I’ve been thinking a lot about curators in the last few days as I’ve sat glued to Twitter and my Google Drive, watching people retweet our call for curators and put themselves forward. Already the variety of what goes on under the umbrella term of the ‘humanities’ is coming through: we’ve got a music researcher/lecturer/composer living in the Arctic Circle, a Medieval specialist from Spain, a heritage project leader in Australia and a cultural studies and literature lecturer working in English and Welsh in the UK – to name only 4 of the current list of 12.
As I whiled away the time between nominations I started thinking about who my dream curators would be, living or dead – a little like composing your ideal dinner party.
Neil McGregor, the director of the British Museum comes pretty high up my list. I really enjoyed listening to and reading A History of the World in 100 Objects but I want to know what goes on behind the scenes of the British Museum: the wrangling to get certain exhibits, the overheard snippets from visitors’ conversations and what the staff talk about on their lunch break. Perhaps, for that reason, it would be better to pick someone slightly less high profile so I’ve got my fingers crossed there’s a museum curator reading this who ends up putting themselves forward.
With my scholarly hat on I’d also pick Jacques Derrida. This is partly because I’ve read a lot of his work for my PhD and I’d like to hear more from him, but mostly because I’d love to see what he makes of the 140 character limit. If you’ve ever navigated your way through one of his sentences you might be with me on this one.
Margaret Atwood is also on my list (although, as a fair disclaimer, I put her on pretty much every list going). I cannot get enough of her fiction, I admire the campaigning work that she does and I think her Twitter presence is remarkable. She’s witty, seems to get stuck in to everything she does and I think she’d kick off some great interdisciplinary debates.
Please feel free to use the comments below to discuss who you’d like to see talking about the humanities on Twitter. Even better, join our dream team yourself by signing up to be a curator here.