When I started to work in Eunamus, I got a job title that I wasn’t particularly fond of – dissemination officer. I was of course thrilled by the opportunity to work in such a large-scale research project, but the job title felt very strange. As if I should act as something between a military commander, shouting out findings, observations, reflections and results, and a civil servant, hiding behind my desk managing piles of papers. Well, I have to admit that I do produce piles of paper, but the most important and fulfilling part of my work is networking. And to be approached by people who work in Eunamus-related areas to learn what they are doing.
At the beginning of this week I had a e-mail, not addressed to me personally, but a general mail to researchers that might take interest in the ways museums handle human remains. With this e-mail, Dr Tiffany Jenkins directed our interest to a truly thought-provoking web article of hers. Here she argues that it is not always museum professionals are cautious with human remains due to outspoken demands of repatriation from outside the institutions, rather they might take actions regard to values within their own professional circles.
A few weeks ago I was contacted by UNESCO Venice office about a workshop of theirs on how to deal with and educate on difficult heritage. The workshop was just about to start, so there was no time for me to advertise it or for anyone from Eunamus to attend. Starting from the current exhibition “Hitler and the Germans. Nation and Crime” at the German Historical Museum (15 October 2010-27 February 2011), the workshop discussed question such as
How does a museum and a nation deal with a legacy? How are contemporary identities negotiated? How can a history museum bring a national community to examine and seek answers to collective questions? Who is included and excluded? Is a history museum a place of reconciliation?
Because one of Eunamus sub-projects concerns the ways conflicts are negotiated in museum spaces we are very keen on a future collaboration. Therefore I contacted them again this week.
This week my e-mail box also received a row of abstracts for the session “Current trends and issues in European museum research” at ACSIS conference in Norrköping June 15-17 2011. The conference organisers have made a slight extension of the Call for papers and welcome abstracts until February 18 2011. So, if you are like me – a bit of a latecomer – there is some extra time to submit an abstract.