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The Anatomical Collection at Karolinska. Report from a seminar.

On March 29, 2022, Karolinska institutet organised a seminar on their anatomical collection. The purpose of the seminar was to present the history of the collection, and to discuss possible ways forward as the institution grapples with a problematic history. This work is part of a broader engagement on behalf of Karolinska with regards toContinue reading “The Anatomical Collection at Karolinska. Report from a seminar.”

Some thoughts about the connections between Ethics and Theory. Review of Geller’s Theorizing Bioarchaeology.

I recently published a book review of Pamela L. Geller’s noteworthy book Theorizing Bioarchaeology for the American Journal of Biological Anthropology. The book takes a broad approach to how social and critical theory can inform and improve our study of human remains. The book outlines how a bio-cultural perspective on humanity informed by considerations ofContinue reading “Some thoughts about the connections between Ethics and Theory. Review of Geller’s Theorizing Bioarchaeology.”

Exploring Sustainable Collection Practices. Report from a workshop.

On May 2-4, 2022, I participated in a workshop “Museums, sustainability, collections” at the Africa Museum / the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren, Belgium. The workshop was organised within the European cooperation project “TAKING CARE – Ethnographic and World Cultures Museums as Spaces of Care” and included curators, conservators and other museum professionalsContinue reading “Exploring Sustainable Collection Practices. Report from a workshop.”

Human Remains in Contract Archaeology – report from a workshop

The Ethical Entanglements project mainly focuses on collections of human remains in museums, but a significant process by which they get there today is contract archaeology. In contrast to the scientific practices that resulted in many of the older collections in museums, including ethnographic, anatomical and archaeological collections, these new additions to archaeological collections areContinue reading “Human Remains in Contract Archaeology – report from a workshop”

Meeting at the Ethnographic Museum in Stockholm

Last week (January 26-27) the researchers with Ethical Entanglements met with the advisory board for the project, including Fredrik Svanberg (Nordiska museet, Stockholm), Linda Andersson Burnett (Uppsala University), Olof Ljungström (Karolinska Instititutet), Malin Masterton (Örebro University), and Kicki Eldh (The Swedish National Heritage Board). The meeting was held at the Ethnographic Museum in Stockholm. TheContinue reading “Meeting at the Ethnographic Museum in Stockholm”

Is Repatriation an Ideology? Reviews of “that book”, i.e. Weiss and Springer.

A few weeks ago, The European Journal of Archaeology published three book reviews of the same book. That may seem a bit unusual, but the book in question, Repatriation and Erasing the Past by Elisabeth Weiss (a professor of anthropology at San José State University) and James W. Springer (a retired attorney and anthropologist), canContinue reading “Is Repatriation an Ideology? Reviews of “that book”, i.e. Weiss and Springer.”

Thanks, But No Thanks? The challenge of spontaneous donations of human remains to museums.

In recent conversations with the Swedish museum community, I have been made aware of the challenges they face as people, who for various reasons are in possession of human remains, approach them to make a donation. This may sound odd, but it is quite common, and this probably marks a shift in the culture regardingContinue reading “Thanks, But No Thanks? The challenge of spontaneous donations of human remains to museums.”

Echos Through Time – the debate about honorific names at Karolinska Institutet and the connection to research ethics today

Last week I was asked to write a short comment for the public outreach science publication Forskning & Framsteg about the ongoing debate concerning the names given to buildings and streets on the campus of the medical university Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm (you can read the full text in Swedish here). This debate can beContinue reading “Echos Through Time – the debate about honorific names at Karolinska Institutet and the connection to research ethics today”

Return of Human Remains? Practices, implications and ethical issues. Report from a seminar in Oslo.

On November 4, 2021 The National Committee for Research on Human Remains (part of the Norwegian National Research Ethics Committee) organized a seminar to discuss the repatriation of human remains and the treatment of human remains in museums. Several interesting papers brought perspectives to the issue and some raised complex and interesting questions. Reports aboutContinue reading “Return of Human Remains? Practices, implications and ethical issues. Report from a seminar in Oslo.”

In The Grey Areas Between Practice, Law, and Ethics. Update on the MOVE Remains at U Penn.

On August 20, 2021, The Tucker Law Group published its independent report The Odyssey of the MOVE Remains on the handling of the human remains recovered from the MOVE bombing site in 1985 that eventually resurfaced in an online anthropology course at Princeton decades later and caused outrage and protest in the spring of 2021Continue reading “In The Grey Areas Between Practice, Law, and Ethics. Update on the MOVE Remains at U Penn.”

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