AAA Annual Meeting Program

AAA Annual Meeting Program Details


View Session Details
Paper Information:
Type: Paper
Paper Title: THE KULA OF LONG-TERM LOANS: CULTURAL OBJECT ITINERARIES AND THE PROMISE OF THE POSTCOLONIAL "UNIVERSAL" MUSEUM
Author: ALEXANDER BAUER (Queens College / City University of New York)   
Date/Time: Fri., 3:15 PM
Co-Author(s): ALEXANDER BAUER (Queens College / City University of New York) 
Abstract: Faced with growing legal and ethical constraints, many museums with noteworthy collections of archaeological materials, self-identified as “universal” museums, have recently reached agreements with Italy and other so-called “source nations” to return objects those nations claim as their cultural heritage. In exchange for the objects’ return, the nations have in many cases agreed to establish a program of rotating multi-year loans, in which objects of similar cultural significance are sent to the museums for display. Rather than interpret these developments as reflecting a dangerous rise in nationalism at the expense of the cosmopolitanism exemplified by the “universal” museums, this paper argues that these new loan arrangements may not only help transform museums into more mature, postcolonial, and globally-engaged institutions, but also will facilitate new social relations with their exchange partners. Much like a 21st century Kula ring, the ongoing circulation of culturally valuable objects among museums and communities across the world has the potential to bind the participants together in webs of reciprocal obligation and cooperation vital for a postcolonial cosmopolitanism.

Program Number: 3-0760
Session Title: THINGS IN MOTION: OBJECT HISTORIES, BIOGRAPHIES, AND ITINERARIES
Session Sponsor: Co-Sponsored by Archaeology Division and Archaeology Division
Session Date/Time: Fri., 1:45 PM-3:30 PM
Organizer(s): SUSAN GILLESPIE (University of Florida), ROSEMARY JOYCE (University of California-Berkeley) 
Chair(s): ROSEMARY JOYCE (University of California-Berkeley)  
View Session Details


Schedule-at-a-Glance

If you have any questions about the program, please contact the AAA Meetings Department at aaameetings@aaanet.org.