The fourth conference in the series held at Linköping University 18-20 February 2008 took an explicit historical and comparative outlook dealing with some of the main questions of the NaMu program; stressing methodological issues and comparative strategies. Eight thematic sessions were introduced by seminal key-notes giving European; global and methodological feeds to the dialogue over disciplinary and national borders:
- Comparing relationships between different forms of national museums and their related academic disciplines. To what extent were and are they part of institutions of knowledge? Do they present a coherent approach to memory politics? To what extent are there autonomous logics operating in the evolution of cultural; historical; technical; natural and art national museums?
- Comparing the narratives told in and by museums: how do they evolve over time? What “us” and what “others” were constructed with what means? Do they differ between countries structurally?
- Comparing the role of national museums in the overall history of their setting (relating to disciplinary; esthetical; political and economical developments. Are they forming nations; creating hegemony; arguing for change; disrupting order or integrate?
Some answers and the basis for more intelligent questions are to be found in this volume.