IMC 2011 Roundtable: Displaying / Musealising the Medieval in the Postcolonial Present

York synagoga head

Postcolonising the Medieval Image is convening a roundtable discussion at the 2011 International Medieval Congress.

Certain aspects of the medieval period can constitute an obstacle or embarrassment to enlightened/liberal regimes of display in art, heritage and history museums. On the one hand, cultural inclusivity is not easy to achieve when most of the surviving objects on display seem to be Christian and “white” or European. On the other hand, material traces of cultural encounters are often reminders of past forms of violence that can hardly be appropriated as “usable past”. Taking as a point of departure the display of the Synagoga panel in York and other images and objects that reference non-Christian or violent events and narratives, this roundtable will address the tensions created in the encounter between past realities and present interpretations, and the ways in which present practices of display, curation, preservation and interpretation often reproduce discourses of colonisation.

Co-organised with the Centre for Critical Studies in Museums, Galleries & Heritage & the Centre for Jewish Studies, University of Leeds

Further details to follow.