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Museum Meanings


About the Series

Museums have undergone enormous changes in recent decades; an ongoing process of renewal and transformation bringing with it changes in priority, practice and role, as well as new expectations, philosophies, imperatives and tensions that continue to attract attention from those working in, and drawing upon, wide-ranging disciplines.

Museum Meanings presents new research that explores diverse aspects of the shifting social, cultural and political significance of museums and their agency beyond, as well as within, the cultural sphere. Interdisciplinary, cross-cultural and international perspectives and empirical investigation are brought to bear on the exploration of museums’ relationships with their various publics (and analysis of the ways in which museums shape – and are shaped by – such interactions).

Theoretical perspectives might be drawn from anthropology, cultural studies, art and art history, learning and communication, media studies, architecture and design and material culture studies, amongst others. Museums are understood very broadly – including art galleries, historic sites and other cultural heritage institutions – as are their relationships with diverse constituencies.

The Series Editors invite proposals that explore the political and social significance of museums and their ethical implications. If you have an idea for a book that you think would be appropriate for the series, then please contact the Series Editors to discuss further.

31 Series Titles

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Curating Under Pressure International Perspectives on Negotiating Conflict and Upholding Integrity

Curating Under Pressure: International Perspectives on Negotiating Conflict and Upholding Integrity

1st Edition

Janet Marstine, Svetlana Mintcheva
July 14, 2020

Curating Under Pressure breaks the silence surrounding curatorial self-censorship and shows that it is both endemic to the practice and ubiquitous. Contributors map the diverse forms such self-censorship takes and offer creative strategies for negotiating curatorial integrity. This is the first ...

Museums and Social Change Challenging the Unhelpful Museum

Museums and Social Change: Challenging the Unhelpful Museum

1st Edition

Adele Chynoweth, Bernadette Lynch, Klaus Petersen, Sarah Smed
July 10, 2020

Museums and Social Change explores the ways museums can work in collaboration with marginalised groups to work for social change and, in so doing, rethink the museum. Drawing on the first-hand experiences of museum practitioners and their partners around the world, the volume demonstrates the ...

Museum Diplomacy in the Digital Age

Museum Diplomacy in the Digital Age

1st Edition

Natalia Grincheva
July 07, 2020

Museum Diplomacy in the Digital Age explores online museums as sites of contemporary cultural diplomacy. Building on scholarship that highlights how museums can constitute and regulate citizens, construct national communities, and project messages across borders, the book explores the political ...

Museums, Sexuality, and Gender Activism

Museums, Sexuality, and Gender Activism

1st Edition

Joshua G. Adair, Amy K. Levin
February 05, 2020

Museums, Sexuality, and Gender Activism examines the role of exhibitionary institutions in representing LGBTQ+ people, cisgender women, and nonbinary individuals. Considering recent gender and sexuality-related developments through a critical lens, the volume contributes significantly to the ...

Museums and Sites of Persuasion Politics, Memory and Human Rights

Museums and Sites of Persuasion: Politics, Memory and Human Rights

1st Edition

Joyce Apsel, Amy Sodaro
October 28, 2019

Museums and Sites of Persuasion examines the concept of museums and memory sites as locations that attempt to promote human rights, democracy and peace. Demonstrating that such sites have the potential to act as powerful spaces of persuasion or contestation, the book also shows that there are ...

Exhibitions for Social Justice

Exhibitions for Social Justice

1st Edition

Elena Gonzales
July 22, 2019

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 ...

Museum Activism

Museum Activism

1st Edition

Robert R. Janes, Richard Sandell
January 18, 2019

Only a decade ago, the notion that museums, galleries and heritage organisations might engage in activist practice, with explicit intent to act upon inequalities, injustices and environmental crises, was met with scepticism and often derision. Seeking to purposefully bring about social change was ...

The Future of Museum and Gallery Design Purpose, Process, Perception

The Future of Museum and Gallery Design: Purpose, Process, Perception

1st Edition

Suzanne MacLeod, Tricia Austin, Jonathan Hale, Oscar Ho Hing-Kay
July 02, 2018

The Future of Museum and Gallery Design explores new research and practice in museum design. Placing a specific emphasis on social responsibility, in its broadest sense, the book emphasises the need for a greater understanding of the impact of museum design in the experiences of visitors, in the ...

Critical Practice Artists, museums, ethics

Critical Practice: Artists, museums, ethics

1st Edition

Janet Marstine
February 02, 2017

Critical Practice is an ambitious work that blurs the boundaries between art history, museum studies, political science and applied ethics. Marstine demonstrates how convergences between institutional critique and socially engaged practice, as represented by the term ‘critical practice’, can create...

Museums, Moralities and Human Rights

Museums, Moralities and Human Rights

1st Edition

Richard Sandell
December 15, 2016

This book explores how museums, galleries and heritage sites of all kinds, through the narratives they construct and publicly present, can shape the moral and political climate within which human rights are experienced. Through a series of richly-drawn cases, which focus on gender diversity and ...

Museum as Process Translating Local and Global Knowledges

Museum as Process: Translating Local and Global Knowledges

1st Edition

Raymond Silverman
August 26, 2014

The museum has become a vital strategic space for negotiating ownership of and access to knowledges produced in local settings. Museum as Process presents community-engaged "culture work" of a group of scholars whose collaborative projects consider the social spaces between the museum and community...

Museums and Migration History, Memory and Politics

Museums and Migration: History, Memory and Politics

1st Edition

Laurence Gourievidis
June 16, 2014

Recent decades have seen migration history and issues increasingly featured in museums. Museums and Migration explores the ways in which museum spaces - local, regional, national - have engaged with the history of migration, including internal migration, emigration and immigration. It presents the ...

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