Trajectories of Meaning: the Shifting Power of Things

Neil MacGregor

Abstract


The meaning of things has, over the last decades, assured ever greater political significance. National identity and national ambition are frequently tethered to objects to which particular significance is attached.

In this lecture I want to examine a few examples of the instability of the meaning of things, how meanings are discarded and created, and what motives may be at work. I also wish to consider how the academic community might respond.


Keywords


transculturality; materiality; museum; national identity;

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11588/ts.2012.2.9543