European Commission - 7th Framework Programme European Museums and Libraries in/of the age of migrations last updated: February 2015

Conference: The Museum 2011. Building Identity: The Making of National Museums and Identity Politics

16 - 18 November 2011

Taipei, Taiwan | National Museum of History


 Taipei, Taiwan</b> | National Museum of HistoryIdentity involves the conception and expression of the self in individuals and groups searching to understand “Who am I?” or “Who are we?” Museums tell stories of lands, of peoples, and of nations, serving to unite our shared past, present, and future. The existence of museums can help us to form our common identity, interpreting our poignant stories and passing them on to future generations. National museums shoulder the responsibility of building national identity. Ideologically driven, they can inform and reflect national consciousness, represent national unity and offer sites for the production of citizenship. Born of modernity and contemporaneous with the birth the notions of the nation-state, national museums are places that serve to construct collective identities and, increasingly, multiple cultural subjectivities. They are spaces of imagination, part of the myth as well as the reality of national identity.

The purpose of Museum 2011~International Conference on Building Identity: The Making of National Museums and Identity Politics is to provide a platform for international, interdisciplinary exchange to explore the significance and function of national museums along with the challenges they face in the twenty-first century. The conference will explore a number of questions: How is national identity constructed and negotiated in national museums? How might we understand this at the present time and what challenges do contemporary society and specific local contexts and subjectivities bring to the shaping of our national institutions? The conference seeks to observe how national museums construct history and sculpt national identity through the shaping of buildings, exhibitions, education programmes and other aspects of their practice. For example, how are architecture and design utilized to represent concepts of national identity? How does the experience of the physical museum work to stimulate memory and link past to present and future? How are national museums being remade at the present time in a range of contexts?

Promoted by:
National Museum of History (Taipei), Victoria and Alberto Museum (London), Leicester University's School of Museum Studies, National Taipei University of Education


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