Rethinking Sami cultures in museums

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEtt brev kom till vår redaktionslåda. Ett tillfälle för de som har varit med i processen kring Nordiska Museets utställning Sápmi, eller har synpunkter på den. Den nuvarande utställningen på Etnografiska museet, Arktiska folk, har ju rena faktafel. Hur ska rätt engagemang från samer garanteras?

CALL FOR PAPERS: Rethinking Sami cultures in museums – University of Oslo,
26, 27, 28 November 2014

In the last few years, the politics of collection, representation and
curation of Sami heritage in museums have received increased attention and
are now engendering new opportunities and challenges for both museum theory
and practice.

A conference titled “Rethinking Sami cultures in museums” is to be held at
the Center for Museums Studies at IKOS, University of Oslo. The conference
is a collaboration between the Center for Museum Studies at the University
of Oslo, the Nordiska Museet in Stockholm and the University of Tromsø.
We invite scholars and museum practitioners from different countries,
disciplines and institutions to share experiences and research findings that
illuminate aspects of Sami cultures in museums, both in an historical and
contemporary perspective. Paper topics may include (but are not limited to):

Collecting Sami: rationale and modalities of collection

* in the past and present
* the challenges of collecting material and immaterial Sámi heritage

Exhibiting Sami: narratives and the politics of display

* in Sami Museums
* in national/majority museums, as well as in regional museums
* historically
* contemporary representations, issues and exhibition experiments
* the structure of the museum system (e.g. in which museums are Sami
exhibited? What is the rationale of such distribution?)

Curating Sami: new approaches to curation and conservation of Sámi heritage

* Sami ‘traditional knowledge’, Sami concepts, and world-views:
and challenges for museum theory and practice
* Repatriation: perspectives on the process of return of collections
national museums to local Sami museums or communities

Cross-cutting topics

* ethical dimensions of collecting, exhibiting and curating Sami
* uses and implications of the adoption of indigenous methodologies
(including indigenous concepts, practices, values and worldviews)

We particularly welcome papers that adopt a comparative perspective across
Nordic countries, in order to bring to the fore similarities and differences
in the way Sami heritage is presented in contemporary museums as a result of

* forms, experiences and consequences of the colonial past;
* roles of Sami in the process of nation-building;
* relationships among Sami sub-groups, between Sami and the national
government, and between Sami and other groups (ethnic minorities,
immigrants, others);
* gender perspectives.

*** Please send a 250-word abstract and a short biography to Marzia Varutti
( and Silje Opdahl Mathisen
( by August 15th, 2014.*** Abstracts will be
selected by the conference organizers. Accepted contributors will be
informed by early Autumn.
Conference fees: Participants shall have to take charge of travel and
accommodation expenses. We are seeking funding to keep conference fees at a
minimum. Detailed information about this will follow.

Keynote speakers
Prof. Christina Kreps, Museum of Anthropology, University of
Prof. Gunlög Fur, Linnaeus University, Sweden
Prof. Stein R. Mathisen, Tromsø University, Norway
Dr Birgitta Fossum, Director, Saemien Sijte / South Sami Museum and
Cultural Centre, Norway
Mr Henrik Olsen, vice-president of the Norwegian Sámi Parliament.

Further details on the conference can be found

Publication plans
Papers presented at the conference will be included in the conference
proceedings, which will be published online. In addition, selected papers
will be published in a special issue of the peer-reviewed journal Nordic

Conference organizers
Silje Opdahl Mathisen, Marzia Varutti – Department of Culture and Oriental
Studies (IKOS), University of Oslo; Rossella Ragazzi – University of Tromsø;
Eva Silven, Nordiska Museet, Stockholm.

Silje Opdahl Mathisen
PhD fellow
Dep. Of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages
P.O. Box 1010 Blindern
N-0315 Oslo, Norway

Phone: +47 22857837
Mobile: +47 99478111

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