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Museums at Noon

Competing Interests: Examining Identity Politics in the Display of Ancient Egypt
Thursday, November 30, 2023
12:00-1:00 PM
Eldersveld Room Haven Hall Map
Presentation by Heidi Hilliker, PhD student in Middle Eastern Studies

In recent years, there has been a movement to decolonize Western museums, calling for a practice of self-reflection and transparency paired with a recognition of their Western-centric and criminal foundations. This has led institutions with collections of ancient Egyptian art and artifacts to revisit the ways in which they classify, interpret, and display their collections. These shifts in museum practice have revealed many competing interests, exposing the complex ways in which inclusion, identity, and ownership are deeply intertwined. I witnessed these competing interests first-hand this summer during my MSP internship when a new exhibition highlighting the influence of ancient Egypt and Nubia in contemporary black music debuted at the Dutch National Museum of Antiquity in Leiden, the Netherlands.

In this talk, I will discuss this and other curatorial and institutional case studies that reflect current trends and the complicated discourses developing from them. Additionally, I will consider the future of these movements and how they may affect museum practices.
Building: Haven Hall
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: Exhibition, Interdisciplinary, middle east, Museum
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Museum Studies Program, Department of Middle East Studies, Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies, Interdepartmental Program in Ancient Mediterranean Art and Archaeology