The Department of Museum Studies Research Seminar Programme recommences on Monday 14th May at 1pm with a paper given by Alima Bucciantini: 'Investigating Objects: How Museum Icons are Born.'
This paper will trace the life stories of several objects from the collections of the National Museum of Scotland and the National Museum of American History in order to investigate the ways in which certain objects become 'iconic' in, or of, their museum. These icons and the way in which they are treated can tell us something larger about the way in which national histories are presented in the two countries, as well as the role that material culture has taken on in those narratives.
The artefacts within any given museum are the soul of its project and by exploring different ways that object stories can be uncovered and expanded I hope to be able to deepen the understanding of national museums as institutions, both now and in the past. Objects such as Dorothy's ruby slippers and Bonnie Prince Charlie's picnic set may seem ephemeral and unworthy of study but they can also act as the doorways to larger theories about how we see ourselves and others.
Alima Bucciantini is in the second year of a PhD in Economic and Social History at the University of Edinburgh. She came to history from a background in Nationalism Studies and cultural theory, and is interested in museums and collections as a space for the display of national identity. Her PhD is tentatively titled 'Aura, Authenticity and Icons: Museums and Objects Creating Histories' and will look primarily at the changing identity of the National Museum of Scotland.
All are welcome to attend. Refreshments are provided. Location: MS LT1
The Attic (a name which commemorates our first physical location) is, first and foremost, a site for the research students of the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester: a virtual community which aims to include all students, be they campus-based and full-time, or distance-learning and overseas. But we welcome contributions from students of museum studies - and allied subject areas - from outside the School and from around the world. Here you will find a lot of serious stuff, like exhibition and research seminar reviews, conference alerts and calls for papers, but there's also some 'fluff'; the things that inspire, distract and keep us going. After all, while we may be dead serious academic types, we're human too.