Sponsored by: AIA-Chicago Society
This talk by Dr. Emiline Smith (University of Glasgow) will examine the passive and active facilitative role that academics have played in the creation of taste and market demand for Asian cultural objects in the USA in the name of ‘science’ and ‘education’. Building on several case studies from across the USA, we will examine how academic expertise facilitates illicit trade in cultural objects. We will further examine how their exploitative knowledge creation processes continue to impact the way Asian cultural objects are displayed, published, owned, traded, and accessed today. Special attention is paid to the material and non-material lives of cultural objects, for example, the exploitation of their digitization in the name of ‘education’. Overall, this talk hopes the stimulate an open, reflexive, and critical conversation around how academics should address the exploitative and colonial foundations of the knowledge creation processes surrounding the objects they work with.