Religion in the Public Sphere as Mediated through the Arts
My research is currently focusing on the gallery and museum institution as a national monument, its role in creating and negotiating civic identity, and in relation to Benedict Anderson’s ‘imagined communities’. I am looking specifically at how religious and cultural objects are currently being handled in permanent collections and exhibitions at the British Museum, the National Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
Whilst my focus is on London, I am looking at these museums in relation to other cities which navigate a strong civic identity; New York, Berlin, Paris.
I am also interested in seeing my London case studies in light of places where cultural identity is more a overtly sensitive and contentious issue than in Britain; for example South Africa, Canada, looking at developments in curatorial approaches, and academic museology which we may learn from here in the UK.