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New Directions in Anthropology
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Science, Magic and Religion
The Ritual Processes of Museum Magic
Edited by Mary Bouquet and Nuno Porto
288 pages, 55 illus., index
ISBN 978-1-57181-520-0 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (December 2004)
ISBN 978-1-57181-521-7 $34.95/£27.95 Pb Published (April 2006)
eISBN 978-1-78238-712-1 eBook
For some time now, museums have been recognized as important institutions of western cultural and social life. The idea of the museum as a ritual site is fairly new and has been applied to the art museums in Europe and the United States so far. This volume expands it by exploring a range of contemporary museums in Europe and Africa. The case studies examine the different ways in which various actors involved in cultural production dramatize and ritualize such sites. It turns out that not only museum specialists, but visitors themselves are engaged in complex performances and experiences that make use of museums in often unexpected ways.
Mary Bouquet teaches Cultural Anthropology and Museum Studies at Utrecht University College. Her recent publications include Academic Anthropology and the Museum, also published by Berghahn Books (2001).
Nuno Porto is Lecturer at the Department of Anthropology, University of Coimbra, where he teaches museology, material culture, and the history of anthropology.