This panel brings together current practices in collecting, documenting and presenting ways of dwelling in museum settings with ethnological research on the same topic. The panel is organised by the Working Group Museums and Material Culture.
Over the past decades, as in the past, museums and heritage institutions have been developing projects on dwelling and closely related topics such as - to mention but a few - community life, migration and mobility, and interior decoration. Aiming to include a growing range of perspectives and audiences, these projects often took a participative approach, with curators embarking on ethnographic fieldwork, reaching out to specific city neighborhoods or (less often) rural areas. In other cases, and more and more often, artists or artistic designers were invited by the museum, to become embedded in a community, and to share their experiences through their work with the audiences. At the same time, incidently sometimes even in the same neighbourhood, researchers from the field of ethnology, social anthropology and folklore studies were busy - as their fellows had been before - to thoroughly investigate dwelling practices by doing archival and ethnographic fieldwork, analyzing their findings by confronting them with conceptual frameworks and theoretical notions of home and belonging, place making, mobility, materiality and identity formation. What can museum professionals, artists, artistic researchers and ethnologists learn from each other? In what way do their approaches offer new or radical different perspectives on ways of dwelling? Do we share a common ground? By inviting museum professionals, academics and artists to share and discuss their experiences, we hope to inspire both ethnological research and museum practices and discuss integrative methodological approaches to dwellings in museums.