Research Center for Material Culture, research

Photo © Rijksmuseum Volkenkunde

As Research Associate at Research Center for Material Culture I will explore approaches toward studying, collecting, preserving and displaying digital heritage in the ethnographic museum, specifically the National Museum of World Cultures. Although ethnographic museums have embraced digital technologies as tools for engaging the public, activating the collections and democratizing knowledge production, scant attention has been paid to the influence of the digital on cultural dynamics and practices and the subjectivities associated with these practices. As a consequence this field is not part of the ethnographic museum’s research and collection yet. The main questions that I will address in my research are: How can ethnographic museums reflect on the impact of digital technologies on identity, culture and society? Should the ethnographic museum offer a memory space for digital practices and objects, and if so which of those could be of interest? How might the study of digital cultural practices enable new perspectives on collections held by ethnographic museums?

As part of my research I will organize the symposium Digital Heritage in Museums of Anthropology, for which have been awarded the Steven Engelsman Grant.