In Their Presence: The ‘Life’ of Museum Objects

Image: Aida Šehović’s installation, “Što te nema?” [Why aren’t you here?], Boston, MA (Bridget Conley/World Peace Foundation).

In the 2020-2021 academic year, with the support of a Tufts Collaborates Seed Grant Program/Tufts SpringboardThe Diversity Fund, and the World Peace Foundation, the Tisch College’s Director of Public Humanities, Diane O’Donoghue, and WPF’s Research Director, Bridget Conley, have organized a series of five panels over the academic year that brings together leading international voices in areas of forensic ethics to address the materiality of post-life. 

Session Three, The ‘Life’ of Museum Objects, took place on February 11, 2021, and included presentations by Ingrid Neuman, Museum Conservator at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Steven Lubar, Professor of American Studies, History, History of Art and Architecture at Brown University, and Zuzanna Dzuiban, Senior Postdoc at the Institute for Culture Studies and Theatre History of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in the ERC Consolidator Project: “Globalized Memorial Museums: Exhibiting Atrocities in the Era of Claims for Moral Universals.”


  • Ingrid Neuman, “On Conservation of Human Remains as Museum Objects”
  • Steven Lubar, “Multiple Matters that Determine the Life of Museum Objects”
  • Zuzanna Dzuiban, “Governing Ashes: The Ethics, Politics and Material Survivance of Incinerated Human Remains.”

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