Futures of the Ethnographic Museum

A workshop with James Clifford (University of California, Santa Cruz)

October 9, 2013
14:00 – 16:00
CEREV Exhibition Lab

e-mail cerev@concordia.ca to RSVP (mandatory)

New publics and branding exercises; complex relations with source communities; material pressures and generational shifts; performance art and digital networking; innovative forms of collaboration and research…  The talk explores the good and the bad news for museums devoted to cross-cultural understanding in times of globalization and decolonization.

James Clifford taught in UCSC’s History of Consciousness Department for 33 years and was founding director of the Center for Cultural Studies. He is best known for his historical and literary critiques of anthropological representation, travel writing, and museum practices. Clifford co-edited (with George Marcus) the controversial intervention, Writing Culture, the Poetics and Politics of Ethnography (1986). Clifford is currently completing Returns: Becoming Indigenous in the 21st Century, a book about homecomings and contemporary Native cultural politics that will be the third in a trilogy. The widely influential first volume, The Predicament of Culture (1988) juxtaposed essays on 20th-century ethnography, literature, and art. The second, Routes: Travel and Translation in the Late 20th Century (1997) explored the dialectics of dwelling and traveling in post-modernity. The three books are inventive combinations of analytic scholarship, meditative essays, and poetic experimentation.

In addition to this intimate workshop in our Exhibition Lab, CEREV is co-sponsoring a public lecture by James Clifford with the Feminist Media Studio, the CISSC Working Group in Transnational Cultural Flows, the McGill Anthropology Department and the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema on October 11, 2013.

Center for Ethnographic Research and Exhibition in the Aftermath of Violence