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Museum Transformations. Decolonization and Democratization. Edition No. 1

  • ID: 5188752
  • Book
  • February 2020
  • 656 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd



Museum Transformations: Decolonization and Democratization addresses contemporary approaches to decolonization, greater democratization, and revisionist narratives in museum exhibition and program development around the world. The text explores how museums of art, history, and ethnography responded to deconstructive critiques from activists and poststructuralist and postcolonial theorists, and provided models for change to other types of museums and heritage sites.

The volume's first set of essays discuss the role of the museum in the narration of difficult histories, and how altering the social attitudes and political structures that enable oppression requires the recognition of past histories of political and racial oppression and colonization in museums. Subsequent essays consider the museum's new roles in social action and discuss experimental projects that work to change power dynamics within institutions and leverage digital technology and new media.

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List of Illustrations ix

Editors xiii

General Editors xiv

Contributors xv

Editors’ Preface to Museum Transformations and The International Handbooks of Museum Studies xvii

Introduction: Museums in Transformation: Dynamics of Democratization and Decolonization xxv
Annie E. Coombes and Ruth B. Phillips

Part I Difficult Histories 1

1. The Holocaust Memorial in Berlin and Its Information Center: Concepts, Controversies, Reactions 3
Sibylle Quack

2. Ghosts of Future Nations, or The Uses of the Holocaust Museum Paradigm in India 29
Kavita Singh

3. The International Difficult Histories Boom, the Democratization of History, and the National Museum of Australia 61
Bain Attwood

4. Where are the Children? and “We Were So Far Away …”: Exhibiting the Legacies of Residential Schools, Healing, and Reconciliation 85
Jonathan Dewar

5. Recirculating Images of the “Terrorist” in Postcolonial Museums: The Case of the National Museum of Struggle in Nicosia, Cyprus 113
Gabriel Koureas

6. Reactivating the Colonial Collection: Exhibition-Making as Creative Process at the Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam 133
Mary Bouquet

7. “Congo As It is?”: Curatorial Reflections on Using Spatial Urban History in the Memory of Congo: The Colonial Era Exhibition 157
Johan Lagae

8. Between the Archive and the Monument: Memory Museums in Postdictatorship Argentina and Chile 181
Jens Andermann

9. The Gender of Memory in Postapartheid South Africa: The Women’s Jail as Heritage Site 207
Annie E. Coombes

Part II Social Agency and the Museum 227

10. An Ethnography of Repatriation: Engagements with Erromango, Vanuatu 229
Lissant Bolton

11. Of Heritage and Hesitation: Reflections on the Melanesian Art Project at the British Museum 249
Nicholas Thomas

12. The Blackfoot Shirts Project: “Our Ancestors Have Come to Visit” 263
Alison K. Brown and Laura Peers

13. “Get to Know Your World”: An Interview with Jim Enote, Director of the A:shiwi A:wan Museum and Heritage Center in Zuni, New Mexico 289
Gwyneira Isaac

14. The Paro Manene Project: Exhibiting and Researching Photographic Histories in Western Kenya 311
Christopher Morton and Gilbert Oteyo

15. Reanimating Cultural Heritage: Digital Curatorship, Knowledge Networks, and Social Transformation in Sierra Leone 337
Paul Basu

16. On Not Looking: Economies of Visuality in Digital Museums 365
Kimberly Christen

17. Preserving the Physical Object in Changing Cultural Contexts 387
Miriam Clavir

Part III Museum Experiments 413

18. The Last Frontier: Migratory Culture, Video, and Exhibiting without Voyeurism 415
Mieke Bal

19. Public Art/Private Lives: The Making of Hotel Yeoville 439
Tegan Bristow, Terry Kurgan and Alexander Opper

20. Museums, Women, and the Web 471
Reesa Greenberg

21. Möbius Museology: Curating and Critiquing the Multiversity Galleries at the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia 489
Jennifer Kramer

22. When You Were Mine: (Re)Telling History at the National Museum of the American Indian 511
Paul Chaat Smith

23. Against the Edifice Complex: Vivan Sundaram’s History Project and the Colonial Museum in India 527
Saloni Mathur

24. Can National Museums be Postcolonial?: The Canadian Museum for Human Rights and the Obligation of Redress to First Nations 545
Ruth B. Phillips

Index 575

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Annie E. Coombes University of London.

Ruth B. Phillips Carleton University, Canada.
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