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Thinking With The Tabot: The Material Dimensions of Waiting in Addis Ababa

Alexandra Antohin uses the material analogy of the Ethiopian tabot to explore alternative dispositions to waiting and indeterminacy. She explores how ‘moving foundations’ of the home and church facilitate conditions of sustaining instability. This thought-provoking discussion considers how dilemmas of displacement and the manipulation of time during crises, such as urban resettlement, can revise sociocultural assumptions about the march of time as moving fast and forward.

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Visiting Laurel Kendall at the American Museum of Natural History

Laurel Kendall speaks about the challenges and rewards of her role as curator of the Asian collection at the American Museum of Natural History, and Faculty at Columbia University. John and Urmila visited her in her office at the AMNH and were offered a tour of the collections, some aspects of which are highlighted in the interview. In this interview, Laurel conveys the excitement of working in a unique space between the material expressions of cultural heritage and their value for diverse peoples. (Published 3 June 2015.)

The Church-Museum: Context and (Dis)connection in Public Religion

Alexandra Antohin explores the museum-ification of churches in Ethiopia, Russia and the U.S. and how exhibitions and tours of religious significance establish active reference points for new forms of public engagement. Antohin draws upon her experience of these sites as well as contextualization theory to explore how religious media are included in the interpretative space of ‘church-museums’. She suggests that in Ethiopia, where tourism is still a new industry, multiple subjectivities and modes of interpretation may emerge through the display and reception of religious media in a public context.