C.E. Ariese MSc

  • PhD Candidate

Telephone number: +31 (0)71 527 5276
E-Mail: c.e.ariese@arch.leidenuniv.nl
Faculty / Department: Faculteit Archeologie, World Archaeology, Archaeology of the Americas
Office Address: Van Steenis gebouw
Einsteinweg 2
2333 CC Leiden
Room number B2.10


The PhD project ‘Post-colonial, Social Museums: Community engagement as the key for presenting the past’ is part of the multi-disciplinary NEXUS1492 project, funded by the ERC-Synergy grant.

The focus of this research is the role of museums in society. No longer are museums expected to be enforcers of colonialism or vehicles of civilization. Instead, in the post-colonial world, museums are expected to work for and within society – to be a part of the communities they serve. How are museums realigning their role in society in the post-colonial world?

Departing from a foundation of the theory of discourse and the discursive shift to post-modernism, three inter-connected theories are exposed: post-colonial theories, New Museology and the current heritage discourse. All three theoretical strands show areas of overlapping goals and suggest similar methods for achieving these goals. Community is often suggested as a necessity for decolonized histories, social museums and inclusive heritage. Within the working area of museums, community engagement is proposed as the way in which museums can fulfill the demands of these three theoretical fields. This research will critically examine the method of community engagement. The Caribbean, as a region strongly affected by colonialism and decolonization, will be the area of study. Ultimately, it is proposed that community engagement is more than just a buzz word and has real effects on society & individuals.


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Csilla E. Ariese holds a BA in archaeology from Gothenburg University with a specialization in maritime archaeology and the Dutch East India Company (VOC). At the same university, she completed a MSc in International Museum Studies, focusing again on maritime archaeology and the VOC, but now from a political perspective on representation. In 2011 she was project leader for the exhibition Gender Matters in Gothenburg. She has worked abroad in the Museum of Ethnography in Budapest and the Western Australian Museum Shipwreck Galleries in Fremantle. She is passionate about shipwrecks, ruins, underwater sites and museums. Most of all, her interests lie with story-telling: of any subject, in any place, to any one and in any form.

Last Modified: 01-02-2016