Project Researchers

Irene Hilden

© Irene Hilden

I am a postdoctoral researcher in the sub-project Realizations and Reception in the Humboldt Forum as part of CARMAH’s major project Making Differences. Transforming Museums and Heritage in the 21st Century. In my research, I am concerned with Germany’s colonial pasts and presents, with transnational mobilities and the unequal structures of colonial entanglements throughout history. My interest in (sound) collections and museum displays allows me to explore both tangible and intangible colonial legacies. While the debate surrounding the Humboldt Forum served as a framework for my previous research and embedded my ethnographic, object-based and archival studies in broader, discursively relevant contexts, my current research continues in the direction of investigating the impact of the Forum and its opening exhibitions.

I studied cultural history and theory, European ethnology, and German studies at the Humboldt University of Berlin and the Istanbul University. For my doctoral research, I became a fellow of the Research Training Group minor cosmopolitanisms at the University of Potsdam and joined Humboldt University’s Institute for European Ethnology. As a guest researcher, I also spent time at Delhi University’s Department of Sociology. My doctoral project, entitled “Absent Presences in the Colonial Archive. Dealing with the Acoustic Legacies of the Berlin Lautarchiv”, examined the archive as a metropolitan institution that produces and preserves colonial structures of power and knowledge. By paying special attention to the historical situation in which particular sound recordings were produced according to prescribed and scripted modes of speaking, my analysis countered these historical situations with distinct contemporary modes of listening that I employed to side-step the archive’s disciplinary and normative logics.

 

Research Expertise and Interests

Sonic Anthropology / Sound Studies

Historical Anthropology / Anthropology of Europe

Collective Memory / Memory Studies

Postcolonial Theory / Intersectionality

Archival Theory / Sound Archives

Critical Museum & Heritage Research