Diverse Knowledges and Contact Zones within the Digital Museum

Science, Technology, and Human Values 35 (5):735-768 (2010)
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Abstract

As museums begin to revisit their definition of ‘‘expert’’ in light of theories about the local character of knowledge, questions emerge about how museums can reconsider their documentation of knowledge about objects. How can a museum present different and possibly conflicting perspectives in such a way that the tension between them is preserved? This article expands upon a collaborative research project between the Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology at Cambridge University, University of California, Los Angeles, and the A:shiwi A:wan Museum and Heritage Center to compare descriptions of museum objects by multiple expert communities. We found that narratives and objects in use are key omissions in traditional museum documentation, offering us several possibilities to expand our concept of digital objects. Digital objects will allow members of indigenous source communities to contribute descriptive information about objects to support local cultural revitalization efforts and also to influence how objects are represented in distant cultural institutions.

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References found in this work

Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word.Walter J. Ong - 1983 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 16 (4):270-271.
On the Origin of Objects.Brian Cantwell Smith - 1996 - Cambridge: Mass. : MIT Press.
The Predicament of Culture.James Clifford - 1988 - Harvard University Press.
Deliberative Democracy or Agonistic Pluralism?Chantal Mouffe - 1999 - Social Research: An International Quarterly 66 (3):745-758.

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