Prof. Dr. Sharon Jeanette Macdonald
How do you choose which of a culture’s or society’s objects and artefacts should be exhibited in museums? And, in this context, how do countries deal with their own, perhaps difficult, cultural heritage? These are the kinds of question that interest the eminent cultural anthropologist and museologist, Sharon Macdonald, and the ones she always links to socially relevant themes. She investigated the treatment of the Nazi past in Germany, for instance, by focussing on the historical heritage of Nuremberg. Amongst other things, she is currently examining how Islam is presented and conveyed in museums. The British scholar also specialises in museum theory and has produced many seminal works on the subject. Under Macdonald’s leadership, Humboldt-Universität, the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz (Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation) and the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin want to establish a new, world-leading Centre for Cultural Heritage and Museum Research. In her capacity as an Alexander von Humboldt Professor, Sharon Jeanette Macdonald will also be involved in the continuing development of concrete museum projects as the future Humboldt Forum and Berlin’s Museum Island.