Crossing Borders: Connecting European Identities in Museums and Online

Open Access

Publication Details


Eunamus Report 2 (2012).

Authors: Simon Knell (lead/editor), Bodil Axelsson, Lill Eilertsen, Eleni Myrivili, Ilaria Porciani, Andrew Sawyer and Sheila Watson.

This is a report of the European Commission funded (Framework 7) Eunamus project European National Museums: Identity Politics, the Uses of the Past and the European Citizen which ran from January 2010 to January 2013. Click the ‘Open Access’ link above for full access.

Simon Knell (ed.) Crossing Borders: Connecting European Identities in Museums and Online, Linköping University Interdisciplinary Studies 14 (Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press), 105pp.

This publication disseminated findings which centre on the role of national museums and other public organisations, using material culture in real life and virtually, to foster European cohesion. Simon Knell contributed the introductory statements concerning the nature of museums in Europe and the first part, ‘Europe as a language‘, arguing that ‘Europe’ is performed implicitly in national museums and capital cities through a material language of shared forms and categories. He discusses the widespread silence on Europe as a discursive subject in these institutions, showing instead a preoccupation with nation building and local discourse, including the identification of enemies. He also discussed the evolution of this language and the identification of material borderlands. In a discussion of ‘The distributed nation‘, Lill Eilertsen explores the importance of regional identities and institutions to the cultural construction of the Norwegian nation. Bodil Axelsson writes about Samdok and its pioneering, and changing, approach to documenting Swedish society. Sheila Watson exposes the role of middle class social history curators in controlling histories of the English aristocracy and landed gentry and the working classes. Ilaria Porciani looks at the distributed nature of heritage in Italy. In the third part, ‘Transnational, museum-like, online‘, Eleni Myrivili examines online exchanges in the disparate ethnic communities around Lake Prespa, finding a mediating role in the work of environmental professionals. Andrew Sawyer looks at Flickr as a curated, object-centred, museum-like space, exploring memories of the Cold War and considering the degree to which such spaces are truly surrogate museums.

“Add a testimonial from someone who loves what you do.”

Jane Doe

Contact Us

1 Example Street
Anytown, CA 10100