Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Constructing Identities on Marbles and Terracotta

Museum Anthropology 30(1), which has just been published in AnthroSource features two peer-reviewed articles, the first of which is a paper titled "Constructing Identities on Marbles and Terracotta: Representations of Classical Heritage in Greece and Turkey" by BoĹžidar Jezernik, a professor in the Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. He is the author of, among other books, Wild Europe: The Balkans in the Gaze of Western Travellers (Saqi Books, 2004). The abstract for Professor Jezernik paper is as follows:
During the late 18th century and after, Western Europeans construed ancient Greece as an exceptional land, peopled not with humans, but with super-humans. As a result, modern Greeks were cast in the role of the living ancestors of European civilization. When they passed the antiquities laws and built museums for their preservation, they were imagined as true beneficiaries of their forefathers, even though not yet fully adequate for keeping their prestigious heritage. However, when the Ottomans endeavored to “modernize” their country and developed their interest in preserving antiquities, the “history-conscious” West judged their efforts by much different standards. [Keywords: museum history, Ottoman Empire, cultural property, historical consciousness, Orientalism]
The entire paper can be accessed here. I want to extend my thanks to Professor Jezernik for his rich contribution to the history of museum anthropology. Tomorrow I will post a notice related to the issue's second peer-review article.