Materializing Culture - Culturizing Material. On the Status, Responsibilities and Function of Cultural Property Repositories within the Framework of a "Transformative Scholarship"

Markus Hilgert

Abstract


Certain theoretical streams in the cultural and social sciences that are occasionally subsumed under the term “New Materialism” 2 (see Witzgall), as well as recent social, political, cultural and media technology developments require a theoretical and research-political repositioning of academic object repositories. For it is obvious that under the influence of these multi-layered, partly interwoven processes, the status, responsibilities, as well as the function and spheres of activity of these object or cultural property repositories with research commitment (on the term see section 2 below) are currently undergoing long-lasting change.


For the respective institutions, these changes not only result in complex challenges regarding contents and structure, but also present extraordinary opportunities for the fulfillment of their academic, social and political responsibilities.


The appropriate handling of these challenges and opportunities can substantially contribute to the sharpening of the academic and social profile of these institutions and increase their visibility on both a national and international level.


Keywords


Cultural Property Research; Object Repositories; Transformative Scholarship; Archives; Libraries; Museums; Digitization; Science and Research Politics

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17192/meta.2014.3.2421

Markus Hilgert is the current Director of the Vorderasiatisches Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz. From 2007 until early 2014, Hilgert held a chair for Cuneiform Studies at Heidelberg University. He is the President of the Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft and the founding director of the “Heidelberg Center for Cultural Heritage,” an interdisciplinary expert network for cultural heritage research established at Heidelberg University in 2013.
email: m.hilgert@smb.spk-berlin.de