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.
Museums and the Working Class
Museums and the Interpretation of Visual Culture
Curating Under Pressure International Perspectives on Negotiating Conflict and Upholding Integrity
Museum Diplomacy in the Digital Age
Museums, Sexuality, and Gender Activism
Exhibitions for Social Justice
Critical Practice Artists, museums, ethics
Museums, Moralities and Human Rights
By Adele Chynoweth
September 29, 2021
Museums and the Working Class is the first book to take an intersectional and international approach to the issues of economic diversity and class within the field of museum studies. Bringing together 16 contributors from eight countries, this book has emerged from the significant global dialogue...
By Eilean Hooper-Greenhill
October 25, 2000
This is a multi-disciplinary study that adopts an innovative and original approach to a highly topical question, that of meaning-making in museums, focusing its attention on pedagogy and visual culture.This work explores such questions as: How and why is it that museums select and arrange ...
By 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 ...
By 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 ...
By 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 ...
By 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 ...
By Joyce Apsel, Amy Sodaro
October 30, 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 ...
By Elena Gonzales
July 23, 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 ...
By Robert R. Janes, Richard Sandell
January 23, 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 ...
By Suzanne MacLeod, Tricia Austin, Jonathan Hale, Oscar Ho Hing-Kay
June 18, 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 ...
By Janet Marstine
February 14, 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...
By Richard Sandell
December 27, 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 ...