The project aims to develop a comparative critique of approaches to universal histories in museums and of the role of museums in building knowledge about the future.

The project combines critical investigation of universal histories and universal museums through four workshops – two in Paris and two in London – and two historical case studies, based in the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Musée du quai Branly.

The ‘Universal Histories and Universal Museums’ research outputs will include a conference and an exhibition. We aim to publish a collection of essays from the workshops and the conference. The results of the case study research will be disseminated both through the digitisation of key source material and in peer-reviewed journals.

The research is jointly funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council ‘Care for the Future: Thinking Forward through the Past’ and the LABEX ‘Pasts in the Present’ programmes.