The changing role of migration museums in Australia
Curating relations between
‘us’ and ‘them’: the changing role
of migration museums in Australia1
I would also like to ask two related things … which have puzzled me since
a brief visit to the museum some years ago. One is to ask if you want donations of crafts and small items used in households in South Australia during
[the] last century? These are from the wave of first settlers, ie. Anglo-Celtic.
The related question is whether the museum is mainly about the subsequent
waves of settlers or is the history of the early mainly Anglo
What is the future of curatorial practice? How can the relationships between Indigenous people in the Pacific, collections in Euro-American institutions and curatorial knowledge in museums globally be (re)conceptualised in reciprocal and symmetrical ways? Is there an ideal model, a ‘curatopia’, whether in the form of a utopia or dystopia, which can enable the reinvention of ethnographic museums and address their difficult colonial legacies? This volume addresses these questions by considering the current state of the play in curatorial practice, reviewing the different models and approaches operating in different museums, galleries and cultural organisations around the world, and debating the emerging concerns, challenges and opportunities. The subject areas range over native and tribal cultures, anthropology, art, history, migration and settler culture, among others. Topics covered include: contemporary curatorial theory, new museum trends, models and paradigms, the state of research and scholarship, the impact of new media and current issues such as curatorial leadership, collecting and collection access and use, exhibition development and community engagement. The volume is international in scope and covers three broad regions – Europe, North America and the Pacific. The contributors are leading and emerging scholars and practitioners in their respective fields, all of whom have worked in and with universities and museums, and are therefore perfectly placed to reshape the dialogue between academia and the professional museum world.
among settled communities complicate the Lapita story.
Ancestral Oceanic migrations and translations
Around 3,500 years ago in the mid-second millennium BCE, a suite of newly combined practices and material cultures developed in the Bismarck Archipelago, east of Papua New Guinea ( Fig. 5.1 ) (Spriggs 1997 , 2006 ). Archaeologists have tended to refer to this emerging group as the Lapita culture or Lapita cultural complex, after the eponymous site in New Caledonia (Kirch 2017 ; Spriggs 2006 ), but I will attempt to distinguish between the eponymous Lapita
This book presents a study of material images and asks how an appreciation of the
making and unfolding of images and art alters archaeological accounts of
prehistoric and historic societies. With contributions focusing on case studies
including prehistoric Britain, Scandinavia, Iberia, the Americas and Dynastic
Egypt, and including contemporary reflections on material images, it makes a
novel contribution to ongoing debates relating to archaeological art and images.
The book offers a New Materialist analysis of archaeological imagery, with an
emphasis on considering the material character of images and their making and
unfolding. The book reassesses the predominantly representational paradigm of
archaeological image analysis and argues for the importance of considering the
ontology of images. It considers images as processes or events and introduces
the verb ‘imaging’ to underline the point that images are conditions of
possibility that draw together differing aspects of the world. The book is
divided into three sections: ‘Emergent images’, which focuses on practices of
making; ‘Images as process’, which examines the making and role of images in
prehistoric societies; and ‘Unfolding images’, which focuses on how images
change as they are made and circulated. The book features contributions from
archaeologists, Egyptologists, anthropologists and artists. The contributors to
the book highlight the multiple role of images in prehistoric and historic
societies, demonstrating that archaeologists need to recognise the dynamic and
changeable character of images.
furniture than objects that materialise migration, growing super-diversity or urban experiences – how do
we rationalise and focus a diverse ‘catch-all’ set of historical objects? How
do we include contemporary Pasifika experiences within Aotearoa New
Zealand,13 whether in the rural South Island attached to rugby team franchises, or in Auckland, which claims to be the largest Polynesian city in the
world? How can the global and local be collected and exhibited when they
are so intertwined?
For a post-settler nation like Aotearoa New Zealand, part of the explanation for
geographic extent of these assemblages over time, we would be able to track the movement or migration of past people (Trigger 2006 , 232–60). Vere Gordon Childe, famous archaeologist and public intellectual, used this concept to build a detailed and meticulous history of prehistoric Eurasian people, their movements, and their efflorescences, which made clear that archaeologists could do more than just make sequences of objects: we could start to tell the stories of identifiable groups in the past (Childe 1925 , 1929 ). Childe was also an ardent Marxist, and he deeply
Scandinavian Late Iron Age gold foil figures through the lens of
Ing-Marie Back Danielsson
. Magnus. (2002). ‘Metalworking and central
places’, in B. Hårdh and L. Larsson (eds), Central Places in the Migration and
Merovingian Periods. Lund: Lund University (pp. 159–84).
Holbraad, M. and M.-A. Pedersen. (2017). The Ontological Turn: An anthropological
Exposition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Hustak, C. and N. Myers. (2012). ‘Involutionary momentum: affective ecologies
and the sciences of plant/insect encounters’, Differences: A Journal of Feminist
Cultural Studies 23 (3), 74–118.
Ingold, T. (2010). ‘The textility of making’, Cambridge Journal of
The man and the reputation
The work and ideas of Grafton Elliot Smith were extremely polarising both to
his contemporaries and to those who succeeded him. His theory of cultural diffusionism was based on ‘the view that evolutionary development had occurred
only once, on the banks of the Nile, and that civilisation had subsequently
diffused from this single point’ (Burley 2008: 46). Although others, including
W. H. R. Rivers (1911: 389), had previously raised the notion that cultural
ideas and practices were transmitted through the migration of
and in its mission
statements that the work of ‘designing the future’ goes well beyond conserving cultural memory for consumption by future audiences. The project’s
multidisciplinary goals are expressed in activist terms; memory is given
explicit agency in a future imagined as potentially dystopian.
Current global crises and transformations (from climate change to mass
migration) highlight the need to develop more sustainable and resilient
future making practices, and encourage different areas of interest to pursue
common goals and learn from one another.4
II ‘Libyans’ in Egypt
Conspicuous during the late New Kingdom, the Third Intermediate Period
and subsequently an important factor in the rise of the Saite state was the
movement and settlement of peoples from the west into Egypt. The ‘Libyan’
character of this era and its significance has been recognised only gradually
but the steady rise of the ‘Libyan peoples’ to positions of major political power
within the country had important long-lasting effects for Egypt. The consequence
of their migrations and invasions would eventually result in many of the