AVLYST : Seeds of Change: Developing a New Museology through Indigenous Perspectives

CANCELLED: Presentation by Associate Professor Marzia Varutti, Centre for Museum Studies – IKOS, University of Oslo.

The attendance is free, however, due to epidemic measures, we ask participants and audience to send their name and email to: Rossella Ragazzi, rossella.ragazzi@uit.no




This presentation aims to discuss how the integration of indigenous perspectives in museum work can positively affect museum practice as well as, more broadly, the social roles and relevance of museums.

Around the world, indigenous communities are engaged in projects aiming to revitalize and protect indigenous cultural heritage; these projects often encapsulate specific, local understandings of, and approaches to, the concept of heritage, and related practices of display, conservation and interpretation. Whilst many of these perspectives remain today under-explored, their potential to transform mainstream museum theory and practice is real and consequential.

My reflection is guided by the following questions: What might the integration of indigenous perspectives entail for curatorial work? Is it possible to think of ‘multiple museologies’, and how is the very concept and field of museology reconfigured as a result?

In the talk, I will identify some areas of museum practice and theory that in my view are being (or can be) directly affected by indigenous perspectives. I will draw on examples and insights from my field research among Indigenous groups in Taiwan, and other countries, to illustrate, problematize, and begin to answer the questions raised above.

Marzia Varutti is Associate Professor in Museology and Cultural Heritage at the Centre for Museum Studies, IKOS, University of Oslo. Her research has focused on relationships between museums and Indigenous Peoples (specifically in Taiwan) and various aspects of the politics of representation in museums. She is the author of Museums in China: The politics of representation after Mao (2014, Boydell & Brewer), and an extensive number of articles and book chapters on the themes of material culture, heritage and museums. Her recent articles include ‘Authentic reproductions: museum collection practices as authentication’ (Museum Management and Curatorship); ‘Crafting Heritage: Artisans and the Making of Indigenous Heritage in Contemporary Taiwan’ (International Journal of Heritage Studies); and ‘Polysemic objects and partial translations’ (Museum Anthropology).


This lecture  is organized as part of a workshop on Materiality, Indigeneity and Museums with Associate Professor Marzia Varutti and Associate professor Geoffrey Gowlland,  by the  Research group Societal Dimensions of Sámi Research (So.Di.Sámi, NFR funded) in collaboration with Institute for Cultural and Natural Sciences,  the Arctic University Museum, UMAK.

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When: 02. November 2020 kl. 10.15–11.30
Where: Norges arktiske universitetsmuseum
Location / Campus: Tromsø
Target group: Employees, Guests