New book: Collecting, ordering, governing

As you have not heard from me for a while, you may have wondered what I have been doing. In a word: writing. This year, I have had two books out, and I am now busy finishing three more which are due out next year.

In ‘About’ you will see a link to a co-edited collection in memory of the late Maori art historian and curator Jonathan Mane-Wheoki which was published by VUP at the end of July.

Earlier in the year a co-authored monograph came out with Duke University Press which was the outcome of an ARC funded research project led by Prof Tony Bennett from the University of Western Sydney. This book Collecting, ordering, governing: Anthropology, museums and liberal government uses Assemblage Theory to rethink the relations between museums, anthropology and social governance in Australia, NZ, the US, France and French Indo-China and the UK between 1890-1940. My chapter on NZ, co-written with Fiona Cameron, is based on extensive archival research including Maori sources, and situates the Maori engagement with museums and ethnology within this wider context. It offers a fresh interpretation, challenging much previous scholarship, showing how indigenous people participated in official heritage projects on their own terms, employing Boasian ideas of culture adapted from US anthropology. The book has been praised by Fred Myers (NYU) for a ‘sustained rethinking of the history of anthropology, collecting, museums, and liberal governance,’ and Barabara Kirshenbltt-Gimblett (NYU) has hailed it as a ‘magisterial work of breathtaking theoretical richness’.

For more about the book see the DUP website:

https://www.dukeupress.edu/collecting-ordering-governing

For a sample of the Introduction, see:

https://www.dukeupress.edu/Assets/PubMaterials/978-0-8223-6268-5_601.pdf

About mccartco

Conal McCarthy is a former museum professional and academic who has published widely on museum history, theory and practice. He is the Director of the Museum and heritage studies programme at Victoria University of Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand.
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