Häxprocesserna som utställning: Malmö Museum och Peabody Essex Museum

Detta är en Master-uppsats från Lunds universitet/Avdelningen för ABM och digitala kulturer

Sammanfattning: The thesis of this study is to point out by a hermeneutical phenomenological method how some objects are connected to the narrative of the witch trials in 16th ad 17th centuries. The study analyzes how museums as knowledge institutions relate to the use of history, objects and narratives when conveying historical events through objects. Museums as knowledge institutions choose to construct a certain narrative about the witch trials in their exhibitions. The narrative is strongly connected to the objects they choose, the way the objects in the museums are displayed and tell us how the museums relate to and interpret the witch trials historically. This study also analyses the consequences that take place when the museums choose to connect neopaganism to the narrative of the witch trials in 16th ad 17th centuries. They risk to convey a one sided and oversimplified image of the “witch”. The perception of the “witch” has more in common with how we experience the fear of being an outsider, afraid to be indicated or being suppressed in a totalitarian society than with neopaganism as a religion. The study shows that depending on how museums interpret an object, a narrative and history, they teach us how to relate to the witch trials. The results of this study shows that objects that are connected to the everyday life at home and in prison are more likely to portray a dynamic and complex image of the people than the objects that are connected to a stereotypical image of the “witch”. The specific way the museums narrate historical facticity affects how we perceive society today and this in return affects our future.

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