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Captives of Narrative: Scandinavian Museum Exhibits and Polar Ambitions
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science and Technology.
2010 (English)In: Culture Unbound. Journal of Current Cultural Research, ISSN 2000-1525, Vol. 2, 719-744 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article compares the histories of two museums of polar exploration, both founded in the 1930s but based on well-known expeditions dating back to the decades around 1900. The first is the Fram Museum in Oslo, centered around the famous Norwegian polar ship, the second is the Andrée Museum in Gränna, com-bining accounts of the ill-fated balloon expedition with a polar centre reflecting more recent polar research activities.

The aim of the article is to analyze the relationship between museum and narrative. Museums are shapers of narrative but at the same time shaped by the narratives they relate. The article explores the symbolic and medialized dimensions of polar research, expressed in museums, as well as the way in which museums in-terrelate with national identities and selfimages.

What does it mean to be a modern polar nation? And how is such an identity expressed in cultural terms? In which ways can museum institutions and exhibi-tions be used as means for such expressions? And how do “the grand narratives” of Sweden and Norway relate to the epic representations of polar activities, presented by the museums?

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 2, 719-744 p.
Keyword [en]
Polar museums, polar history, narrative, nationalism, The Andrée Expedition 1897, The Fram Expedition 1893–96, Oslo, Gränna
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-67422OAI: diva2:484928
QC 20120207Available from: 2012-01-27 Created: 2012-01-27 Last updated: 2012-02-07Bibliographically approved

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Houltz, Anders
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