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Book chapter


September 2020


At a time of heightened international interest in the colonial dimensions of museum collections, Dividing the Spoils provides new perspectives on the motivations and circumstances whereby collections were appropriated and acquired during colonial military service. Combining approaches from the fields of material anthropology, imperial and military history, this book argues for a deeper examination of these collections within a range of intercultural histories that include alliance, diplomacy, curiosity and enquiry, as well as expropriation and cultural hegemony. As museums across Europe reckon with the post-colonial legacies of their collections, Dividing the Spoils explores how the amassing of objects was understood and governed in British military culture, and considers how objects functioned in museum collections thereafter, suggesting new avenues for sustained investigation in a controversial, contested field.


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