Thinking Colonial Heritage Historically

Do16Nov18:15Do19:45Thinking Colonial Heritage HistoricallyMissionary Collecting (16th-20th centuries)VeranstaltungsartBuchvorstellung,Gespräch


Idee und Moderation: Dr. Sabina Brevaglieri (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

Grußwort: Prof. Dr. Bernhard Huss (Direktor des Italienzentrums der Freien Universität Berlin)
Teilnehmer:innen: Prof. Paula Findlen (Stanford University) und Prof. Dr. Matthias Pohlig (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

In englischer Sprache

In Zusammenarbeit mit der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

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While decolonisation and restitution policies are currently at the core of intense public and scholarly debates, 19th and 20th century missionary collections and museums have recently emerged as a relevant object of interdisciplinary investigation. At stake are dynamics of acquisition and monopolisation of indigenous artefacts, their paths of mobility and circulation across the worlds, evaluation practices, transformation of meanings and displaying associated with colonial propaganda, and confessional education.

Against this background, Missionary collecting, a «Quaderni Storici» monographical issue edited by Sabina Brevaglieri, aims, first of all, at redefining the missionary material engagement as an object of investigation. This project sets an ambitious research agenda based on historical work and an interdisciplinary approach grounded upon two major premises. On the one hand, missionary practices of attention to indigenous objects and multiple forms of artefact translocation and re-sedimentation appear to be a long-lasting phenomenon to be mapped from the early 16th century, well before the invention of the museum as a modern institution. On the other hand, collecting practices were integral to a missionary engagement oriented to conversion, intertwining with a consistent missionary duty of knowledge.

By exploring different kinds of colonial contexts, from the early-modern Iberian Empires to the later Italian fascist venture in Africa, Missionary collecting argues for a missionary ambiguous “mediation” across the worlds and inquiries into the many different and often asymmetrically competing agencies interplaying with it. QS articles explore different Catholic missionary attitudes as well as discursive and material strategies worldwide. The dossier maps negotiations with colonial powers and courts in Europe. Above all, it pays close attention to indigenous creative capacities of resistance and asymmetric negotiations involving ethnic values, religious meanings, and emerging hints of heritage making. Thus, Missionary collecting entangled analysis opens up a highly original perspective, to contribute to the scholarly, social and political challenge to imagine a decolonised future.

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16. November 2023 18:15 - 19:45(GMT+02:00)


Freie Universität Berlin

Habelschwerdter Allee 45, 14195 Berlin

Freie Universität Berlin