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Science, Magic and Religion

The Ritual Processes of Museum Magic

Edited by Mary Bouquet and Nuno Porto

288 pages, 55 illus., index

ISBN  978-1-57181-520-0 $120.00/£85.00 Hb Published (December 2004)

ISBN  978-1-57181-521-7 $34.95/£24.00 Pb Published (April 2006)

eISBN 978-1-78238-712-1 eBook


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For some time now, museums have been recognized as important institutions of western cultural and social life. The idea of the museum as a ritual site is fairly new and has been applied to the art museums in Europe and the United States so far. This volume expands it by exploring a range of contemporary museums in Europe and Africa. The case studies examine the different ways in which various actors involved in cultural production dramatize and ritualize such sites. It turns out that not only museum specialists, but visitors themselves are engaged in complex performances and experiences that make use of museums in often unexpected ways.

Mary Bouquet teaches Cultural Anthropology and Museum Studies at Utrecht University College. Her recent publications include Academic Anthropology and the Museum, also published by Berghahn Books (2001).

Nuno Porto is Lecturer at the Department of Anthropology, University of Coimbra, where he teaches museology, material culture, and the history of anthropology.

Series: Volume 23, New Directions in Anthropology
Subject: Museum Studies Religion General Anthropology
Area: Europe Africa

LC: AM151 .S39 2006

BL: YC.2005.a.11386

BISAC: ART059000 ART/Museum Studies; SOC002010 SOCIAL SCIENCE/Anthropology/Cultural; REL000000 RELIGION/General

BIC: GM Museology & heritage studies; JHMC Social & cultural anthropology, ethnography




Contents

List of Figures
Acknowledgements

Introduction: Science, Magic and Religion: the Ritual Processes of Museum Magic
Mary Bouquet and Nuno Porto

PART I: OBJECTS OF SCIENCE? BABY AND THE MUMMIES

Chapter 1. Memorialising the Future: the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester
Penelope Harvey

Chapter 2. Unwrapping Mummies and Telling their Stories: Egyptian Mummies in Museum Rhetoric
Anna Wieczorkiewicz

PART II: SITE SPECIFICS: THE CASE OF TERVUREN

Chapter 3. Congo-Vision
Barbara Saunders

Chapter 4. The Scourge of Chief Kansabala: the Ritual Life of Two Congolese Masterpieces at the Royal Museum for Central Africa (1884-2001)
Boris Wastiau

PART III: ENCOUNTERS, PERFORMANCES AND UNPREDICTABLES

Chapter 5. Paradise in the Making at Artis Zoo, Amsterdam
Natasha Silva

Chapter 6. The Natural Magic of Monte San Giovanni: Authority, Authenticity and Ritual in Sardinia
Tracey Heatherington

Chapter 7. The Performance of Heritage in a Reconstructed, Post-Apartheid Museum in Namibia
Ian Fairweather

Chapter 8. Haunted Art: Visiting an Exhibit in Weimar
Barbara Wolbert

PART IV: DILEMMAS OF ENCHANTMENT

Chapter 9. Enchantment and its Dilemmas: the Museum as a Ritual Site
Sharon Macdonald

Notes on Contributors
Index

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