A History of Participation in Museums and Archives : Traversing Citizen Science and Citizen Humanities book cover
1st Edition

A History of Participation in Museums and Archives
Traversing Citizen Science and Citizen Humanities

ISBN 9780367186715
Published March 17, 2020 by Routledge
310 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Traversing disciplines, A History of Participation in Museums and Archives provides a framework for understanding how participatory modes in natural, cultural, and scientific heritage institutions intersect with practices in citizen science and citizen humanities.

Drawing on perspectives in cultural history, science and technology studies, and media and communication theory, the book explores how museums and archives make science and cultural heritage relevant to people’s everyday lives, while soliciting their assistance and participation in research and citizen projects. More specifically, the book critically examines how different forms of engagement are constructed, how concepts of democratization are framed and enacted, and how epistemic practices in science and the humanities are transformed through socio-technological infrastructures. Tracking these central themes across disciplines and research from Europe, Canada, Australia and the United States, the book simultaneously considers their relevance for museum and heritage studies.

A History of Participation in Museums and Archives should be essential reading for a broad academic audience, including scholars and students in museum and heritage studies, digital humanities, and the public communication of science and technology. It should also be of great interest to museum professionals working to foster public engagement through collaboration with networks and local community groups.

Table of Contents


1. Traversing citizen science and citizen humanities: Tacking stitches


2. Museums as sites of participatory democracy and design

3.  Participation and engagement in a world of increasing complexity

4. Infrastructures that democratize? Citizen participation and digital ethics


5. Knowledge infrastructures for citizen science: The taming of knowledge

6. Engaging disenfranchised publics through citizen humanities projects

7. Engaging older adults in science education: Making the case for relevant, neighborhood-focused interventions


8. Remembering in public: A case study of museum-user communication on Facebook

9. The participatory turn: Users, publics, and audiences

10. Searching for deeper meanings in cultural heritage crowdsourcing


11. Museums that Connect Science and communities: Using boundary objects and networks to encourage dialogue and collective response to wicked, socio-scientific problems

12. The participatory epistemic cultures of citizen humanities: Bildung and epistemic subjects

13. The quest for reciprocity: Citizen science as a form of gift exchange


14. Citizen science, citizen humanities: Relevance for museum research and practice

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Per Hetland (PhD) is Professor at the Department of Education, University of Oslo, Norway. Hetland holds a Dr. Philos. in science communication from University of Oslo and a PhD in innovation studies from Roskilde University, Denmark. His current research is focused on natural history research museums and citizen science.

Palmyre Pierroux (PhD) is Professor at the Department of Education, University of Oslo, Norway. She leads the Cultural Heritage Mediascapes project, which examines how participatory democracy concepts and digital media and technologies are transforming knowledge and communication practices in the cultural heritage sector.

Line Esborg (PhD) is Associate Professor at the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages, University of Oslo, Norway. Esborg serves as Senior Advisor at the Norwegian Folklore Archives, and her research is centered on folklore, digital heritage, and the politics of identity in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.