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Subjectivity as Treatment: Neurosis and the Roots of Contemporary Ethnographic Conservation

Daniel Cull


L’auteur explore une « histoire originelle » de la conservation d’objets ethnographiques, s’attachant aux relations entre musées, conservateurs, peuples indigènes et collections ethnographiques. Il insiste en particulier sur la ré-imagination de la profession de conservateur, et la subjectivité inhérente à l’appréhension du passé : le mot « history » ne peut-il être lu comme « his » « story »(l’histoire est en définitive son histoire) ?

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“Everything that was directly lived has moved away into a representation”
(Guy Debord. 1967 thesis 1)1

1It might not be a popular point of departure for a conservation essay, however, it is the contention of this paper that death is a (possibly the) underpinning theoretical meta-narrative of the traditional or classical conservation endeavor. That is to say that the conservation effort in classical conservation theory is principally concerned with the prevention of death and the removal of signs of the natural aging process; a task doomed to fail. Death has been associated with the museum world by both western and non-western thinkers; it has been stated that museums are cold inhospitable and unwelcoming places for indigenous peoples, representing places of death2. Such arguments are not unique to indigenous peoples and they can be found in the literature of the art/museum world: “as the word ‘museum’ hides within ‘mausoleum’, so the museum conceals the mausoleum and its occupants, the dead”3 and by art movements such as the Futurists “Museums: Cemeteries! ... Identical, surely, in the sinister promiscuity of so many bodies unknown to one another.”4

2This realization causes somewhat of a rupture, for if museums are so widely considered to be places of death, how can they also be seen as the preeminent purveyors of culture? These differing understandings of museums are perhaps most pronounced when considering ‘ethnographic collections’ that traditionally were presented through the idea of the ‘other’ within the museum setting. To understand this dichotomy between the views of the dominant culture (the representation of ‘other’) and indigenous/subject culture (experience of ‘self’) this paper will explore the role that contemporary ethnographic conservators fulfill within the void between these ideas. This process involves asking some difficult questions about the nature of conservation and museums. Shedding light on these questions we come to see that ethnographic collections offer not only information for and about those cultures from whom they were drawn but also offer a unique glimpse into the psyche of kleptomania, and megalomania that led to their collection. The conservation idea, the desire to ‘preserve for the future’, developed alongside the idea of museums, this paper investigates the development of these ideas and the trajectory that has taken them to the current process underway within conservation and museums which is one of healing of wounds, of coming to ‘truth and reconciliation’ with the past.  

The Birth of Neurosis

“And was Jerusalem builded here
Among these dark Satanic mills?”
(William Blake 1804)5

3Death haunts the beginnings of our conservation ‘origin story’, as we begin with the development of museums in the time of industrial and social revolutions in Europe. This tumultuous period of industrialization altered both the physical and metaphysical landscape, just as the forests were torn down to power the factories, the traditions and beliefs associated with the physical landscape and old way of life were ripped apart. It seems that during these upheavals new ways of thinking developed, coping mechanisms of a sort, that led ultimately to the development of conservation as part of a “heritage industry”6. It is often suggested that the origins of conservation are buried in the mists of time, in traditions of ‘fixing and mending objects’7, however, could this simply be indicative of the form conservation has taken? Is conservation not a ‘form of activity’ but an ‘intellectual pursuit’? Or, to reinterpret Maslow’s ‘Hierarchy of needs’8, conservations use value to society is not immediate, as it is undertaken to achieve an intellectual and not a physical need, it therefore seems that this ‘difference’ marks it out as separate from traditions of fixing and mending objects for purely utilitarian and/or aesthetic purposes.

4The development of this intellectual pursuit has been described by a variety of authors within the heritage literature.  It has been suggested that Europeans began to conceive of the past as a ‘different realm’9 and that this quirky antiquarianism developed in the nineteenth century into a national program of preservation. It has been considered elsewhere that this looking backwards was in part fueled by a fear of the present, and revulsion for technical progress exemplified by the excesses of the Guillotine10. The past became a romanticized place untainted by the disillusionment of the all too real world. It can be considered then that “preservation depends on some kind of feeling that earlier epochs of our or other cultures have something to offer the present.”11 However it should also be noted that the act of preservation deepens the division between the present and the past. In effect preservation drives a wedge between the two, for “if recognizing the past’s difference promoted its preservation, the act of preserving made that difference still more apparent.”12 It is the contention of this paper that these changes in attitudes hold the key to understanding the psychological development of conservation. In the influential book ‘The Medium is the Massage’ this effect is described with the words: “When faced with a totally new situation, we tend always to attach ourselves to the objects, to the flavor of the most recent past. We look at the present through a rear-view mirror. We march backwards into the future.”13

5These psychological effects were famously described by Freud who believed that unconscious conflicts were the source of neuroses; he developed the idea of ‘Compensation’, the taking up of one behavior because one cannot accomplish another. The onset of industrialization was indicated by Freud to be a possible source of mass neurosis: “Much of the blame for our misery lies with what we call our civilization, and that we should be far happier if we were to abandon it and revert to primitive conditions.”14 It is the suggestion of this origin story that museums therefore developed as a form of compensation replacing directly lived interaction with the past with a form of representation. This has been similarly discussed elsewhere in the conservation literature: “This way of maintaining contact evolved after the outburst of the Industrial Revolution and the development of a historical conscience brought an end to the traditional link with the past, which may be said to have lasted, in various forms, from the origin of civilization to the end of the eighteenth century”.15 Industrialization, a form of hyper-civilization, accelerated this neurosis until such a time as the compensation was the activity in and for itself, at this point in time the study and collection of the past was no longer in opposition to the present but had been recuperated and was now in service of the present, thus a heritage industry grew in which the new way of looking at objects became the norm. Or in the words of Freud “we also welcome it as a sign of civilization if people devote care to things that have no practical value whatever, that indeed appear useless”.16

The Sickness Spreads

“Take up the White Man's burden-- Send forth the best ye breed--
Go bind your sons to exile. To serve your captives' need.”
(Rudyard Kipling 1899)17

6For a long time ethnographic collections were interpreted through the prism of scientific racism, manipulating ‘data’ to support white cultural supremacy, whilst helping to justify the spread of ‘civilization’. In this way the museum and conservation world are complicit in acts of Genocide, murder, rape, cultural theft and annihilation, amongst the many other horrors of colonialism. By dehumanizing people as ‘the other’, indigenous populations were treated as objects, relics from the past. With this background it has been wryly noted that “Ethnology is thought of as archaeology by anticipation”.18 In fact Levi-Strauss famously forged the neologism “entropology”19 to suggest the imminent disappearance of its ‘object’ as the founding motive for anthropology. The predicted, and to many it must be remembered desired, loss of people spurned ethnologists on to ‘conserve’ more of their material culture. Any thoughts of saving the people and their way of life from the encroachments of civilization were, of course, ignored, if such thoughts were considered at all. Today the survivors of colonizer and colonized have been left to come to terms with their collective past. Perhaps there is a role for these collections in this emotional task?

7In order to understand the development of museums, one must understand colonialism, because “colonial relations always involved material culture.”20 That conservators can find additional uses for their understanding of material culture through these studies is an added bonus. Studying material culture is important as these studies can give valuable information as to the role material culture plays in social life, and in perpetuating, and/or smoothing the path of colonialism, because significant changes in social life are often mirrored in changes to material culture. In this way material culture informs us as to the local colonial model. There are three possible models:

  • “Acculturation sees the local culture as being taken over and submerged by the culture of the incoming group”…

  • …“The second possibility sees a lack of change and the maintenance of tradition”…

    …“The third, most subtle, view of change stresses hybriditiy as an outcome whereby new cultural forms arise out of the meeting of existing cultural logics.”21

8Understanding the specific form also allows us to understand how colonialism was resisted. “The specificities of imperialism help to explain the different ways in which indigenous peoples have struggled to recover histories, lands, languages and basic human dignity. The way arguments are framed, the way dissent is controlled, the way settlements are made, while certainly drawing from international precedents, are also situated within a more localized discursive field.”22 Furthermore, the real battle against colonization is an internal one “we perceive a need to decolonize our minds, to recover ourselves, to claim a space in which to develop a sense of authentic humanity.”23

Searching for a Cure   

“The grave robber’s stories are duller than myriad other stories, and their cases of bones shed light only on the graverobbers themselves.”
(Fredy Perlman 1983)24

9Perhaps the single most significant development in ethnographic conservation, and the display of ethnographic materials within the museum setting, has been consultations between museum professionals and the communities from whom the material culture were drawn, and the subsequent telling of their stories within the museum. This has caused major shifts in museology, forcing the subjectivity of history into the limelight for all to see. As far as conservation is concerned it has caused a major change in how we value material culture, reinterpretations as to the meaning of significance, as well as reassessing what we mean by ‘best practice’, or ‘best for the object’. Central to the debates has been a shift away from concepts of ownership and property that are at the heart of western industrial capitalism. “One ethical concept which takes a fundamentally different view to the ownership of objects and which has gained ground in recent years is stewardship.”25 Part of this reinterpretation has been led by indigenous scholars, for whom inadequate education funding has for too long barred participation in all fields,26 fortunately this is changing, and in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United states, it has been these scholars who have been able to realign research agendas towards indigenous priorities, a significant step because: “research is an important part of the colonization process because it is concerned with defining legitimate knowledge.”27 Unfortunately however indigenous conservators are still few and far between. Indigenous research agendas show one key difference to the European scientific tradition; they are subjective as opposed to presenting an apparently neutral, objective standpoint. The Eurocentric research approach is based on the western scientific paradigm, of ‘progress’, that developed during the Enlightenment, this paradigm formed the basis for the industrial revolution, and in turn left its mark on the world through colonialism, its self styled ‘objective neutrality’ is therefore clearly questionable.  

10 “In the physical and natural sciences it is assumed that the data under investigation exists independently of any theory. In the social sciences there is a limit on the extent to which an observer, inspecting the material elements of a cultural tradition, can ‘objectively’ determine their significance. This is because the meaning of artefacts, their place in a system of signification, is largely determined by cultural convention.”28 It is assumed that the data is silent, and has no opinion, especially as to whether it wants to be data. In ethnographic conservation we have come to see this as not being the case. “When discussing the scientific foundations of Western research, the indigenous contribution to these foundations is rarely mentioned. To have acknowledged their contribution would, in terms of the rules of research practice, be as legitimate as acknowledging the contribution of a variety of plant, a shard of pottery or a ‘preserved head of a native’ to research.”29 Disillusionment with the enlightenment project is widespread and contributes to a post-modern condition30 which has a variety of manifestations within the conservation field, one of which is the suggestion that alternative views, particularly those of indigenous peoples, should be considered.31 It is obvious but worth explicitly restating that: “conservation is not a neutral process, neither practically nor politically.”32 Conservation has the potential to not only alter material culture, but also people. The conservator cannot therefore act objectively but instead must realize their actions take place in a nexus of subjective social relationships. With this in mind an ethical approach to conservation would employ “a minimal universal standard which requires: first, that the construction of one’s group’s national past not be made at the expense of another’s; and, secondly, that concern and respect be accorded all cultural traditions”33 which is a radical shift in both the theory and practice of conservation.  

11For the practitioner of contemporary ethnographic conservation one of the central aims, from the western perspective, is coming to terms with our ancestor’s actions. “We must first face up to an unexpected spectacle: the striptease of our humanism. Here it is, completely naked and not beautiful: it was nothing but an illusory ideology, the exquisite justification for pillage, its tenderness and its affection sanctioned our acts of aggression.”34 Many scholars claim we are living in a post-colonial world, however, this ideas has been critiqued for shifting it’s points of reference and of failing to account for specifics,35 in this respect it is seen as a vague condition prevailing the world today, and as such does not take into account the local conditions which do not fit a post colonial worldview. In fact as Vaneigem points out “from the moment when the collapse of colonial power revealed the colonialism inherent in all power over men, the problems of race and color became as important as crossword puzzles.”36 In effect we realize that post colonialism is a mask hiding the true colonization of all our lives, therefore decolonial conservation37, in order to be effective must continue to oppose all structures of power. The museum to be post colonial must be open to criticizing contemporary issues of inequality in wealth, gender, sexuality, class and power, as well as race and indigeneity, for in museums today, including those that have decolonisation agendas, it “continues to be less controversial to critique the actions of those occupying a less privileged place in the social order.”38

Prevention is the best medicine

“We must take into account the fact that the galleries and the objects of art are no more than a container, the contents of which is formed by the visitors”.
(Bataille 1930)39

12As we move into the twenty first century it is clear that a new conservation and a new museology have quietly been developing. This museology is aligned with changes in fields such as anthropology and archaeology, where a socially charged, decolonial, approach has become common. One of the principle facets of the new sciences is the reemphasis of the idea of subjectivity, the discourse in the conservation literature surrounding ‘stewardship’ and ‘metaphysics’ attest to these changes. It has been suggested that disciplines, such as conservation, which resemble more a narrative than definitive truth, requires stewardship that recognizes competing and diverse narratives; including people’s local and traditional knowledge, most notably that of the First Nations40. “Indigenous ways of knowing may not be valid from the narrowly scientific western perspective but they are valid from the indigenous perspective and continue to order indigenous reality.”41 Today indigenous people are gaining in confidence to assert their rights and are answering Satre’s challenge “servitude or sovereignty”42 with calls for sovereignty and self determination, which includes a role for cultural heritage preservation and renewal. Interesting one of the leading parts of the alter-globalization movement that swept the globe at the end of the twentieth century was the Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional43, who from their territory in Chiapas in Southeast Mexico, proclaimed a set of ideas that in part closely mirror the decolonizing methodology being used within museums. Two of the key phrases of the Zapatista discourse are 'mandar obedeciendo' and 'preguntando caminamos'44, and as we have seen the conservation practices that are coming to dominate the ethnographic conservation agenda can be seen to be a mirror of such ideas, for conservators leading this new approach, through asking questions as they go, are attempting to obey the wishes of wider constituencies.  

13It is clear that the past praxis of conservation affects the future theory, practice, and perception, of the profession. Conservation is not undertaken in a vacuum; it has the potential to both shape and be shaped by the world at large. An awareness of this cultural context is vital, as it influences the value and significance, and thus issues and disputes of ownership/stewardship45. Part of this has to involve a coming to terms with past mistakes, and therefore some form of truth and reconciliation process is both inevitable and necessary. “The apparent singularity of objects when sitting in a glass case or museum store room should not mislead us”46 material culture continues to play a significant role in the world, the objects in museum collections are not simply residues of the past, they are illustrative of both past and present social relations. Cultural heritage is being used by First Nations to increase their knowledge of their own cultures, as they continue to develop and live in a hybrid culture. This goes to show that “western notions of heritage do have a place in the non-western world. But this does not mean they have not been imposed.”47


“New uses of the past are constrained only by the limits of our imagination to invent them.”
(Darvill 1995)48

14If, as this paper suggests, conservation is not a neutral objective practice, conservators have not only the potential but in fact a duty to develop a voice that goes beyond the traditional ‘handling and packaging’ or ‘environmental parameter’ advice and speak out vis-à-vis the use and misuse of material culture. In this respect conservation with a strong consultation basis could be comparable to a post-processual position in archaeology, a position that “propagates the idea that, because every decoding of a message is another encoding, all truth is subjective”49 in which the aim of the discourse is to “disempower political and intellectual elites by affirming the relativism, and hence the equal validity, of all explanations of the past.”50 In so doing conservators acting without surrendering their autonomy could use the consultation processes to gain a voice for themselves, and facilitate the gaining of a voice for those they consult.

15Conservators will find a unique and important place for themselves in this world, if they are able to move from hiding within the (un)certainties of a technical scientific profession, obsessed with guidelines and strict standards of care, towards a profession that looks at philosophical issues beyond the codes of ethics. Therefore “the challenge is to find technical conservation measures compatible with appropriate ascribed values,”51 in which, value is taken to refer to the content of subjectivity within any given socio-historical situation, or socio-cultural group, such a conservation will be able to play an active role in the museum as a truly civic-space52. This subjective approach to conservation has rejected our starting meta-narrative of death; in its stead we have replaced the impossibility of rejection with an embrace, making such an embrace a metaphor for contemporary conservation theory. “To embrace the experience of giving up objects and people, and to know the begetting and the renewal such an experience offers, is finally to serve the apprenticeship of death.”53

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1  Debord, G. 1967. Society of the Spectacle. (La Société du Spectacle was first published in 1967 by Editions Buchet-Chastel. Paris.) 1983 Edition. Black and Red. Detroit.

2  Harris, H. 2005. Indigenous Worldviews and ways of knowing as theoretical and methodological foundations for archaeological research. In: Smith, C. and Wobst, H, M. 2005. Indigenous Archaeologies: Decolonising Theory and Practice. (One World Archaeology No. 47 Series Ed. Ucko, P. J.) Routledge: London and New York.

3  p. 109. In: Storrie, C. 2007. The Delirious Museum: A Journey from the Louvre to Las Vegas. I. B. Tauris: London and New York.

4  p.22 In. Marinetti, F. T. 1909. The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism, 1909. In: Apollonio, U. (ed). 1973. Futurist Manifestos. Thames and Hudson. London.   

5  Extract From: Blake, W.  1804.  And did those feet in ancient time.  From the preface to Milton: A poem (1804). Later reused as the hymn ‘Jerusalem’ with music written by Parry, C. H. H. (1916)  

6  Although the phrase was actually coined by Colin Ward in the Times Educational Supplement, it was popularized by Robert Hewison in the following book: Hewison, R. 1987. The Heritage Industry. Methuen.

7  cf. Pye, E. 2000. Caring for the Past: Issues in Conservation for Archaeology and Museums. Maney. London.

8  Maslow, A. H. 1943. A Theory of Human Motivation. Psychological Review. 50 (1943) 370-96.

9  Lowenthal, D. 1985. The Past is a Foreign Country. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.

10  Lowenthal, D. and Binney, D. 1981. Caring For The Past: Changing Attitudes. In: Lowenthal, D. and Binney, D. (Eds.) 1981. Our Past Before Us: Why Do We Save It? Temple Smith: London.

11  p.25 Hunter, M. 1981. The Preconditions of Preservation: A Historical Perspective. In: Lowenthal, D. and Binney, D. (Eds.) 1981. Our Past Before Us: Why Do We Save It? Temple Smith: London.

12  p.xvii Lowenthal, D. 1985. Ibid.

13  McLuhan, M. and Fiore, Q. 1967. The Medium is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects. Ginko Press Inc, CA.

14  p.24 Freud, S. 2002. Civilisation and its Discontents. [first published as Das Unbehagen in der kultur. 1930 in: Internationaler Psychoanalytishcher Verlag. Leipzig, Vienna and Zurich] (Translated by David McLintock) Penguin Books. London.

15  p.268 Philipott, P. 1996. Historical Preservation: Philosophy, Criteria, Guidelines, I. In: Stanley-Price, N., Talley Jr, M. K., Vaccaro, A, M. (Eds) 1996. Readings In: Conservation: Historical and Philosophical Issues in the Conservation of Cultural Heritage. Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles. (Originally published: Philipott, P. 1972. Historical Preservation: Philosophy, Criteria, Guidelines. In: Preservation and Conservation: Principles and Practices, Proceedings of the North American International Regional Conference, Williamsburg, Virginia and Philidelphia, Pennsylvania. Preservation Press: Washington DC).

16  p.24 Freud, S. 2002. Ibid.

17  Extract from Poem: Kipling, R. 1899. The White Man's Burden.

18  p.148 Debaene, V. 2004. Les deux livres l’ethnogaphe: l’ethnographie francaise au XXe siecle entre science et literature. Universite de paris IV - Sorbonne, paris, 2004.

19  Levi-Strauss, C. 1955. Tristes Tropiques

20  p6. Gosden, C. and Knowles, C. 2001. Collecting Colonialism: Material Culture and Colonial Change. Berg. Oxford.

21  p.5 Gosden, C. and Knowles, C. 2001. Ibid. \

22  p.21 Smith, L. T. 1999. De-colonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples. Jointly published by: Zed Books ltd. London and New York /University of Otago Press. Dunedin.

23  Ibid.

24  p.6 Perlman, F. 1983. Against History, Against Leviathan! An Essay. Red and Black. Detroit.

25  p.66 Caple, C. 2000. Conservation Skills: Judgement, Method and Decision Making. Routledge: London and New York.

26  O’Regan, S. 1994. Maori Control of the Maori Heritage. In: Gathercole, P. and Lowenthal, D. (eds.) 1994. The Politics of the Past. (One World Archaeology. No. 12 Series Ed. Ucko, P, J.) Routledge. London and New York.

27  p.173 Smith, L. T. 1999. Ibid.

28  p.6 Layton, R. 1989. Introduction: conflict in the archaeology of living traditions. In: Layton, R. (ed.) Conflict in the archaeology of living traditions. One World Archaeology No. 8. (Series Ed. Ucko, P. J.). routledge: London and New York.

29  p.60 Smith, L. T. 1999. Ibid

30  The post modern condition was perhaps best theorized in relation to the enlightenment by: Lyotard, J. F., 1984. The Post-Modern Condition: A Report on Knowledge. University of Minnesota Press  Originally published in French as: Lyotard, J. F., 1979. La Condition Postmoderne: Rapport sur le Savoir. Les Editions de Minuit.

31  Drumheller, A. and Kaminitz, M. 1994. Traditional Care and Conservation, The Merging of Two Disciplines at the National Museum of the American Indian. In: Roy, A. and Smith, P. (eds.) 1994. Preventive conservation: Practice, Theory and research. Preprints of the contributions to the Ottawa Congress, 12th - 16th September 1994. IIC: London.

32  p.70 Peters, R. 2002. Conservation as a ‘Later Addition.’ Papers from the Institute of Archaeology. Vol. 13. 2002. Institute of Archaeology, University College London.

33  p.8 Kohl, P. L. and Fawcett, C. 1995. Archaeology in the service of the state: theoretical considerations. In: Kohl, P. L. and Fawcett, C. (eds.) 1995. Nationalism, politics, and the practice of archaeology. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.

34  p.150 Satre, J. P. 1961. The Wretched of the earth. (Preface to Fanon, F. 1961. The Wretched of the Earth). Maspero. Paris. In: Satre, J. P. 2001. Colonialism and Neo-colonialism. (Translated by Azzedine Haddour, Steve Brewe and Terry McWilliams). Routledge. London and New York.

35  Loomba, A. 1998. Colonialism/Post-Colonialism. Routledge: London and New York.

36  p.37 Vaneigem, R. 1967. The Revolution of Everyday life (Translated by D. Nicholson-Smith) (second edition). 2003 Edition. Rebel Press. London. (Originally published as Traite de savoir-vivre a l‘usage des jeunes generations. 1967. Gallimard).  

37  Sully, D., 2008. Decolonising Conservation: Caring for Maori Meeting Houses Outside New Zealand. Left Coast Press.  

38  p.127 Dyson, L. 2005. Reinventing the Nation: British Heritage and the bicultural settlement in New Zealand. In: Littler, J. and Naidoo, R. 2005. The Politics of Heritage: The Legacies of Race. Routledge. London and New York.

39  Bataille, G. 1930. Museum. In: Bataille, G. (Ed) Encyclopaedia Acephalica: Comprising the Critical Dictionary & Related Texts. In: Documents Vol. 1 (1930).

40  p.17 Janes, R. R. 2001. Exploring Stewardship. Muse. Vol. XIX No.2. September/October. 2001.

41  p.37 Harris, H. 2005. Indigenous Worldviews and ways of knowing as theoretical and methodological foundations for archaeological research. In: Smith, C. and Wobst, H, M. 2005. Indigenous Archaeologies: Decolonising Theory and Practice. (One World Archaeology No. 47 Series Ed. Ucko, P. J.) Routledge: London and New York.

42  p.140 Satre, J. P. 1961. The Wretched of the earth. (Preface to Fanon, F. 1961. The Wretched of the Earth). Maspero. Paris. In: Satre, J. P. 2001. Colonialism and Neo-colonialism. (Translated by Azzedine Haddour, Steve Brewe and Terry McWilliams). Routledge. London and New York.

43  Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional (EZLN) are also known as the Zapatistas.

44  These two Zapatista slogans are explained as meaning: 'Mandar obedeciendo' (to lead by obeying) and 'preguntando caminamos' (asking we walk). Source: Holloway, J. 1996. The Concept of Power and the Zapatistas. In: Common Sense. 19, June 1996.

45  Lowenthal, D. 2000. Stewarding the Past in a Perplexing Present. In: Avrami, E. Mason, R. de la Torre, M. (eds.) 2000. Values and Heritage Conservation. The Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles.

46  p4. Gosden, C. and Knowles, C. 2001. Collecting Colonialism: Material Culture and Colonial Change. Berg. Oxford.

47  p.272 Byrne, D. 1991. Western Hegemony in Archaeological Heritage Management. in: History and Anthropology, 1991. Vol. 5. pp.269 - 276.

48  p.44 Darvill, T. 1995. Value Systems in Archaeology. In: (Eds.) Cooper, M. A., Firth, A., Carman, J., and Wheatley, D. 1995. Managing Archaeology. Routledge: London and New York.

49  p.263 Trigger, B, G. 1995. Romanticism, nationalism, and archaeology. In: Kohl, P. L. and Fawcett, C. (eds.) 1995. Nationalism, Politics, and the Practice of Archaeology. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.

50  Ibid.

51  p.286 Stanley - Price, N. P. 1990. Conservation and information in the display of prehistoric sites. In: Gathercole, P. and Lowenthal, D. (Eds.) The Politics of the Past. Unwin Hyman: London.

52  Gurian, E. H. 2006. Civilizing the Museum: The Collected Writings of Elaine Heumann Gurian. Routledge.  

53  p.222 Godbout, J. and Caille, A. 1998. The World of the Gift (translated by Winkler, D). McGill-Queens University Press. Montreal and Kingston. [Originally published as: L’Esprit du don. by Les Editions La Decouverte and Editions du Boreal. 1992].  

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Daniel Cull, « Subjectivity as Treatment: Neurosis and the Roots of Contemporary Ethnographic Conservation », CeROArt [En ligne], 4 | 2009, mis en ligne le 14 octobre 2009, consulté le 30 mars 2017. URL :

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Daniel Cull

Daniel Cull is an Assistant Conservator at the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM), Phoenix, Arizona. Prior to which he held the position of Andrew W. Mellon Fellow at the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. He is a three time graduate of the Institute of Archaeology, University College London, having received an MSc in Conservation for Archaeology and Museums, and previously an MA in Principles of Conservation, and a BSc in Archaeology.   

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