This interdisciplinary conference explores how collections shift their meanings and uses with motion through time and space, as well as how layers of meanings can inhabit a single collection in a specific time and place. We hope to bring new light to bear on how spaces of display and representation mapped onto geographical and political spaces, and how concerns about permanence and stability shaded rapidly into dissolution and reorganization and, sometimes, re-use. As "Collections in Flux" will demonstrate, the activity of collecting becomes more than the expression of curiosity, the desire for order, or the policing of boundaries. Collections in flux, considered dynamically and globally, through the agency of Europeans and indigenous people, can become a forum for rethinking the relation of centers to peripheries, of alien and native, of exotic and mundane.
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