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Universal Histories and Universal Museums: a transnational comparison

Project: Research


This research, with co-investigator Professor Hervé Inglebert, Professor of Roman History at the University Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, explores the role of the museum in building knowledge about the future through collections, display and relations with publics. Through transnational perspectives on museum collections, the project will examine how history is made, displayed and disseminated through the uses, legacies and representations of the past.

The first phase of the project combines critical investigation through four workshops and two historical case studies, based in the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Musée du quai Branly. This phase will consider the influence of social knowledge practices on the structuring of universal knowledge and how thinking about the past helps us to prepare for a global future that incorporates more diverse universalities. What kinds of history do we want or need today?

The project’s second phase will consolidate the first phase in a conference, publications and digitisation of key archival resources timed to align with the opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi - a contemporary universal museum.
Effective start/end date1/12/15 → …


Research outputs