A Companion to Museum Studies by Sharon Macdonald

By Sharon Macdonald

A better half to Museum reviews captures a clean, multidisciplinary method of the learn of the improvement, roles, and importance of museums in modern society. the quantity collects authoritative unique essays via major figures from a number disciplines and theoretical stances-anthropology, artwork heritage, heritage, literature, sociology, cultural experiences, and museum stories proper.The e-book examines the complexity of the museum from cultural, political governance, curatorial, historic and representational views. From conventional matters, together with house, exhibit, constructions, and amassing, to extra modern demanding situations and issues, comparable to vacationing, trade, group and experimental exhibition varieties, this better half proves itself an imperative reference for artwork historians, museum curators, and paintings and tradition enthusiasts.

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Clifford borrows the term from Mary Louise Pratt (1992) to emphasize the interactive nature of the relationships between various communities, stakeholders, and museums. As “contact zone,” the museum functions more as a permeable space of transcultural encounter than as a tightly bounded institution disseminating knowledge to its visitors. Clifford recasts the museum as a space where different cultures and communities intersect, interact, and are mutually influenced by the encounter. Moreover, as Andrea Witcomb notes, Clifford recognizes that the museum itself is a community with its own conventions and cultural values (Witcomb 2003: 79–101).

Recognizing, too, that this was a better way to ensure lively, engaged chapters, I either acquiesced or, as I also witnessed in my study of exhibition-making, agreed to settlements that were usually far superior to – if harder to classify than – my original conceptions. The Compass of the Companion Despite the negotiated nature of the production of this Companion to Museum Studies, the volume does cover the topics which seem to me to be central to an expanding and vibrant museum studies. Many of these are signaled explicitly in the titles of the chapters, though others, such as “objects,” are so fundamental that they run through many chapters or throughout.

Cultural Politics of Difference and Identity Many of the examples mentioned so far raise questions of identity and difference, both key to contemporary museums and cultural theory alike. The theory of difference is central to Derridean and poststructuralist theory, but it is equally central to cultural theory as a whole because it coincides with the theoretical and political concerns of various social movements which have marked the second half of the twentieth century: feminism, multiculturalism, lesbian and gay rights, disability issues, and civil rights (Milner and Browitt 2002: 128).

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