1st Edition

Flourishing in Museums Towards a Positive Museology

Edited By Kiersten F. Latham, Brenda Cowan Copyright 2024
    276 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    276 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Flourishing in Museums presents the Flourishing Museum Framework, an interdisciplinary model for reflection and practice. Illustrated via a diversity of international examples, the framework demonstrates how museums can meaningfully address the many challenges facing the profession.

    Including contributions from a wide range of scholar-practitioners working across the arts, humanities, sciences, education, business, and mental health disciplines, the volume uses abundance-thinking and takes a strengths-based appreciative approach to museum purpose, function, and being. The book demonstrates that, even within the most difficult climates, abundance-oriented methods and perspectives can inspire and elicit flourishing in visitors, staff, and communities, thus positioning museums as places where people find meaningful and purposeful work and where visitors find satisfaction, meaning, inspiration, and motivation. Drawing from the disciplines of positive psychology, positive organizational scholarship, contemplative studies, and museum studies, the book is unified and organized into six thematic areas that comprise the Flourishing Museum Framework: courage, transformation, care, optimism, gratitude, and delight.

    Flourishing in Museums will be essential reading for academics and students working in the museum and heritage fields, as well as the cognate disciplines of arts management and creative industries. It will also be useful to practitioners working in museums and heritage sites around the world.

    Part I. Introduction 


    1 Introduction - Flourishing in Theory, Experience, and Practice

    Part II. Flourishing with Intention

    Section I: Exploring Courage

    2 Courage as Flourishing

    3 Expanding a Museum Internationally: Belief Despite the Challenges

    Jasminko Halilovic


    4. Collaborative Courage: Examining Meanings from a Risk-Taking Exhibition Experience

    Michigan State University (MSU) Museum’s "Finding Our Voice" Project Team: Mary Worrall, Denice Blair, Teresa Goforth, Kelly Hansen

    5. Practicing Bravery in Museum Leadership: A Love Story

    Kiersten F. Latham

    Section II: Regarding Care

    6 Care as Flourishing

    7 Museums of Hope: Reinterpreting Museums for People’s Well-being

    Poornima Sardana

    8 Cultivating Compassion in the Museum Workplace

    Corinne Zimmerman

    9 Reconsidering Japanese Museum Professional Training from a Positive Lens

    Yuka Inoue, Tadahito Emizu

    10 Forgiveness: In Conversation with 3,397 Indigenous Stone Sools

    Steve Brown

    Section III: Envisioning Transformation

    11 Transformation as Flourishing

    12 Appreciating the Broad Spectrum of Positive Visitor Experiences in Museums: A Journey of Discovery

    Dr. Jan Packer

    13 On Museums, Transcendence, and Magic

    Lois H. Silverman

    14 Different but Same

    Leslie Bedford

    15 Flourishing through Museums: Designing for Empathy® with the Oneness Mindset

    Elif M. Gokcigdem, PhD

    Section IV: Considering Optimism

    16 Optimism as Flourishing


    17 Hope, Love and Improvisation: A Dance Through Change and Choice

    Andrew Nemr

    18 An Intentional Museum is Always on the Verge of Becoming

    Randi Korn

    19 Museums and the Wellbeing of University Students during Covid19: ‘Something that meant something to me’

    Jury, H. and Chatterjee, H.J.


    20 Archives Making the Past Present: The Folklore Fragments Podcast

    Jonny Dillon

    Section V: Recognizing Gratitude

    21 Gratitude as Flourishing

    22 How interactive playful experiences can help us practice being grateful.

    Anne Fullenkamp

    23 A Healing Museum Partnership: Objects, Giving and Gratitude from Syria to Sweden

    Brenda Cowan and Sofia Häggman

    24 Gratitude and Ethics: A Business Equation for Success

    Rob Cohen

    Section VI: Examining Delight

    25 Delight as Flourishing


    26 Keeping in Good Humor

    Cathy Hamaker and Elizabeth Wood

    27 Meaningful Museum Experiences are Satisfying Museum Experiences

    John H. Falk

    28 Why so Serious? Harnessing the Phenomenon of Fun in Museums

    Helen Divjak and Christina Ferwerda

    Part III. Conclusion 

    29 Conclusion - Next Steps toward a Positive Museology





    Kiersten F. Latham, PhD, is the President & CEO of Sauder Village, a living history museum complex in Ohio, USA.

    Professor Brenda Cowan is an educator and former chairperson at SUNY Fashion Institute of Technology in the graduate Exhibition & Experience Design department.