Contact zones, third spaces, and the act of interpretation

Schorch, Philipp 2013, Contact zones, third spaces, and the act of interpretation, Museum and society, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 68-81.

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Title Contact zones, third spaces, and the act of interpretation
Author(s) Schorch, Philipp
Journal name Museum and society
Volume number 11
Issue number 1
Start page 68
End page 81
Total pages 14
Publisher University of Leicester : Department of Museum Studies
Place of publication Leicester, England
Publication date 2013-03-27
ISSN 1479-8360
Keyword(s) Contact Zone
Third Space
Summary The conceptual understanding of museums as ‘contact zones’ has been widely appropriated in the museum literature and beyond. But the discussion lacks empirical insights into actual experiences: What does ‘contact’ mean for the person experiencing it? How is it lived, negotiated and contested? Drawing on a long-term narrative study of global visitors to the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (Te Papa), this paper offers an empirical interrogation and theoretical refinement of the ‘contact zone’. It moves beyond the more usual focus on museological production by shedding light on the meanings made by museum visitors. This paper augments current normative and theoretical approaches with an ethnographic study of processes of intercultural mediation during cross-cultural encounters, translation and dialogue. This is done through a hermeneutic analysis of visitors’ acts of interpretation that facilitates an understanding of ‘cultural action’ in ‘contact zones’ as an interpretive ontological endeavour of the shifting Self within a pluralist cosmopolitan space.
Language eng
Field of Research 210204 Museum Studies
Socio Economic Objective 950201 Communication Across Languages and Culture
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
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Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Alfred Deakin Research Institute
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Created: Thu, 28 Mar 2013, 09:57:32 EST by Philipp Schorch

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