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Book Series

Museum Meanings

Edited by Richard Sandell, Christina Kreps

Museums have undergone enormous changes in recent decades; an ongoing process of renewal and transformation bringing with it changes in priority, practice and role as well as new expectations, philosophies, imperatives and tensions that continue to attract attention from those working in, and drawing upon, wide ranging disciplines.

Museum Meanings presents new research that explores diverse aspects of the shifting social, cultural and political significance of museums and their agency beyond, as well as within, the cultural sphere. Interdisciplinary, cross-cultural and international perspectives and empirical investigation are brought to bear on the exploration of museums’ relationships with their various publics (and analysis of the ways in which museums shape – and are shaped by – such interactions).

Theoretical perspectives might be drawn from anthropology, cultural studies, art and art history, learning and communication, media studies, architecture and design and material culture studies amongst others. Museums are understood very broadly – to include art galleries, historic sites and other cultural heritage institutions – as are their relationships with diverse constituencies.

The focus on the relationship of the museum to its publics shifts the emphasis from objects and collections and the study of museums as text, to studies grounded in the analysis of bodies and sites; identities and communities; ethics, moralities and politics.

New and Published Books

1-10 of 21 results in Museum Meanings
  1. Museum as Process

    Translating Local and Global Knowledges

    Edited by Raymond Silverman

    Series: Museum Meanings

    The museum has become a vital strategic space for negotiating ownership of and access to knowledges produced in local settings. Museum as Process presents community-engaged "culture work" of a group of scholars whose collaborative projects consider the social spaces between the museum and community...

    Published August 25th 2014 by Routledge

  2. Museums and Migration

    History, Memory and Politics

    Edited by Laurence Gourievidis

    Series: Museum Meanings

    Recent decades have seen migration history and issues increasingly featured in museums. Museums and Migration explores the ways in which museum spaces - local, regional, national - have engaged with the history of migration, including internal migration, emigration and immigration. It presents the...

    Published June 15th 2014 by Routledge

  3. Museums and Social Activism

    Engaged Protest

    By Kylie Message

    Series: Museum Meanings

    Museums and Social Activism is the first study to bring together historical accounts of the African American and later American Indian civil rights-related social and reform movements that took place on the Smithsonian Mall through the 1960s and 1970s in Washington DC with the significant but...

    Published October 13th 2013 by Routledge

  4. Museums, Equality and Social Justice

    Edited by Richard Sandell, Eithne Nightingale

    Series: Museum Meanings

    The last two decades have seen concerns for equality, diversity, social justice and human rights move from the margins of museum thinking and practice, to the core. The arguments – both moral and pragmatic – for engaging diverse audiences, creating the conditions for more equitable access to museum...

    Published April 22nd 2012 by Routledge

  5. Museum Making

    Narratives, Architectures, Exhibitions

    Edited by Suzanne Macleod, Laura Hourston Hanks, Jonathan Hale

    Series: Museum Meanings

    Over recent decades, many museums, galleries and historic sites around the world have enjoyed an unprecedented level of large-scale investment in their capital infrastructure, in building refurbishments and new gallery displays. This period has also seen the creation of countless new purpose-built...

    Published February 27th 2012 by Routledge

  6. Museums in a Troubled World

    Renewal, Irrelevance or Collapse?

    By Robert R. Janes

    Series: Museum Meanings

    Are Museums Irrelevant? Museums are rarely acknowledged in the global discussion of climate change, environmental degradation, the inevitability of depleted fossil fuels, and the myriad local issues concerning the well-being of particular communities – suggesting the irrelevance of museums as...

    Published May 17th 2009 by Routledge

  7. Heritage and Identity

    Engagement and Demission in the Contemporary World

    Edited by Marta Anico, Elsa Peralta

    Series: Museum Meanings

    Heritage and Identity explores the complex ways in which heritage actively contributes to the construction and representation of identities in contemporary societies, providing a comprehensive account of the diverse conceptions of heritage and identity across different continents and cultures....

    Published November 25th 2008 by Routledge

  8. Museums and Community

    Ideas, Issues and Challenges

    By Elizabeth Crooke

    Series: Museum Meanings

    Combining research that stretches across all of the social sciences and international case studies, Elizabeth Crooke here explores the dynamics of the relationship between the community and the museum. Focusing strongly on areas such as Northern Ireland, South Africa, Australia and North...

    Published February 4th 2008 by Routledge

  9. Recoding the Museum

    Digital Heritage and the Technologies of Change

    By Ross Parry

    Series: Museum Meanings

    Why has it taken so long to make computers work for the museum sector? And why are museums still having some of the same conversations about digital technology that they began back in the late 1960s? Does there continue to be a basic ‘incompatibility’ between the practice of the museum and the...

    Published November 15th 2007 by Routledge

  10. Rethinking Evolution in the Museum

    Envisioning African Origins

    By Monique Scott

    Series: Museum Meanings

    Rethinking Evolution in the Museum explores the ways diverse natural history museum audiences imagine their evolutionary heritage. In particular, the book considers how the meanings constructed by audiences of museum exhibitions are a product of dynamic interplay between museum iconography and...

    Published November 14th 2007 by Routledge

Forthcoming Books

  1. Museum as Process: Translating Local and Global Knowledges
    Edited by Raymond Silverman
    To Be Published September 1st 2014
  2. Critical Practice: Artists, museums, ethics
    By Janet Marstine
    To Be Published April 29th 2015

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