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25 July

presentation

la salle de cinéma : lieu de conférences et de débats scientifiques © musée du quai Branly, photo Nicolas Borel
la salle de cinéma : lieu de conférences et de débats scientifiques © musée du quai Branly, photo Nicolas Borel

Studies within the specified field evidently require a multidisciplinary approach. This means that the department will consider research projects relating to a wide range of disciplines, including anthropology, history, art history, sociology of cultural institutions or processes of institutionalisation, linguistics – ethnolinguistics in particular – ethnomusicology, cultural technology, and cognitive sciences, etc.

In cases of collective projects, the department will give special consideration to those that productively combine differentiated areas of specialisation.

The department also seeks to ensure that projects accepted by the museum will lead to close collaboration and exchange of professional practices between curators and teacher-researchers, two sections of the profession that have in the past been too ready to ignore each other rather than take advantage of their obviously complementary nature.

La médiathèque : outil indispensable de la recherche © musée du quai Branly, photo Nicolas Borel
La médiathèque : outil indispensable de la recherche © musée du quai Branly, photo Nicolas Borel

In concrete terms, curators’ participation in research projects should result in input of their specialised skills and collaboration in the various works produced, including those aimed at the validation and distribution channels specific to researchers in the strict sense of the word. Consequently, researchers/academics should commit to involvement, as far as possible, in the institutional and intellectual practices specific to curators, in particular by participation in activities designed to increase knowledge among the non-specialist public, by assisting curators with information gathering on artefacts, and in contributing to the design and updating of the museum’s multimedia programmes and to constitution of virtual libraries for the mediatheque.

The department will give special consideration to research projects with a comparative dimension that includes Europe or, more generally, the Western cultural world. It is true that the nature of the museum’s collections orientates the department’s scientific policy towards the arts and techniques of African, Oceanian, American and Asian societies, but Europe is nonetheless not excluded from the field of study. On the contrary, Europe must necessarily make its presence felt, if only implicitly, both in the museography and in the department’s research programmes, as the museum’s raison d’être is to bring an analytic approach to bear upon the relationship between our own and other cultures.

In implementing its scientific policy, the Education and Research Department wished to create a research structure designed to avoid institutional situations whose long-term inefficiency has been proven. Rather than appointing a permanent research team, the department decided to set up a system based upon acceptance of individual and collective projects for limited periods of time.