"Collections and Collecting" Lunchtime Seminar, Winter semester 2023/24


Organised by Brooke Penaloza-Patzak and Jaanika Vider

Dates: Wednesday, 13.00-14.30; 18 October, 15 November 2023, 17 January 2024

Venue: Sitzungszimmer of the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Neues Institutsgebäude (4th floor), Universitätsstraße 7, 1010 Wien

Bring your lunch!

18 October 2023: Dr. Jaanika Vider (Inst. of Social and Cultural Anthropology), "Strangers in Storage: Exploring Estonian 'Foreign Ethnology' Collections"

In the newly built storage facilities of the Estonian History Museum in Tallinn and the award-winning building of the Estonian National Museum approximately 4,000 'foreign ethnology' or 'world cultures' objects reside in a liminal space. Not classified as 'ethnographic' (term reserved for Estonian ethnographic material) nor part of the Finno-Ugric 'kinspeople' collections, they do not seem to belong. 

The talk focuses on the circumpolar and Northwest Coast Indigenous objects associated with collecting activities of Baltic-German scholars, explorers, and government officials such as Alexander Theodor von Middendorff, Karl von Ditmar, Ferdinand von Wrangell, and Adam Johann von Krusenstern. In the light of recent interest in applying decolonial frameworks and processes in Eastern European representational practices, I look at questions these collections pose about Estonian self-identity and global relations. Looking towards the future, the paper asks what forms of relating to and caring for the environment these collections trace and afford.


15 November 2023: Mariama De Brito Henn, MA (Centre for Transdisciplinary Historical and Cultural Studies), title TBD 

17 January 2024: Dr. Rebecca Kahn (Dept. of History), title TBD 

Poster "Collections and Collecting" WS 2023/24