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Re-inheriting the Revolutionary Past: Museums, Archives and Social Repair i...

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Geographical Sciences: Peel Lecture Theatre

University Road

Bristol

BS8 1BF

United Kingdom

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Professor Graeme Were - Inaugural Lecture

Re-inheriting the Revolutionary Past: Museums, Archives and Social Repair in Vietnam

Anthropology has provided fertile ground for examining post-conflict societies and what coming to terms with the past means for those recovering from violence and loss.

Whilst anthropologists have examined reconciliation, repair and healing through ritual, performance, and story-telling, it is surprising how the museum and archive has featured much less prominently in such studies. Based on fieldwork in Vietnam, I consider how museum archives are creating the conditions for families to undergo some form of social repair.

Focusing on the Nghe Tinh Soviets Museum – a museum that commemorates the Nghe Tinh Soviets who rose up against French colonial rule in the 1930s – I reveal the complexities of present day family associations to this turbulent period of history, and how limited access to the museum’s archives is enabling some Vietnamese families to re-inherit the revolutionary past.

My lecture raises questions about the potential of the archive for social repair and what this may mean for the future of memory.

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Geographical Sciences: Peel Lecture Theatre

University Road

Bristol

BS8 1BF

United Kingdom

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