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Case Studies in Context

Mid-semester review was interesting, but on Monday, I think most helpful was that I had a context tutorial. I was able to have a talk with my tutor and go through my options for what to write my case study on, and solidify what is interesting and important for me to get out of this. I’ve been having a hard time articulating what I’m interested in making work about, when I talk enough, people begin to see that my rambling is all connected, but my elevator speech for what I’m interested in is “oh god, don’t ask me that! Run away!”

Anyways, I’m interested in how people construct or develop their identities, where the sources for our identity are, especially as they relate to larger communities such as their nationality. This is interesting to me, particularly right now in Scotland, because of the imminent referendum on independence, and because of the simmering debate in Quebec. Also, it’s interesting to me as a dual citizen of countries that I’m not currently living in – borders are becoming more fluid and nationality is becoming increasingly more complicated.

I’m using  museums, particularly the National Museum of Scotland (since it’s very very local) as a case study to look at how they construct national identity, since museums, especially National collections tend to be a project dedicated to defining and presenting national identity. I am particularly interested in the archeology section, because it goes about constructing self and other in interesting ways. The archeology section, quite literally, because of the architecture of the building, lays the foundations for the modern narrative of scottish identity explored in the rest of the museum.

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