Collecting, collating, organising, systemising, curating, classifying, accumulating, hoarding, anthologising…
In this seminar we will look at and across various cultural meanings of collecting – the positively connoted notions connected to the amassing and organising of knowledge, the theft implied by these processes in contexts of colonialism and 'exploration', the ways we privilege certain kinds of collections through taxonomies, and also practices of unorganised collecting, e.g. hoarding.
We will read texts from material cultural studies, museum studies, and postcolonial/decolonial studies, and will also watch some reality TV. Pending feasibility, we might try to visit a collection and speak to stakeholders in local museums (i.e. we might go on an excursion).
A Reader with a selected bibliography will be provided at the beginning of the course.