What happens to artifacts and tribal practices when these discursive objects and practices are relocated to western museums, within ideological and institutional systems so far away from the cultures of origin?
James Clifford is Professor Emeritus at the University of California at Santa Cruz. He has been involved in ethnographic writing, also analyzing the Western concepts of 'primitive' and 'exotic' in reference to non-European cultures. He has also studied the career of objects in their transition from cultural practices to museology. Among his publications in Italian: I frutti puri impazziscono. Etnografia, letteratura ed arte nel XX secolo (Torino 1993); Scrivere le culture. Poetiche e politiche dell’etnografia (con G. E. Marcus, Milano 1997); Strade. Viaggio e traduzione alla fine del secolo XX (Torino 1999); Ai margini dell’antropologia. Interviste (Roma 2004).