I think the three-day symposium on presence and meaning cultures in museums held at the Medical Museion last week worked quite well. Jens Hauser‘s seminar has already been reported here. Sepp Gumbrecht’s Wednesday guest lecture “Do Productions of Presence Yield a Presence Culture? A Retrospective” was attended by about 75 scholars and students who were treated with a 1hr45min impassioned tour-de-force by one of the most gifted lecturers in the humanities today.

Finally, the Thursday’s workshop developed into an intense discussion session between Sepp Gumbrecht, Jens Hauser and his Danish interlocutors: Mette Mia Krabbe Meyer, Camilla Mordhorst, Dorthe Gert Simonsen and Adam Bencard. The reactions from the 20+ participants afterwards ranged from moderate skepticism of the general validity of the ‘presence’ concept for understanding public engagement with museums to general praise (“incredibly good” and “the most interesting thing I’ve heard for a long time” were some of the spontaneous comments).

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