Background and activities

PhD project “The local museum in the global village”.

Since migration and mobility alter perceptions of ‘the local’ and local history, they also challenge the roles and functions of local history museums. Today’s demands towards museums exceed collecting, preserving, researching and disseminating knowledge. Museums are required to be up-to-date, relevant, and to engage with diverse audiences. In my project, I am interested in which roles history, local history and museums in Norway play when it comes to migrants and migration. More specifically, I study how smaller museums with little money and few staff can meet the demands described above.

As case for my project serve the Norwegian islands of Hitra and Frøya with approximately 4500 inhabitants each. Traditionally, inhabitants made a living fishing and small-scale farming, and the area was characterized by homogeneity and emigration during the last century. The situation has changed dramatically during the last ten years: As a result of the growth of aquaculture, fish farming and jobs that this type of industry generates, population in the area is currently growing. Today, labor migrants from Eastern European countries represent approximately 15% of the population.

The aim of my project is twofold: Firstly, I seek at learning more about immigrants’ knowledge and interest in history, and how they use history to make sense of the world. Put differently, I am interested in processes of historical consciousness in context with migration experiences. The second question is which roles can small local museums play in contexts as described above? According to Kelly (2006), local museums find their most important purposes in their ‘links back to society’. She identifies those as relevance to the local area, contribution to developing senses of belonging and involvement in the local community, and development of social and community networks across cultures and generations. For small museums with limited resources, these demands pose challenges. Hence, the project aims at contributing to the development of museum methods that help smaller museums to work towards relevance and inclusion.

Interviews are a central method for my research, but after a first round of interviews with both immigrants and long-time residents to Frøya and Hitra, it became clear that there was more to the interviews than information gathering. Based on observations and analyses of interview data, I now test and study interviews as an interaction during which central museum tasks are being performed, among them giving minorities a voice and a space to speak, dialogue, historical learning, social bridging, and discussion of current developments.



NORD2312 - Litterære kulturmøter og kulturell identitet: Norsk som andrespråk (Course coordinator)

KULMI1000 Introduksjon til kulturvern (Course coordinator)

KULMI2300 Innføring i museologi (Course coordinator)

KULMI2400 Hospitering og prosjektarbeid i kulturminneforvaltning (Course corrdinator)

KULMI2710 Lokalhistorie

KULMI3210 Museologi

KULMI3215 Museologi og kulturarvspedagogikk

KULMI3090 Masteroppgave i kulturminneforvaltning

ARK3250 Museologi

Scientific, academic and artistic work

Displaying a selection of activities. See all publications in the database


  • Müller, Insa. (2018) The Local Museum in the Global Village. The Idea, Functions and Practices of Local History Museums in Rapidly Changing Diverse Communities. 2018. ISBN 978-82-326-3376-0.
  • Müller, Insa. (2018) foredrag og diskusjon. Arbeidsgruppemøte "Demokrati og voksenopplæring - museer og minnesteder som utvidet læringsarena . Stiklestad nasjonale kultursenter; Stiklestad. 2018-12-01 - 2018-12-01.


  • Müller, Insa. (2017) Innlegg til debatt: Museenes samfunnsrolle. Museer på vidvanke? Hvor ble det av Tronhjemshistorien . HIFO Trøndelag og Fortidsminneforening; Trondheim. 2017-04-03 - 2017-04-03.


  • Mellemsether, Hanna; Müller, Insa. (2016) From Audience to Participants: Engaging through dialogue. Open Heritage: Changing Museums. Changing Communities. Changing Traditions.
  • Müller, Insa. (2016) Engaging with members of migrant communities through interviews. ICOM Milano: 24th General Conference of the International Council of Museums . ICOM; Milano. 2016-07-03 - 2016-07-09.
  • Müller, Insa. (2016) Interviews as a tool for engaging immigrants with local history. Museum Studies at Leicester 50th Anniversary Conference: The Museum in the Global Contemporary: Debating the Museum of Now . School of Museum Studies at Leicester University; Leicester. 2016-04-20 - 2016-04-22.
  • Müller, Insa. (2016) The dialogic interview: Using interview to generate interest in local history. Open Heritage: Changing Museums. Changing Communities. Changing Traditions.


  • Müller, Insa. (2015) Enganging communities. Seminar on documentation and representation of minorities in museum . Astra Museum, Romania and Museene i Sør-Trøndelag, Norway; Sverresborg, Trondheim. 2015-04-29 - 2015-04-29.
  • Müller, Insa. (2015) det dialogiske intervjuet. KULMiST fagdag ; 2015-09-21 - 2015-09-21.


  • Müller, Insa. (2013) Det lokale museet i den globale landsbyen. fagdag statsarkivet og MiST . statsarkivet og Museene i Sør-Trøndelag; 2013-10-28 - 2013-10-28.
  • Müller, Insa. (2013) Det relevante lokalmuseet i et flerkulturelt samfunn. Det relevante museum . Kulturrådet og andre; 2013-10-07 - 2013-10-11.
  • Müller, Insa. (2013) "Hvorfor har vi bygdemuseer i dag? Hva kan et lite bygdemuseum gjøre? Hva bør det gjøre?". Levende museer i Arktis Workshop & styringsgruppemøte, Midt-Troms Museum . Midt-Troms Museum; 2013-09-05 - 2013-09-08.
  • Müller, Insa. (2013) The Local Museum in the Global Village: Engaging with Community through Interviews. Inclusive Museum Conference ; Copenhagen. 2013-04-22 - 2013-04-24.


  • Mueller, Insa. (2012) Historie og historier i et globalisert lokalsamfunn - er det rom for lokale museer?. KOMOPP opplevelseskonferanse . NTNUs satsning på opplevelsesnæring; Trondheim. 2012-11-29 - 2012-11-29.
  • Mueller, Insa. (2012) The local museum in the global village: Engaging with community through interviews. Museale og arkivale praksiser . Kulturrådet; Oslo. 2012-11-29 - 2012-11-30.