Henriette Pleiger

Working title: Interdisciplinary Exhibitions and the Production of Knowledge


Dr Emma Martin, Dr Kostas Arvanitis


My research deals with the process of making interdisciplinary exhibitions and their potential to convey and create new knowledge. I am investigating and advocating a closer relationship between exhibition curators and academic researchers and a conceptual approach to exhibition-making which involves the experimental crossing of disciplinary boundaries. This approach seems especially relevant for exhibitions on topics of pressing public concern which deserve a wider perspective and cannot be dealt with or even be solved by one discipline alone. Furthermore my research aims to develop a finer theoretical vocabulary for the conceptualization and analysis of interdisciplinary exhibitions and their production process.


I have been working as an exhibition curator at the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn, Germany, since 2002. In this position I have co-curated and organized several large temporary exhibitions often combining art, cultural history and science. These include “Touchdown – An Exhibition with and about People with Down’s Syndrome” (2016), and “Weather Report – About Weather Culture and Climate Science” (2017). In 2016 I started studying for a Professional Doctorate in Museum Practice at the University of Manchester. As part-time student, this PhD programme allows me to reflect on my on-going professional work theoretically and practically, to join the recent discussions in museum studies and to further develop my academic education. I previously studied Chinese studies, philosophy, and German literature in Vienna, Beijing, and Frankfurt am Main, and did my M.A. degree in Chinese studies in 1997.

Publications and presentations

Pleiger, H. (2020). The 'Inter-Disciplined' Exhibition - A Case Study, in: Museum and Society, v. 18, n. 4, pp. 349-367, Oct. 2020. ISSN 1479-8360. Available at: https://journals.le.ac.uk/ojs1/index.php/mas/article/view/3132/3177 Date accessed: 15 dec. 2020. doi:https://doi.org/10.29311/mas.v18i4.3132

Baumgart, B. and Pleiger, H. (2018). Workshop ‘Partizipative Zugänge’ (Workshop 'Participatory Approaches'), in: Maul, B. and Röhlke, C. (eds.). Museum und Inklusion: Kreative Wege zur kulturellen Teilhabe (Museum and Inclusion. Creative Ways of Cultural Participation). Bielefeld: Transcript (Edition Museum), pp. 111-119.

Concepts and academic editing of exhibition catalogues for several large exhibitions including own contributions, as well as publications in Chinese studies such as: 

Pleiger, H. (2010). 74 biographical entries on Chinese authors from antiquity to the 13th century, in: Wolfgang Kubin (ed.): Geschichte der chinesischen Literatur [History of Chinese Literature],vol. 9: Marc Hermann, Weiping Huang, Henriette Pleiger, Thomas Zimmer: Biographisches Handbuch chinesischer Schriftsteller. Leben und Werke [Biographical Handbook of Chinese Authors. Life and Works]. München: De Gruyter/ Saur.

Contact details

Email: henriette.pleiger@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk

Office email: pleiger@bundeskunsthalle.de