Dr Briony Widdis, Queen's University Belfast, 'Museums, Empire and Northern Irish Identity'.
Briony Widdis will introduce her research on "ethnographic" objects in Northern Irish museums, as legacies of empire in Ireland. Taking place in HAPP under the mentorship of Professor Domnic Bryan and Dr Emma Reisz, and in association with the Institute of Irish Studies and Centre for Public History, this project is being delivered in partnership with National Museums Northern Ireland, the Northern Ireland Museums Council, Irish Museums Association and Centre for the Study of Historic Irish Houses and Estates at NUI Maynooth. The project focuses on the neglected importance of the legacies of empire for cultural identities in Northern Ireland, and on the role of museums in these debates. Through it, Widdis aims to highlight collections that have been subject to limited research and to build a research network, bridging academia and museums across the island of Ireland, focusing on decolonisation activism and its impact on museums.
The project is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) via the Northern Ireland and North East Doctoral Training Partnership. A museum anthropologist by background, Dr Widdis recently completed her PhD, 'Colonial Objects in Northern Ireland' at Ulster University. She is a former Assistant Director of the Northern Ireland Museums Council, Heritage Officer at Belfast City Council and Curator of Ethnography (Africa, Pacific and Americas) at National Museums Scotland.
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The speaker will present a 45-minute paper, followed by discussion and Q&A.