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Alima Bucciantini

Assistant Professor of History and Director of Graduate Research in History and Public History
McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts
History

College Hall 609
Phone: 412.396.2559

Education:

Ph.D., Economic and Social History, University of Edinburgh
M.Sc., Nationalism Studies, University of Edinburgh
B.A., Critical Thought, Mount Holyoke College
Bio

I am a specialist in the study of museums and material culture, and I am particularly interested in how museum artifacts are used to tell the story of the nation at different times. This all started when I went to Edinburgh, Scotland to get a Masters in Nationalism Studies. I have always been tempted by interdisciplinary work, but I had no intention of becoming a historian - that was a discipline too far, I thought. I'd stay in the social sciences, in politics, and look at what made national identity so powerful as a global organizing force.

But then, wandering around the brand new Museum of Scotland, I realized that museums are spaces in which the nation and its identity are constructed and performed for the public, through the artifacts that they display, each time an exhibition is constructed. Once I started down this train of thought, I was hooked, and I haven't been able to stop poking, prodding, and asking impertinent questions behind the scenes of museums yet.

I am working on my first book, Object Nation: Artifacts, Exhibitions, and the Museum in Scotland. In addition, I have published several articles on other projects, including:

  • ‘Moving the Nation: Taking the Smithsonian to Scotland,' Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism, vol. 12(1), 2012. 101-117.
  • ‘Science or the Man: Commemorations of Charles Darwin in Edinburgh', with Stana Nenadic, Review of Scottish Culture, vol. 23, 2011. 118-132.

Courses
  • HIST 151: Shaping of the Modern World
  • HIST 204: U.S. since 1877
  • HIST 224: History of Things 
  • HIST 627: Commemoration and Preservation: U.S. History
  • IHP 202: Honors Shaping of the Modern World