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In Learning at the Museum Frontiers, Viv Golding argues that the museum has the potential to function as a frontier - a zone where learning is created, new identities are forged and new connections made between disparate groups and their own histories. She draws on a range of theoretical perspectives including Gadamer's philosophical hermeneutics, Foucauldian discourse on space and power, and postcolonial and Black feminist theory, as well as her own professional experience in museum education over a ten-year period, applying these ideas to a wide range of museum contexts. The book offers an important theoretical and empirical contribution to the debate on the value of museums and what they can contribute to society. The author reveals the radical potential for museums to tackle injustice and social exclusion, challenge racism, enhance knowledge and promote truth.
This edited volume critically engages with contemporary scholarship on museums and their engagement with the communities they purport to serve and represent. Foregrounding new curatorial strategies, it addresses a significant gap in the available literature, exploring some of the complex issues arising from recent approaches to collaboration between museums and their communities. The book unpacks taken-for-granted notions such as scholarship, community, participation and collaboration, which can gloss over the complexity of identities and lead to tokenistic claims of inclusion by museums. Over sixteen chapters, well-respected authors from the US, Australia and Europe offer a timely critique to address what happens when museums put community-minded principles into practice, challenging readers to move beyond shallow notions of political correctness that ignore vital difference in this contested field. Contributors address a wide range of key issues, asking pertinent questions such as how museums negotiate the complexities of integrating collaboration when the target community is a living, fluid, changeable mass of people with their own agendas and agency. When is engagement real as opposed to symbolic, who benefits from and who drives initiatives? What particular challenges and benefits do artist collaborations bring? Recognising the multiple perspectives of community participants is one thing, but how can museums incorporate this successfully into exhibition practice? Students of museum and cultural studies, practitioners and everyone who cares about museums around the world will find this volume essential reading.
This volume presents sixteen thoughtful essays which address innovative ways to present cultural heritage primarily in ethnographic and social history museums through recent permanent, temporary, and mobile exhibitions. The essays included are taken from the different vantage points; they prompt critical debate about new ways of thinking and working in museums of different sizes, with regard for how we might work collaboratively towards a more equitable future. Essential political issues related to power and the strong influences of the museum are addressed in each section, especially with regards to the presentation of particular cultures and communities.
Museums are usually seen as arenas for the authorised presentations of reality, based on serious, professional knowledge. Yet, in spite of the impossibility of giving anything but a highly abstract and extremely selective impression in an exhibition, very few museums problematize this or discuss their priorities with their public. They don’t ask “what are the other truths of the matter?” Though the essays in this collection are not written with museums and truth as their explicit subject, they highlight contested truths, the absence of the truth of the underprivileged, whether one truth is more worthy than the other, and whether lesser truths can dilute the value of greater truths. One of the articles included here lets youngsters choose which truth is most probable or just, while another talks about an exhibition where the public must choose which truth to adhere to before entering. One shows how a political change gives a new opportunity to finally restore valuable truths of the past to the present, and another describes the highly dangerous task of making museums and memorials for the truths of the oppressed. Lastly, one explores whether we live in a period where the sources for authorized truths are fragmented and questioned, and asks, what should the consequences for museums be?
This hugely influential work marked a turning point in US history and culture, arguing that the nation’s expansion into the Great West was directly linked to its unique spirit: a rugged individualism forged at the juncture between civilization and wilderness, which – for better or worse – lies at the heart of American identity today. Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves – and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives – and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization and helped make us who we are.
In the critical essays collected in Black Looks, bell hooks interrogates old narratives and argues for alternative ways to look at blackness, black subjectivity, and whiteness. Her focus is on spectatorship—in particular, the way blackness and black people are experienced in literature, music, television, and especially film—and her aim is to create a radical intervention into the way we talk about race and representation. As she describes: "the essays in Black Looks are meant to challenge and unsettle, to disrupt and subvert." As students, scholars, activists, intellectuals, and any other readers who have engaged with the book since its original release in 1992 can attest, that's exactly what these pieces do.

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