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How to Put Dinosaurs in Noah’s Ark – A Glance at the Diversity of Museums in America

May 8 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

| Free

Coming in late in the vein of the Western civilization, American culture is young and vibrant. So are the museums. The most characteristic museums in the United States are not to be found in mega cities like New York or Los Angeles. They rest at the foot of mountains, amidst the Southern suburbs, and sometimes in the forgotten corner of a fine college campus. What is important about these hidden gems is that they represent the real America as they are often created and operated by the people who feel dearest to the themes of their museums.

Great diversity can be seen in the creation of the seven museums selected for this lecture – The Cloisters, High Line, Field Museum of Natural History, National Firearm Museum, The Ark Encounter, Harvard Museum of Natural History, and Delta Airline Museum. Not only do they vary in topical themes, but they were owned and run by businessmen, activists, scholars, firms, and average citizens like us. How do they reflect the social dynamics of American society? What culture outsiders can learn from the making of these museums? These are the questions that Dr. Shen Xincheng will address in this lecture.

Dr. Shen is an Assistant Professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. He received his M.A. in anthropology from Columbia University and his PhD in History of Technology from Georgia Institute of Technology. His research focuses on the social history of technology and museum studies. Dr. Shen had worked as a researcher at the American Museum of Natural History, 9/11 National Memorial and Museum, and New York Historical Society. His publications include the acclaimed No Guest in New York City (2017) and a dozen of papers and articles across the fields of urban history and museum studies.

美国是西方国家中后发制人的文化强国,拥有众多世界顶尖的博物馆和文化机构。这些机构孕育于纽约、波士顿等大城市中,常常令中国游客,甚至是美国游客们,误认为这就是美国博物馆的文化全貌。事实上,这是不完整的。

作为后发国,美国博物馆在文化上最应引以为豪的并非大都会博物馆那样规模的艺术收藏,而是深深植根于美国本土文化脉络的、独居美国特色的博物馆。它们散布在阿巴拉契亚山脚下,深南城市的郊野里,各种性质不同、目标不一的形形色色的社会组织支撑着他们的运行,用金钱和热情浇灌它们,构成了美国全境奇经八脉中的诸个穴位。

为帮助外来者和后来人一窥美国文化基底中这一最富特色的生机,华美人文学会特邀上海交通大学教授、博物馆学专家沈辛成博士于5月8日做《把恐龙放进方舟总共分几步——美国博物馆多元话语探析》。此次讲座将涉及纽约市的修道院博物馆(The Cloisters)和高线公园(High Line Park)、芝加哥的菲尔德自然博物馆(Field Museum of Natural History)、弗吉尼亚州费尔法克斯市的国家枪械博物馆(National Firearms Museum)、肯塔基州威廉斯市的邂逅方舟(The Ark Encounter)、哈佛大学的哈佛自然博物馆(Harvard Museum of Natural History)、佐治亚州亚特兰大市的达美飞行博物馆(The Delta Flight Museum)等七处文化地点。它们以截然不同的方式呈现了美国文化的方方面面,而背后的缔造者和运营者们,从富翁,到社会组织,到宗教机构,到专业学者,到巨头企业,再到普通市民,可谓横跨社会各个阶层。

如果回到历史中去,我们就不难发现,这些博物馆的形成与崛起,正是美国近两百年文化征途的一个个路标,它们显示着不同历史时期里博物馆的不同范式,以及这些范式是如何逐渐变迁的。美国的众多博物馆是多种社会力量自下而上形成的,充满了来自基层的智慧与情意,它们共同构成了运动之中的社会对话,让博物馆能够成为可以议事的公共空间,而非单纯的知识殿堂。这一点也是中国博物馆应当积极借鉴的,突破体制束缚,在改革中不断前行,释放社会中多样化的文化表达,构建人民共建共享的文化空间。

主讲嘉宾沈辛成,上海交通大学科学史与科学文化研究院助理教授、美国佐治亚理工学院科技史博士、哥伦比亚大学人类学硕士、复旦大学考古学硕士、北京大学历史学学士。出版著作1本,译著3本,学术文章见于《人民日报》《史林》《新京报》《文汇学人》《上海书评》等刊。研究方向为技术社会史和博物馆学。留美期间,他曾参与美国自然历史博物馆、9/11国家纪念馆和纽约历史学会等著名博物馆的研究和策展工作,主持策划了上海科技馆新馆规划能源主题厅。其著作《纽约无人是客——一本37.5℃的博物馆地图》豆瓣评分8.6,入选豆瓣2017年榜、单向街书店读者最爱年榜、《武汉晚报》年度好书榜和2018年上海市中小学图书馆配置推荐书目。

Details

Date:
May 8
Time:
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Cost:
Free
Event Category:

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