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On the Properties of Things: Collective Knowledge and the Objects of the Museum

An exhibit display of a butterfly with black, blue, and green wings.
Oxford University Museum of Natural History

PI: Sophie Thomas (Ryerson) and Janine Rogers (Mount Allison U)

Collaborators: Reg Beatty; Rebecca Dolgoy (Postdoc, Carleton U)

This project is an online exhibit (or resource) arising from a two-day event held at Ryerson in October of 2018. “On the Properties of Things: Collective Knowledge and the Objects of the Museum” brought together academic researchers, museum workers and administrators who are developing new, connective ways of engaging with the museum as both an institutional structure and an idea, and who are considering the deeper roles of museums in the history of knowledge and the future of knowledge practices. The online exhibit will be structured around objects and texts selected by event participants, from museums in Canada and Europe, with a view to engaging with the “properties” and “poetics” of objects in museums as the loci where various forms of meaning—arising from different disciplinary and cultural affiliations, such as scientific, artistic, religious, Eastern, Western, Indigenous—intersect. The design of the site aims to layer and intertwine those knowledge categories in creative and scholarly ways appealing to specialist and public audiences alike..

Visit the Properties of Things Project Website., external link