Home museums in Israel and Germany produce a representational space in which the public figure, usually a ‘great man”, is effectively “dragged home” to the private sphere so as to make the domestic worthy of being represented in a museum. Based on three years of ethnographic research in nine such museums (four in Israel and five in Germany), Dr. Vinitzky-Seroussi (together with Dr. Irit Dekel) show that when the sphere more identified with women is represented through the life and work of the men who lived there, the place of the wife and children is sidelined, belittled, and at times concealed. Through her presentation, Vinitzky-Seroussi will demonstrate that in representing famous persons through material space and objects in the private abode, museal techniques develop, by which specific domestic areas, such as kitchen and bedroom, become the prime location of telling stories about women who lived in the house. These areas provide a shared perspective for visitors, who find the stories about the wives endearing and who come to recognize the home through them.
This event is co-sponsored by the Azrieli Institute of Israel Studies:
Born in Tel Aviv, Prof. Vered Vinitzky-Seroussi is a sociologist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She holds a position of faculty fellow at the Center for Cultural Sociology at Yale University. Her major academic interest revolves around issues of collective memory and commemoration. She published her books with University of Chicago Press, SUNY Press and Oxford University Press. Her work also appeared in venues of the field such as American Sociological Review and Social Forces. Between the years 2012-2016 she served as the dean of the faculty of social sciences (and was the first woman to hold this position).
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