(Mis-)representing Cultures and Objects: a project and workshop

By Michael Marten
April 26, 2014

An important event on (Mis-)representing Cultures and Objects is taking place at the University of Stirling, Scotland, on 16 May 2014.

The workshop is one of the concluding elements of an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Collaborative Doctoral Award entitled 'Tibetan Collections in Scotland 1890-1930: using material culture to establish a critical historiography of missionary and military intent'.

The project examined the ways in which, in the 19th and early 20th centuries, Tibetan artefacts were collected and displayed in Scottish museums, particularly in the Edinburgh museum (now National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh).

The Principal Investigator was Dr Timothy Fitzgerald (University of Stirling), with Dr Henrietta Lidchi (National Museums Scotland), and Dr Michael Marten (University of Stirling and the Critical Religion Association). The bulk of the research was carried by Inbal Livne, who will shortly be awarded her PhD. A summary of her doctoral thesis is available here.

The workshop will offer an opportunity to find out more about the CDA project, as well as exploring some of the issues that arose from it, in particular examining ways in which (mis-)representations of cultures and objects are connected and influence one another.

We therefore welcome Tibet specialists, but also scholars working in a wide variety of disciplinary and geographic fields who can contribute something to the debate as it relates to the museum sector.

Registration for the workshop is open, but limited places are available. Please register as soon as possible to be assured of a place, and at the latest by 30 April 2014. A registration fee of £10 will be applicable.

The dedicated for this workshop and project can be found at: https://misrepresentingcultures.wordpress.com/

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© Michael Marten, an Ekklesia associate, is Lecturer in Postcolonial Studies with Religion at Stirling University. His research centres on religion, history and politics in an international context, with a particular focus on the involvement of Europeans overseas and especially in the Middle East; he has published widely in these areas. He is also one of the organisers of the Christians in the Middle East network (http://www.cme.stir.ac.uk) and a contributor to the Critical Religion Research Group (http://www.criticalreligion.stir.ac.uk) which has become the Critical Religion Association (http://criticalreligion.org) that round a partner blog with Ekklesia (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/criticalreligion). Michael previously taught Middle East history and politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London, and at the Institute for Advanced Study, University of Pavia, Italy.

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