Past Guests and Associates

Mirjam Brusius

Mirjam Brusius
Mirjam Brusius

I am a historian of art and science with an interest in the history of collecting and visual culture across Modern Europe and the Middle East. I hold an MA in Art History (HU Berlin 2007) and a doctorate in History and Philosophy of Science (Cambridge University 2011). I held Postdoctoral Fellowships at Harvard University and the Max Planck Institute (MPIWG and KHI Florenz). My first monograph and co-edited volume revisited the early history of photography, in particular the scholarly archive and network of the photographic pioneer William Henry Fox Talbot.

My next forthcoming volume, co-edited with Kavita Singh and to be published by Routledge, is entitled ‘Museum Storage and Meaning: Tales from the Crypt’. As a visiting fellow at CARMAH I will be working on my second monograph, which examines the value of Middle Eastern archaeological objects during the transition period on their way to Europe when the finds seem to have “no status”. The project investigates the subsequent processes of canonization and decanonization these objects caused upon their arrival in the leading museums of Paris, London and Berlin in the long 19th century. I also started to write on contemporary heritage debates in the Middle East. This project aims to develop — from a historical angle — directions for further debate that recognises cultural difference to pay attention to the manifold non-elite and indigenous engagements with the material past in the colonial and post-colonial Middle East during the 19th and 20th centuries.