DFG funds the scientific network “Pluralizing the Value of Things”
In May 2022, the German Research Foundation (DFG) decided to fund the Scientific Network “Pluralizing the Value of Things”. Over the course of three years, this network, which is chaired by A06 team member Jonas Bens as well as Philipp Schorch (LMU München), will establish a dialogue between the anthropology of value and new approaches in the anthropology of materiality and personhood beyond regional approaches. Among the ten network members are also Paola Ivanov and Laibor Kalanga Moko from project A06.
In recent years, ethnographic museums in Germany and other European countries have been engulfed in a controversial debate about the colonial provenance of their collections. This debate – as much as it rightly makes ongoing colonialism a topic of discussion – tends to systematically universalize specific regimes of value, particularly capitalist property and cultural heritage. We believe, however, that conceptions of how things are valued must be pluralized in a double sense. First, we need a more coherent theoretical and methodological framework to better understand the plurality of regimes, systems and spheres in which value is created – focusing on both indigenous and western/colonial value regimes and their multiple intersections. Second, we must think beyond research regions in order to bring different perspectives on value regimes into conversation with one another. This network will assemble a group of ten anthropologists and museum practitioners and enable them to work together over a longer period. The aim is to establish a dialogue between the anthropology of value and new approaches in the anthropology of materiality and personhood beyond regional approaches. Against the background of the current discussions on museums and colonialism, this network aims to develop decolonial approaches to rethink materiality in the context of a plurality of value regimes.