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Sovereignties of the Imagination: Worlding from the Ethnographic Museum
The Iris Foundation Awards Lecture by Wayne Modest (Wereldmuseum Rotterdam).

This talk by Wayne Modest of the Wereldmuseum Rotterdam takes up some of the more recent explorations of the concept of “worlding” to think about possible futures of the so-called “ethnographic” or “world cultures” museum. For more than three decades now, ethnographic museums—at least those in Europe—have received sustained critique. In its most recent iteration, this critique has congregated around ideas of restitution, repatriation, and more broadly, decolonization. Modest outlines both the main aspects of the critique of ethnographic museums over the last few decades, and museums’ responses to this critique. Despite the challenges associated with ethnographic museums’ roots in colonial history and calls for their closure, he suggests that these museums inhabit an important conjuncture today—precisely because of their histories—and that they hold important material and political potential for imagining a new museum for the future.

April 2 at 6 pm
38 West 86th Street, BGC Lecture Hall

$15 General | $12 Seniors | Free for people with a college or university affiliation or museum ID, people with disabilities and caregivers, and BGC members

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