Objects and Histories | Department of History

Objects and Histories

Museums and Collections were marginalized from the understanding of historical and archaeological methods throughout the 20th century despite the fact that they were prominent contributors to disciplinary formations. Moreover, their histories have shaped perceptions of the past, and they continue to remain seminal sites of history-making processes. This course shall explore the different kinds of research enquiries which they bring to the historical and archaeological scholarship, and the ‘work’ which they do in interrogating our biases, which we bring to our inferences. The life histories of objects and instances of exhibitions provoke the question ‘whose culture?’ as they implore visitors to see the full diversity of human endeavor and knowledge. The course aims to build upon this question to launch enquiries into notions of categories and classifications, nation states and identities, representations and valuations which are perhaps important for achieving self reflexivity in the study of all sciences.

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