«Wir machen grad die Indianer, können wir einmal vorbeikommen?»
Das ethnographische Museum als ausserschulischer Lernort - Reflexionen zu Popularität und Popularisierung von Ethnologie
Once the cradle and heart of scholarly anthropology, the ethnographic museum of today is firmly based in the public sphere. This article explores the position of the ethnographic museum and its educational role from the perspective of its development into an institution that has to navigate between scholarly and public interests. Officially defined as a site of public learning and therefore assigned to cater to schools, museums became the main locus for popularising scholarly anthropology. I argue that looking at the experience museums have acquired in the past, the problems they encounter, and the solutions they find, reveals on the one hand the current position of anthropology in public (educational) discourse, and on the other hand, points out that we have to take practice-oriented steps towards an anthropology of the public and its schools as well as towards an anthropology for them. In conclusion, I argue for new forms of cooperation between universities and museums, and stress the importance of not just debating the popularisation of anthropology, but rather to acting it out.