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Key note lezing Wayne Modest

De tweede key note lezing wordt gehouden door niemand minder dan Wayne Modest, hoogleraar material culture and critical heritage studies (VU) en hoofd van het onderzoekscentrum voor Material Culture (Museum van Wereldculturen). Benieuwd naar zijn lezing? Lees hier de introductie:

On Being Included: Again, and again and again…

The heritage sector in the Netherlands today is again a lively site for discussions about diversity and inclusion. Unsurprisingly, this heightened interest in diversity and inclusion coincides with growing, if not competitive interest to revisit the histories of slavery and colonialism in museums and archives and in society more broadly, to uncover and represent alternative more inclusive perspectives. For those with longer histories in diversity and inclusion work, these discussions may seem nostalgic, even exasperating,  a return to decades of unfulfilled promises from an unchanged sector. Indeed, some activists and diversity practitioners have push back against diversity in favour of the more political project of decolonisation, and resist practices of inclusion as paternalistic, symbolic and lacking institutional commitment. But is this moment, indeed, no more than a perpetual return, no different from previous iterations at inclusive practices? And if so, why not?

In this presentation I want to reflect on this current moment of diversity and inclusion work in the Netherlands. Thinking with the work of Sara Ahmed (from whom I take my title) among other scholars thinking about diversity, racialisation, structural inequality, and (in)justice, I want to examine some of the main features of these practices to try to understand if and how this might signal real shifts in the field. My focus in this paper will be primarily, but not limited to the museums.

Wayne Modest is Head of the Research Center for Material Culture, the research institute for the Tropenmuseum, Museum, Volkenkunde, Africa Museum and the Wereldmuseum. He is also professor of material culture and critical heritage studies, in the Faculty of Humanities, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam. His most recent publications include Victorian Jamaica (together with Tim Barringer) was published by Duke University Press in 2018. His forthcoming publication, Matters of Belonging: Ethnographic Museums in a Changing Europe, will be published by Siderstone Press in the fall of 2019.