Ongoing research

Rituals of atonement in the post-secular museum

Conducted at the Museum of Ethnography during 2010 – 2014. Financed by the Swedish Research Council.

The project is led by Curator Lotten Gustafsson Reinius and aims to contribute to an increased understanding of the evolving societal significance of museum collections in the current phase of globalisation. Lotten Gustafsson Reinius relates her project to a series of instances when different interested parties and groups in support of a so-called repatriation challenged the conservation and management of various objects at the museums. The project is restricted to the Museum of Ethnography, Nordiska Museet (the Nordic Museum) and the Swedish History Museum: Three Stockholm museums that have regularly and in various ways contributed to the transformation of Sweden's self-image and global outlook as well as the emergence of different disciplines in Sweden. Lotten Gustafsson Reinius looks at how today's museums can be used as venues for negotiations on cultural heritage, locality and identity while drawing inspiration from theories of ritual practices and materiality. What themes, roles and relations are actuated when objects become officially separated from their previous status of museum artefacts? What is the purpose of becoming ritualised? The project is conducted within the context of the collaborative project 'The socio-material dynamics of museum collections' and also incorporates the ongoing research of Sami collections at Nordiska Museet (Eva Silvén) as well as the research of human remains at the Swedish History Museum (Fredrik Svanberg). In addition, collaboration has taken place with the EU funded research programme 'Eunamus' and the Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions at the University of Western Australia in Perth.

Read more about completed projects here.