School of History, Classics & Archaeology

Powerful Stuff: Colonial Objects in a Decolonising World

The artefacts in our great museums are once again the focus of scrutiny. At a moment in which so much of Britain’s imperial past is being publically contested, demands for the return of colonial-era acquisitions are becoming ever louder. Across the Channel, such calls were given renewed impetus by French President Emmanuel Macron’s statement that ‘African heritage can no longer be the prisoner of European museums’, but Tristram Hunt, Director of the Victoria & Albert Museum, still wants us to re-imagine the encyclopaedic museum as ‘a new medium for multicultural understanding’.

 Participants include:

Tom Cunningham (University of Edinburgh; African Studies) Lawrence Dritsas (University of Edinburgh; History of Science) Sarah Easterby-Smith (University of St Andrews) Linda Fibiger (University of Edinburgh; Human Osteoarchaeology) Corinne Fowler (University of Leicester/National Trust) John Harries (University of Edinburgh; Social Anthropology) Dan Hicks (Pitt Rivers, Oxford) Kate Hill (University of Glasgow) Sarah Longair (University of Lincoln) Jennifer Melville (National Trust for Scotland) Andy Mills (Hunterian, Glasgow) Kalathmika Natarajan (University of Edinburgh; History) Stana Nenadic (University of Edinburgh; History) Raj Pal (National Trust) Joan Smith (University of Edinburgh College of Art) Giovanna Vitelli (Hunterian, Glasgow)

Dec 05 2019 -

Powerful Stuff: Colonial Objects in a Decolonising World

This symposium, which marks the first anniversary of the founding of the Edinburgh Centre for Global History, brings together academics and museum professionals to think through issues surrounding calls for the return of colonial-era acquisitions in museums.

Sydney Smith Lecture Theatre, Doorway 1, Old Medical School, Teviot Place, Edinburgh EH8 9AG