BIENNIAL ANTHROPOLOGY PUBLIC LECTURE 2014 Presented by Professor Howard Morphy
Living Collections: researching Australian Aboriginal art and material culture
Presented by Professor Howard Morphy
Wednesday, 3rd September 2014, 4:30 - 6pm
Lecture theatre 222, Level 2 Parnell Building (#7)
Light reception to follow from 6pm
We are entering the most exciting era for museums and collections since museums became major cultural institutions in the 18th and early 19th centuries. The lecture arises reflexively out of a lifetime of engagement with ethnographic collections and focuses on a number of these that are relevant to current discourse. The themes are both methodological and theoretical and entangled with value-creation processes. They are concerned with the value objects have for research into historical and anthropological questions and the value that the objects have in society more broadly. The lecture will be concerned with how things mean and to whom they mean in the context of change and will draw attention to the dialogue between two locals — the local of the museum where the object is curated and the local of the source community where the object originated.
Howard Morphy (BSc, MPhil London, PhD ANU, FASSA, FAAH, CIHA) is a Professor of Anthropology and the Director of the Research School of Humanities at The Australian National University. Morphy is an anthropologist of art and a visual anthropologist, having co-edited two of the main source books in the respective fields The Anthropology of Art: A Reader (with Morgan Perkins, Blackwell's, 2006) and Rethinking Visual Anthropology (with Marcus Banks, Yale University Press, 1997). He has written extensively on Australian Aboriginal art. His current research centres on the concept of the relational museum and the creation of virtual collections that recreate dispersed ethnographic collections as a whole.
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