EU FP Grant Agreement No 244305
Eunamus explores the creation and power of European national museums. The focus is on understanding the conditions for using the past in negotiations that recreate citizenship, and on the understanding of layers of territorial belonging. The research is conducted through multi-disciplinary collaboration between eight leading university institutions. Project partners and associated researchers will explore institutional path dependencies, the handling of conflicts, modes of representation, cultural policy and visitors’ experiences.
The project aims to create a platform in an area where research so far has been scattered and fragmented. Previous research on national museums has often been based on individual case studies and often single disciplinary areas, such as art history and archaeology. This project adds value by developing a body of knowledge and expertise on the historical trajectories and contemporary complexity of national museums. Understanding the cultural force of national museums will provide citizens, professionals and policy makers with reflexive tools to better communicate and create a common understanding of diversity and community in developing cultural underpinning for democratic governance.
The overarching objectives of Eunamus are:
- To conduct a comparative study of the formation of national museums in Europe and deliver a rich picture of national museums in all their social, political, and intellectual complicity.
- To reveal the historiographic practices that underlie national museums’ uses of the past and to understand how they mould collective sensibilities, notions of community, citizenship, and boundaries of difference.
- To examine the semiotics of national museum buildings and gathered material heritage and make visible the material culture that unites and defines European sensibilities and values.
- To interrogate the policy making and policy implementation actions of national museums and understand how these institutions have acquired their roles as social agents.
- To locate the European citizen as an active participant in the making of national museums and understand the reception of national museums.
- To facilitate for national museums to act as arenas for dialogue between European citizens about what it means to belong to a nation and to Europe.
Eunamus activities are divided into six thematic studies. Five of them run in parallel with slightly staggered beginnings. There is a snowball effect built in to the work plan which permits, with the addition of each layer, an increased understanding of national museums based on historising and comparative studies. The final study will bring together the results in a comprehensive statement on how national museums can contribute to social change.
- Mapping and framing institutions 1750-2010. Enquiries: Peter Aronsson
- Uses of the past. Enquiries: Dominique Poulot
- The museology of Europe. Enquiries: Simon Knell
- Museum policies 1990-2010. Enquiries: Arne Bugge Amundsen
- Museum citizens. Enquiries: Alexandra Bounia
- National museums, history and a changing Europe. Enquiries: Simon Knell
Work plan and Methodology
The methodology and associated work plan, together with a diagram of the structure of the project and the interactions between Eunamus’ thematic areas of studies (i.e work packages (WPs) can be downloaded here.
Eunamus homepage: http://www.eunamus.eu/
Coordinator of the Estonian team:
- Kristin Kuutma