PhD Position: Digital Traces: Polyvocal Knowledge Representation for Colonial Heritage

Updated: 28 days ago
Deadline: 29 Apr 2021

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ABOUT THE PROJECT PRESSING MATTER

The four-year research project “Pressing Matter: Ownership, Value and the Question of Colonial Heritage in Museums” is  collaborative across five academic institutions and five Dutch museums, in collaboration with national, and international partners from across the world.  The project  is situated in the  Faculty of Humanities at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and led by Prof. Dr. Susan Legêne (Project Leader) and Prof. Dr. Wayne Modest (Programme Leader), and funded by the Dutch Research Agenda (NWA).

Pressing Matter responds to the growing contestation over what to do with the colonial heritage held in museums. This growing controversy reveals the need to account for the polarised positions of these debates, ranging from scholars, activists and community members championing the return of objects to correct historical wrongs, to those who contend that objects should be retained irrespective of circumstances of acquisition by museums in light of their (universal) cultural and scientific value. In the middle are advocates of more relational heritage practices, comprising dialogue and sharing in how objects are distributed. Pressing Matter has identified various approaches to this problem, and to the different categories of collections in collaborating museums that will be the starting points for research.
Researchers start from this shared research framework, while doing research for their own individual research output, including a PhD thesis. While developing their own views and insights, they commit themselves to the overall programme through collaborative multidisciplinary approaches, based in shared access to research findings and result based research. Pressing Matter has been developed within the context of the National Science Agenda of the Netherlands. A large team of PhD candidates, postdocs, museum staff, and senior academics will be organized across 8 work packages, hosted in five different universities and collaboration with five museums and several societal stakeholders.


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