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Researcher output profile for Dr Janice Baker
Dr Janice Baker’s research is concerned with the application of critical theory to museums, with a particular focus on continental theory. Her doctoral work argues for an ethical-aesthetic approach to museology that accommodates the operation of affect. She is developing a theory of affect through the idea of the museum and its role in understanding the malleability of human subjectivity. She suggests this is a realm overlooked or dissipated in the critical literature of museology because of the dominance of structuralist and poststructuralist theoretical positions. While these positions continue to be significant stances in understanding ideological relations between cultural objects and museum visitors, they overlook the transformative potential of objects through the production of affective assemblages.
While the ‘affective turn’ in the humanities has received attention there is a misleading tendency to equate affect with emotion, a truncation that fails to respond to the autonomy of affect and its relation to the production of desire. As a way to approach the potent corporeality of affect, Janice considers encounters with material culture through the figure of the museum as cinematic image. In doing so she problematizes notions of fixed and stable subjectivity that have been the cornerstone of the theories, histories, and critiques of museums and museology. Janice completed her PhD at Curtin University in 2010. Her thesis received the University’s Chancellor’s Commendation for excellence in research.
Forthcoming book chapters are: ‘Reel Objects: Movies in Museums’ in Curatorial Dreams: Critics Imagine Exhibitions (Duke University Press, forthcoming in 2012); ‘Anarchical Artefacts: Museums as Sites for Radical Otherness’ in Museum Theory: An Expanded Horizon’ (Blackwell, forthcoming in 2012); and ‘That Killing Feeling: Museum Murder as Cinematic Affect’ in Murders and Acquisitions: Representations of Serial Killers in Popular Culture (Continuum New York, forthcoming in 2013). She is currently working on a book The Deleuzian Museum: A Study of Affect. Janice was previously an Adjunct Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Communication and Cultural Studies at Curtin University, and a Curator at the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery at the University of Western Australia.
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