Collecting, Ordering, Governing

Anthropology, Museums, and Liberal Government

Book Pages: 360 Illustrations: 46 illustrations Published: January 2017

Anthropology > Museum Studies, Cultural Studies, Theory and Philosophy > Postcolonial Theory

The coauthors of this theoretically innovative work explore the relationships among anthropological fieldwork, museum collecting and display, and social governance in the early twentieth century in Australia, Britain, France, New Zealand, and the United States. With case studies ranging from the Musée de l'Homme's 1930s fieldwork missions in French Indo-China to the influence of Franz Boas's culture concept on the development of American museums, the authors illuminate recent debates about postwar forms of multicultural governance, cultural conceptions of difference, and postcolonial policy and practice in museums. Collecting, Ordering, Governing is essential reading for scholars and students of anthropology, museum studies, cultural studies, and indigenous studies as well as museum and heritage professionals.


"This book is a useful addition to the ever-increasing literature exploring the history of the anthropological discipline. Through its examination of particular case studies, it suggests many useful lines of inquiry for anyone exploring the histories of anthropology in different geographical localities." — Alison Petch, Museum Anthropology Review

"This volume can bring useful information to anthropologists, museum specialists, and historians of anthropology. . . . Maybe the most important contribution of this work to the wider academic and social discussions on anthropology and colonialism is its balanced and nuanced approach." — Alexandra Ion, AP: Online Journal in Public Archaeology

"Collecting, Ordering, Governing is a book that demands, instantiates, and rewards a sustained rethinking of the history of anthropology, collecting, museums, and liberal governance. Not only is its multiple authorship an innovation, but the book and its combinations push the reader to think in new, sometimes uncomfortable ways. Once-familiar stories and histories—reconsidered, recombined, and reconceptualized in the light of more recent ideas of liberal governmentality—show the contradictions and loose ends in anthropology’s efforts to provide knowledge that might improve, emancipate, or protect those it studies." — Fred R. Myers, author of Painting Culture: The Making of an Aboriginal High Art

"Tacking between colonial peripheries and imperial centers, across oceans and continents, Collecting, Ordering, Governing delivers what its title promises and much more. A magisterial work of breathtaking theoretical richness, this book advances our understanding of the relationship of disciplinary subjects to the disciplining of subjects—and their efforts of self-determination—through material practices of collection, ordering, and display." — Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Chief Curator, POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Tony Bennett is Research Professor in Social and Cultural Theory, Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University.

Fiona Cameron is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University.

Nélia Dias is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology (ISCTE-IUL and CRIA).

Ben Dibley is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University.

Rodney Harrison is Professor of Heritage Studies at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London.

Ira Jacknis is Research Anthropologist at the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley.

Conal McCarthy is Director of the Museum & Heritage Studies program at Victoria University of Wellington, Aotearoa/New Zealand.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Illustrations  vii
Acronyms and Abbreviations  xiii
Note on the Text  xv
Acknowledgments  xvii
Introduction  1
1. Collecting, Ordering, Governning  9
2. Curatorial Logics and Colonial Rule: The Political Rationalities of Anthropology in Two Australian-Administered Territories  51
3. A Liberal Archive of Everyday Life: Mass-Observation as Oligopticon  89
4. Boas and After: Museum Anthropology and the Governance of Difference in America  131
5. Producing "The Maori as He Was": New Zealand Museums, Anthropological Governance, and Indigenous Agency  175
6. Ethnology, Governance, and Greater France  217
Conclusion  255
Notes  273
References  291
Contributors  325
Index  327
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-6268-5 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-6253-1
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