Lecturer and researcher receives Andrew W. Mellon Foundation funding.
30 May 2012
College of Arts lecturer and researcher, Dr Claire Wintle, has been awarded funding to participate in a month-long seminar programme in the U.S. on decolonisation, run by the National History Center and the Library of Congress in Washington DC.
Dr Wintle who teaches BA(Hons) History of Art and Design, will participate in the fully funded programme which is sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. It involves 15 early career scholars (post PhD) from around the world coming together to work on archives in Washington DC, participate in group discussions and work with key senior scholars.
The key outcome of the initiative will be a published article from each delegate on the subject of decolonisation. Dr Wintle’s project, will trace changing curatorial approaches to the American national collection of ethnographic artifacts in the middle years of the twentieth century, examining how U.S. involvement in decolonisation in India and Africa was refracted and imagined through domestic museum practice.
Drawing upon research that identifies museums as complicit in the making of nation states and regional identities, Dr Wintle's project will be the first to focus specifically on the efficacy and reflective abilities of museums on wider processes of decolonisation between 1940 and 1970. It will contribute to theoretical debates about the impact of museums on socio-political processes and decolonisation as a eurocentric, discreet and constitutional phenomenon.
Commenting on her award Dr Wintle said: “I’m delighted to have been awarded this opportunity to explore the collections and archives of the Smithsonian, and to work with such a prestigious group of scholars at the National History Centre. The range of projects that the other participants are working on looks very exciting indeed, and I am certain that the seminar will develop and strengthen my understanding of this important period in history. I feel very lucky to have been given this time to develop my research on the role that museums play in negotiating histories of decolonisation; the mid-twentieth century is a neglected period in museum studies, and while I have been working on archives in the UK and India, I hope that bringing the global reach of American policy and practice into the mix will really enrich my findings.”