Economics at the museum: A material history of economics on display
Deadline: Apr 1, 2018
Today’s dematerialization of currencies and transactions makes economics appear as an essentially abstract system of valorization, circulation and allocation of resources. It may come as a surprise, therefore, that museums of economics are now proliferating throughout the world. The opening of the Bank of France’s Cité de l’Economie et de la Monnaie, planned for 2018, is a typical example. How has the museum, the privileged space of visual experience, come to host economics, a discipline seemingly quite foreign to sensory, let alone aesthetic, concerns? What has been the role of exhibiting economics on a scientific, ideological, but also artistic and museographic level? From the pavilions devoted to economics during the 19th century World Fairs, to the interactive museums increasingly popular today, the visualization and exhibition of economics has contributed to popularize and legitimize the discipline and its practices. It has also encouraged the production of original visual, didactic and spatial forms, stemming from collaborations between economists and artists, graphic designers and photographs.
The project “Economics at the museum” proposes to bring together an international and multidisciplinary team of scholars, including specialists of economics, of images and of exhibitions, but also museum professionals. The goal is to collectively write the first world history of economics in exhibit, from the 19th century to the present day, to understand how economics has cultivated a visual dimension.
This program will start with a closed workshop organized on June 5th 2018 (in Paris), during which participants will informally share their research topic and discuss the perspectives opened by this project, which will be implemented in 2018-2019 through several events and collaborations.
We welcome proposals from scholars of all disciplines involved by the project (historians, historians of art, of graphic design and photography, historians of museums and exhibitions, historians of economics and economic thought, etc.), working on related subjects and interested in this collective project. Please send a CV together with a short presentation of your research topic (a half-page) before April 1st, 2018: firstname.lastname@example.org
Limited financial support will be available to contribute to travel and housing expenses.