This special issue of Museum Anthropology develops a “critical history” of museum catalogues to position the documentation of material culture as a historical epistemological practice. Authors engage critically with emergent discussions concerning the formalization of knowledge about ethnographic material culture as it developed in the nineteenth century. Each article thus contributes to a wider conversation about the material practices of knowledge production and the affective relations that shape information. As a whole, this issue gives unique insights into how museums have documented material culture through time and provides a way of thinking about how we might engage with such historical practices that still impact much present work.
Museum Anthropology, Fall 2016, Volume 39, Issue 2.