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Staffan Lundén

Researcher

Staffan Lundén
Researcher
staffan.lunden@gu.se
+46 31 786 4410

Postal Address: Box 130, 40530 Göteborg
Visiting Address: Guldhedsgatan 5a , 41320 Göteborg


Department of Conservation (More Information)
Box 130
405 30 Göteborg
www.conservation.gu.se
conservation@conservation.gu.se
Fax: +46 31 786 4703
Visiting Address: Guldhedsgatan 5a , 413 20 Göteborg

About Staffan Lundén

  • Ph. D. in Archaeology 2016

Research interests

My research centers on heritage and museums. The two topic which stand in particular focus are the contemporary illicit trade in looted archaeological objects and the right to own and represent contested objects in museum collections. These research interests pertain to a curiosity about the social production of knowledge, materialities, memories, representations and identities at how this production relates to the societal production of class, ethnicity and gender etc. Questions on research ethics, the sociology of knowledge and how historical right (and wrongs) could and should (not) be handled in the present form important themes in my research.

A couple of my articles: "Heritage for sale" (1999), "The scholar and the market" (2004b), "The manuscript collector" (2005), "Perspectives on looting" (2012) deal with the contemporary illicit trade. A theme addressed from different perspectives in these articles is how museums and researchers have helped to legitimate this trade in looted objects in direct and indirect ways. In Lundén 2012, the issue of trade which goes from the poorer to the richer parts of the world, is also put in a broader perspective of global unequal power relations.

My doctoral dissertation Displaying Loot. The Benin objects and the British Museum (2016) took its point of departure in the British Museum and its collection of objects looted in Benin City, present-day Nigeria, in 1897. The aim was to discuss how the museum represents (and, as I argue, “makes”) the objects, as well as Edo/African and British/Western identity through exhibitions and publications. In particular, I was interested in looking at how (if) the representations were influenced by the fact that the museum’s ownership of these objects is disputed. My analysis showed that the ownership conflict had a strong impact on the museum’s representations. To protect itself from restitution claims the museum glorifies and distorts its own dark past. The analysis also showed that the museum’s present exhibition in subtle ways distinguishes between self and other. It portrays Africans as traditional and Westerners as progressive. The study relies and draws inspiration from the postcolonial field (Said), discourse analysis (Foucault), materiality studies (Appadurai, Kopytoff), gender studies (Haraway), and translation studies (Sturge). The analysis of the British Museum's own identity building is inspired by the theories surrounding the creation of national identity (Anderson, Billig, Hobsbawm).

My interest in the relation between the construction of heritage and the construction of identity prompted the article "What does the Acropolis tell?" (2016). It discusses how the Acropolis in Athens has been shaped and reshaped for different purposes throughout the ages, focusing on how the Acropolis was transformed in the 1800s, and the interrelation between this reshaping with ideas about Greek and Western identity. The making of heritage is also explored in the short article ”What created 18th century Gothenburg?” (2013), co-authored with Magnus Berg. The article discusses the "factors" that influenced the making of a museum exhibition (personal background and preferences, institutional traditions, materiality in terms of exhibition space and collections, assumptions about the 18th century, assumptions about the audience's expectations etc).
 

At present my resarch focuses on the reprsentation of Benin objects in museums in Nigeria and elsewhere, and on the reprsentation of the Parthenon sculptures in Acropolis museum and the British Museum.

Latest publications

Vad berättar Akropolis? [What does the Acropolis tell?]
Staffan Lundén
Boman H. (Red.). Antik och klassicism: En resa i tid och rum: essäer, Stockholm, Föreningen Svenska Atheninstitutets vänner; Föreningen Svenska Rominstitutets vänner, Chapter in book 2016
Chapter in book

Displaying Loot: The Benin objects and the British Museum
Staffan Lundén
Göteborg , University of Gothenburg, Department of Historical Studies, Doctoral thesis 2016
Doctoral thesis

Vad skapade 1700-talets Göteborg?
Magnus Berg, Staffan Lundén
Utställningsestetiskt Forum, Magazine article 2013
Magazine article

Perspectives on looting
Staffan Lundén
Art, Antiquity and Law, Magazine article 2012
Magazine article

Köp inte antika föremål utomlands [Don’t buy ancient objects abroad]
Staffan Lundén
Göteborgs-Posten, Newspaper article 2007
Newspaper article

Flera 1000 år gammalt stöldgods på eBay/Stolen goods several thousand years old in eBay
Staffan Lundén
Spelet om Maya. En utställning om arkeologiska berättelser (Utställningskatalog Historiska museet), Newspaper article 2006
Newspaper article

Skriftsamlaren [The Manuscript collector]
Staffan Lundén
Culture without Context, Magazine article 2005
Magazine article

Showing 1 - 10 of 41

2016

Vad berättar Akropolis? [What does the Acropolis tell?]
Staffan Lundén
Boman H. (Red.). Antik och klassicism: En resa i tid och rum: essäer, Stockholm, Föreningen Svenska Atheninstitutets vänner; Föreningen Svenska Rominstitutets vänner, Chapter in book 2016
Chapter in book

Displaying Loot: The Benin objects and the British Museum
Staffan Lundén
Göteborg , University of Gothenburg, Department of Historical Studies, Doctoral thesis 2016
Doctoral thesis

2013

Vad skapade 1700-talets Göteborg?
Magnus Berg, Staffan Lundén
Utställningsestetiskt Forum, Magazine article 2013
Magazine article

2012

Perspectives on looting
Staffan Lundén
Art, Antiquity and Law, Magazine article 2012
Magazine article

2008

2007

Köp inte antika föremål utomlands [Don’t buy ancient objects abroad]
Staffan Lundén
Göteborgs-Posten, Newspaper article 2007
Newspaper article

2006

Flera 1000 år gammalt stöldgods på eBay/Stolen goods several thousand years old in eBay
Staffan Lundén
Spelet om Maya. En utställning om arkeologiska berättelser (Utställningskatalog Historiska museet), Newspaper article 2006
Newspaper article

2005

Skriftsamlaren [The Manuscript collector]
Staffan Lundén
Culture without Context, Magazine article 2005
Magazine article

Showing 1 - 10 of 41

Page Manager: Henrik Thelin|Last update: 12/21/2015
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