Dr Sushma Jansari: Experimenting with Museums’ collection histories

Monday, 21 September, 2020
AGM at 5.30PM (BST)
Keynote Lecture at 6.30PM (BST)

The history of collecting has seen a resurgence in popularity among scholars in recent years. There is also a growing appetite for more information about object and collection provenance among the general public. This welcome trend looks set to continue.

However, with newspaper headlines reducing the history of collecting to a single word – ‘Loot!’ – and only a tiny proportion of visitors reading labels, how do we go about sharing the reality of complex, nuanced and sometimes difficult stories? I suggest that it is an opportunity to experiment and work more closely with colleagues and communities.

In this online lecture, Dr Sushma Jansari uses her own work as an example to look at the ways in which museums are innovatively integrating collection history into galleries, exhibitions, public programs and more.

Dr Sushma Jansari is the Tabor Foundation Curator: South Asia, at the British Museum. Sushma completed her PhD at UCL in 2016 and was instrumental in the redevelopment of the British Museum’s Sir Joseph Hotung Gallery of China and South Asia which opened in 2018. She is part of the team developing the Manchester Museum South Asia Gallery in partnership with the British Museum (opening 2022).

Sushma has long-standing research interests in the history of collecting and is co-supervising two AHRC-funded Collaborative Doctoral Projects on this topic: 1) The Global and the National: South Asian Collectors at the British Museum; 2) Women collectors of South Asia: gender, material culture and empire.

Alongside her curatorial work, Sushma presents the British Museum’s podcast but also created her own – The Wonder House – where she shares innovative and contemporary approaches to decolonising museums.

Please note the AGM portion of this event is for members only.
Members and non members are welcome to join the keynote lecture.
If you would like to become a member of the society, click here.

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