University of Tasmania
WRITA - 2023-09-19 M Jones - Toward relational ethics - Accepted.pdf (359.41 kB)

Toward relational ethics: foundational concepts for the shifting ground of GLAM

Download (359.41 kB)
posted on 2023-10-22, 22:57 authored by Michael JonesMichael Jones

In 2001/2002, the Humanities Research Centre and the Centre for Cross-Cultural Research at Australian National University published a two-part special issue of Humanities Research, ‘Museums of the Future/The Future of Museums.’ A number of common ideas are visible across the diverse contributions to the journal, seen in the recurring language of partnerships, collaborations, linkages, participation, engagement, and inclusion. Such ideas represent the culmination of many important changes in the theory, practice, and ethics of museums since the mid-twentieth century. But the future soon looked somewhat different as progressive museums and archives began to explore more complex, contextual, relational ways of working. This article explores the development of large national and state museums—and First Nations initiatives in particular—in two parts. The first summarises key moments from 1971–2010, including analysis of the Humanities Research issues. The second then looks at the changing theory and practice of museums since 2011, placing these in the context of key concepts from feminist, Indigenous, and archival thinking to reveal the emergence of increasingly relational forms of ethics. The article concludes by suggesting that relational thinking and ethics provide a valuable means for understanding, navigating, and working within contemporary museums and related institutions.


Publication title

Humanities Research


History and Classics

Rights statement

Copyright 2023 the author. This is a pre-print version of an article which has been accepted for publication in Humanities Research: Volume XX, Number 1, 2024

File version

  • Pre-Print

Usage metrics

    Non-traditional research outputs



    Ref. manager