A couple of links to articles about Liverpool's new International Slavery Museum.
Tristram Hunt (the Guardian's resident historian it seems, not that I'm complaining) feels that the museum strikes the right balance between humility for the exploited of the slave trade whilst seeking to understand why it is an integral part of our history, no longer hidden beneath layers of either arrogance or crippling guilt.
In The Times, the museum gets a review by Rachel Campbell-Johnston who is slightly less enthusiastic, feeling that although the museum presents the subject well it fails to provide a deeper understanding, to really to get to grips with the slave trade and the African culture that slavery violated. It struck me that it was a similar comment to that which I made about Newarke Houses Museum below, itself a 'new' museum.
I am looking forward to visiting this museum next time I am in Liverpool to see for myself. I always disliked the former gallery in the Maritime Museum because it was stuck in the basement, windowless and with low ceilings, making it rather claustrophobic. Although this is apt in some ways when thinking about the hardships that the enslaved people endured it is surely worth a little discomfort?
I am especially looking forward to how the museum makes links with slavery that continues in the world today, particualarly the sticky issue of how we in the West are able to have so many cheap clothes and products to consume.
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.