Felicia Meynersen joined the OIB for 6 Months in May 2019. She holds a PhD from the University of Mainz and worked at the University of Saarbrucken (2006-2012) and as a research fellow in the “Syrian Heritage Archive Project” (SHAP) at the German Archaeological Institute (2013-2015, DAI Berlin). She was also part of the Special Research Program in the Humanities “Cultural and Linguistic Contacts” (University of Mainz) and coordinated the multinational EU-project “Preservation of Cultural Heritage Training Program” at the Orient Department of the German Archaeological Institute (2003-2005) as well as the first joint project of the Archaeological Heritage Network “Zero Hour – A Future for the Time after the Crisis” (German Archaeological Institute Berlin, 2016-2018).
Her research and teaching focuses are phenomena of contact and change in the MENA region, the history of emotions, animal images as well as critical heritage and museum studies. This is reflected in her current research project “Museums in Dialogue with the Future” which focuses on the political-historical negotiation of archaeologies in Lebanon through time.
“Museums in Dialogue with the Future”
The focus of this project is on museums themselves as ‘key cultural loci of our times’ (Macdonald). The central thesis is that archaeological museums and collections do not only preserve but also actively produce history. Examining archaeology in Lebanon from the 19th century to the present day, the research project considers how such representations of history are constructed, by whom and why.
Building on the so-called “second wave” in museology and the experiential knowledge from the Syrian Heritage Archives Project (SHAP) in Berlin, the project aims to make a contribution towards examining the potential that archaeological museums in Lebanon have for further development. The two principal questions are, where does a museum stand in relation to inequality and injustice, and what potential does it have to act against them? And to what extent do museums not only reflect normative concepts like fairness and power relationships between groups, but also contribute to forming them?
The aim is to describe and compare solutions, reveal similarities and differences, and thereby contribute to differentiated theorizing. Museums and collections can play a unique role in overcoming social challenges. The results of the project promise for museums and curators an improvement in the circumstances of educational success and refugee participation.
One outcome of the project should be a thematic dossier available in digital form, which can be made accessible to the entire Institute. In addition the researcher responsible for the project will present its findings at a public event.
In its public and interactive form, the project will contribute to the development of a new understanding of culture in which modern knowledge dissemination methods are applied. Participation and equal opportunities strengthen local communities in the face of current challenges (Encourage and Empower). Trainees become trainers, multipliers that encourage others to engage more deeply with museums.
Capacity Development and New Technologies. Experience Report 2016-2018, in: H. Hayajneh (ed.), CULTURAL HERITAGE: At the Intersection of the Humanities and the Science, Alexander von Humboldt-Kolleg Conference, organized by the Yarmouk University in Cooperation with DAAD, UNESCO Office Amman and the Support of the German Jordanian University, Amman, 16-18 April 2019 (= Archäologie: Forschung und Wissenschaft, 7, Münster et al.: LIT-Verlag, 2020 (in press).
The German Archaeological Heritage Network (ArcHerNet) and Its Joint Project „A Future for the Time After the Crisis“, in: K. Saito – T. Sugiyama (eds.), Proceedings & Report of the Conference „Saving the Syrian Cultural Heritage for the Next Generation: Palmyra. A Message from Nara“, organized by Nara Kasugano International Forum, The Executive Committee of the Silk Road Friendship Project, Archaeological Institute of Kashihara, Nara Prefecture, supported by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Ministry for Foreign Affairs Japan, July 11-14, 2017 (Nara/Japan 2018) 267-276.
Vom „Lachen“ in der griechischen Bildwelt. Dramaturgie und Wirkung, in: T. L. Kienlin – L. C. Koch (eds.), Emotionen – Perspektiven auf Innen und Außen, 2. Kölner Interdisziplinäre Vorlesung „Archäologie und Kulturwissenschaften“ an der Universität zu Köln im Wintersemester 2013/14 (= Universitäts-forschungen zur Prähistorischen Archäologie 305), Bonn: Verlag Dr. Rudolf Habelt 2017, 263-294.
Unity and Individuality. Reflections on Images of Animals from South Syria in the Roman Imperial Period, in: E. B. Aitken – J. Fossey (eds.), The Levant. Crossroads of Late Antiquity. History, Religion and Archaeology (= McGill University Monographs in Classical Archaeology and History, 22), Leiden/Boston: Brill 2014, 305-331.
„Look at Me.“ Verständigung durch Schmuck und der Körper als Träger von Zeichen. Ein Armfragment der mittleren Kaiserzeit im Nationalmuseum Beirut, in: T. Kienlin (ed.), Die Dinge als Zeichen: Kulturelles Wissen und materielle Kultur, Internationale Fachtagung an der Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt a.M., 3.-5. April 2003 (= Universitätsforschungen zur Prähistorischen Archäologie 127), Bonn: Verlag Dr. Rudolf Habelt 2005, 395-407.