Exhibitions for Social Justice
Exhibitions for Social Justice assesses the state of curatorial work for social justice in the Americas and Europe today. Analyzing best practices and new curatorial work to support all those working on exhibitions, Gonzales expounds curatorial practices that lie at the nexus of contemporary museology and neurology. From sharing authority, to inspiring action and building solidarity, the book demonstrates how curators can make the most of visitors’ physical and mental experience of exhibitions.
Drawing on ethnographic and archival work at over twenty institutions with nearly eighty museum professionals, as well as scholarship in the public humanities, visual culture, cultural studies, memory studies, and brain science, this project steps back from the detailed institutional histories of how exhibitions come to be. Instead, it builds a set of curatorial practices by examining the work behind the finished product in the gallery.
Demonstrating that museums have the power to help our society become more hospitable, equitable, and sustainable, Exhibitions for Social Justice will be of interest to scholars and students of museum and heritage studies, gallery studies, arts and heritage management, and politics. It will also be valuable reading for museum professionals and anyone else working with exhibitions who is looking for guidance on how to ensure their work attains maximum impact.
List of Figures
List of Tables
List of Abbreviations
Chapter 1: From Empathy to Solidarity
Chapter 2: Physical Experiences – Building Memories and Empathy
Chapter 3: Inspiring Action
Chapter 4: Welcome, Inclusion, and Sharing Authority
"This is one of the finest works published in the field of museum studies in recent years. In this exhaustively researched book, Elena Gonzales maps out the current state of museum practice as it relates to the work of social justice. This book needs to be in the hands of scholars and practitioners alike as they seek to transform museums and inspire social change in the 21st century." – Amy Lonetree, University of California Santa Cruz, USA
"Elena Gonzales’s Exhibitions for Social Justice is a valuable handbook on museums that mount exhibitions explicitly engaged with social justice. Not intending to rationalize the need for this kind of work, Gonzales instead seeks to provide support and evidence-based examples for people working in this field. By drawing a bit on neuroscience, Gonzales focuses on how best to engage viewers; what leaves the most lasting impression with them; and how that can lead to an array of impact and actions over time" - Sarah J. Seidman, Curator of Social Activism, Museum of the City of New York