in the Repatriation Department, Cultural Resources Center, National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), Smithsonian Institution (SI). The employee independently conducts research analysis and submits repatriation recommendations to the Board of Trustees on specific topics as assigned by the supervisor.


  • Researches, writes, and critically analyzes relevant data into a well-organized, written, and reasoned repatriation report. This requires the researcher to independently research information using the best scientific and historical documentation available based on the legal criteria for repatriation as defined in the NMAI Repatriation Policy.
  • Tracks the history of each case report using legal case management software system and keen time management skills to ensure that case review process and critical deadlines are met.
  • Assists and participates in repatriation consultations with tribal nations, indigenous communities, and Native individuals.
  • Applies broad knowledge of Native American culture, history, and protocols to each case research report, consultation, and outreach effort by being aware of the socio-political climate relative to the specific tribal claim or community they are addressing.

More here

Germany returns tattooed Maori skull to New Zealand

DW, June 26, 2018

"A Maori skull acquired 110 years ago by a museum director in Cologne has been officially handed over to New Zealand on Tuesday.

The tattooed skull was kept in Cologne's Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum of Wold Cultures after being bought by a former director from a London dealer in 1908.

Cologne Mayor Henriette Reker handed it over to a New Zealand museum delegation in a ceremony Tuesday afternoon, as part of a 15-year scheme to repatriate indigenous articles to their original owners.

"The real goal is to find out more on the ground, and to identify the skull," said Judith Glaser from the Rautenstrach-Joest Museum.

The skull will be kept at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa in the capital, Wellington, where it will stay until its descendants can be found. It will then be handed back to the appropriate Maori tribe."

More here

Wakanda forever: Black Panther items heading to Smithsonian

CNet, June 26, 2018

"Black Panther was a blockbuster hit at the box office, and now it's found a place in American history. Numerous items relating to the 2018 Marvel feature soon will be on exhibit at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture.

The museum acquired a Black Panther costume worn by star Chadwick Boseman, who played T'Challa/Black Panther, as well as a script signed by film director Ryan Coogler and others, two pages of spec script for the film, and 24 high-resolution production photographs.

"Black Panther illustrates the progression of blacks in film, an industry that in the past has overlooked blacks, or regulated them to flat, one-dimensional and marginalized figures," the museum said in a blog post. "The film, like the museum, provides a fuller story of black culture and identity."

The items will be on display during the museum's first African American Film Festival from Oct. 24-27, and staff are considering including the costume in a permanent exhibit."

More here

How Native American Artists Are Reframing the Ways They’re Represented

Hyperallergic, June 26, 2018

"Since Europeans first made contact with the Americas five centuries ago, depictions of indigenous peoples have largely been created by and for the colonizers. Only fairly recently have native artists, like James LunaJeffrey Gibson, and the collective Postcommodity, begun to take back control of their image.

Diné (Navajo) artist Will Wilson has sought to reclaim a sense of agency through two bodies of work. The first is Auto Immune Response (AIR), a series of photographs and objects that imagine native strategies for coping in a post-apocalyptic world. The second is the Critical Indigenous Photographic Exchange (CIPX), a pointed response to Edward S. Curtis’s early 20th-century encyclopedic study The North American Indian. Using a wet plate collodion process, Wilson aims to reorient “Curtis’s Settler gaze” by collaborating with his sitters to “indigenize the photographic exchange,” he notes. Works from both these series are included in the current exhibition at the Annenberg Space for Photography, Not an Ostrich, which brings together 500 images from the Library of Congress collection. This Thursday, Wilson will be joined by Autry Museum curator Dr. Amy Scott to discuss ways in which native artists are reframing their representation."

When: Thursday, June 28, 7–8:30pm
Where: Annenberg Space for Photography (2000 Avenue of the Stars, Century City, Los Angeles)

More here

People Across the Globe Want Their Cultural Heritage Back. Canada May Offer a Blueprint for How to Get There

artNET, June 25, 2018


"On a recent visit to an Indigenous cultural center in Nova Scotia, Canadian politician Bill Casey found himself admiring an intricately embroidered robe. He was surprised to hear from a curator that what he was looking at was not the real thing, but a replica.

Held behind glass at the Millbrook Cultural and Heritage Centre near Truro, Nova Scotia, the stunning 19th-century Mi’kmaq regalia was a convincing facsimile of the original. The real regalia, however, is currently tucked away in a drawer at a museum in Melbourne, Australia.

Millbrook’s Mi’kmaq First Nation have been fighting to reclaim this unique piece of heritage for a decade. Their plight is familiar to many Indigenous communities in Canada and beyond. But now, for the first time, an unprecedented groundswell of support is growing to buttress their efforts."

More here

British Museum defends acquisition of Chinese ivories

The Financial Times, June 27, 2018

"The head of the British Museum has defended the acquisition of an “extraordinary” collection of more than 500 historic Chinese ivories, as public attitudes to the modern-day trade in ivory harden.

The collection of ivory figurines of deities and immortals, sewing boxes, brush pots and other “exquisite” objects mainly from the 17th to 19th centuries was amassed by the Shanghai trader Sir Victor Sassoon in the early 20th century. It has been in England since the 1950s and, following Sassoon’s death in 1961, was looked after by a trust that last year donated it — along with an endowment for its upkeep — to the museum.

Speaking at the museum’s annual review, Hartwig Fischer, British Museum director, said the museum “unreservedly endorsed” the public campaign to ban the ivory trade but added that historical works of high cultural value needed to be preserved and made available for public display and scholarly study. “These ivories [made] in the last centuries or millennia . . . do not save any elephants’ lives today. The British Museum is the right place to share them worldwide today,” he said, adding that proposed acquisitions were “minutely scrutinised” by staff before deciding whether to accept them."

More here.