Museum Meanings

Edited by

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, Sexuality, and Gender Activism book cover

    Museums, Sexuality, and Gender Activism

    1st Edition

    Edited by Joshua G. Adair, Amy K. Levin

    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…

    Paperback – 2019-12-17 
    Museum Meanings

  • Museums and Sites of Persuasion: Politics, Memory and Human Rights book cover

    Museums and Sites of Persuasion

    Politics, Memory and Human Rights, 1st Edition

    Edited by Joyce Apsel, Amy Sodaro

    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…

    Paperback – 2019-10-31 
    Museum Meanings

  • Exhibitions for Social Justice book cover

    Exhibitions for Social Justice

    1st Edition

    By Elena Gonzales

    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…

    Paperback – 2019-07-22
    Museum Meanings

  • Museum Activism book cover

    Museum Activism

    1st Edition

    Edited by Robert R. Janes, Richard Sandell

    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…

    Paperback – 2019-01-18
    Museum Meanings

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

    The Future of Museum and Gallery Design

    Purpose, Process, Perception, 1st Edition

    Edited by Suzanne MacLeod, Tricia Austin, Jonathan Hale, Oscar Ho Hing-Kay

    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…

    Paperback – 2018-07-02
    Museum Meanings

  • Critical Practice: Artists, museums, ethics book cover

    Critical Practice

    Artists, museums, ethics, 1st Edition

    By Janet Marstine

    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…

    Paperback – 2017-02-02
    Museum Meanings

  • Museums, Moralities and Human Rights book cover

    Museums, Moralities and Human Rights

    1st Edition

    By Richard Sandell

    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…

    Paperback – 2016-12-15
    Museum Meanings

  • Museum as Process: Translating Local and Global Knowledges book cover

    Museum as Process

    Translating Local and Global Knowledges, 1st Edition

    Edited by Raymond Silverman

    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…

    Paperback – 2014-08-26
    Museum Meanings

  • Museums and Migration: History, Memory and Politics book cover

    Museums and Migration

    History, Memory and Politics, 1st Edition

    Edited by Laurence Gourievidis

    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…

    Paperback – 2014-06-16
    Museum Meanings

  • Museums and Social Activism: Engaged Protest book cover

    Museums and Social Activism

    Engaged Protest, 1st Edition

    By Kylie Message

    Museums and Social Activism is the first study to bring together historical accounts of the African American and later American Indian civil rights-related social and reform movements that took place on the Smithsonian Mall through the 1960s and 1970s in Washington DC with the significant but…

    Paperback – 2013-10-14
    Museum Meanings

  • Museums, Equality and Social Justice book cover

    Museums, Equality and Social Justice

    1st Edition

    Edited by Richard Sandell, Eithne Nightingale

    The last two decades have seen concerns for equality, diversity, social justice and human rights move from the margins of museum thinking and practice, to the core. The arguments – both moral and pragmatic – for engaging diverse audiences, creating the conditions for more equitable access to museum…

    Paperback – 2012-04-23
    Museum Meanings

  • Museum Making: Narratives, Architectures, Exhibitions book cover

    Museum Making

    Narratives, Architectures, Exhibitions, 1st Edition

    Edited by Suzanne Macleod, Laura Hourston Hanks, Jonathan Hale

    Over recent decades, many museums, galleries and historic sites around the world have enjoyed an unprecedented level of large-scale investment in their capital infrastructure, in building refurbishments and new gallery displays. This period has also seen the creation of countless new purpose-built…

    Paperback – 2012-02-28
    Museum Meanings

  • Museums in a Troubled World: Renewal, Irrelevance or Collapse? book cover

    Museums in a Troubled World

    Renewal, Irrelevance or Collapse?, 1st Edition

    By Robert R. Janes

    Are Museums Irrelevant? Museums are rarely acknowledged in the global discussion of climate change, environmental degradation, the inevitability of depleted fossil fuels, and the myriad local issues concerning the well-being of particular communities – suggesting the irrelevance of museums as…

    Paperback – 2009-05-18
    Museum Meanings

  • Heritage and Identity: Engagement and Demission in the Contemporary World book cover

    Heritage and Identity

    Engagement and Demission in the Contemporary World, 1st Edition

    Edited by Marta Anico, Elsa Peralta

    Heritage and Identity explores the complex ways in which heritage actively contributes to the construction and representation of identities in contemporary societies, providing a comprehensive account of the diverse conceptions of heritage and identity across different continents and cultures.…

    Paperback – 2008-11-26
    Museum Meanings

  • Museums and Community: Ideas, Issues and Challenges book cover

    Museums and Community

    Ideas, Issues and Challenges, 1st Edition

    By Elizabeth Crooke

    Combining research that stretches across all of the social sciences and international case studies, Elizabeth Crooke here explores the dynamics of the relationship between the community and the museum. Focusing strongly on areas such as Northern Ireland, South Africa, Australia and North…

    Paperback – 2008-02-05
    Museum Meanings

  • Recoding the Museum: Digital Heritage and the Technologies of Change book cover

    Recoding the Museum

    Digital Heritage and the Technologies of Change, 1st Edition

    By Ross Parry

    Why has it taken so long to make computers work for the museum sector? And why are museums still having some of the same conversations about digital technology that they began back in the late 1960s? Does there continue to be a basic ‘incompatibility’ between the practice of the museum and the…

    Paperback – 2007-11-16
    Museum Meanings

  • Rethinking Evolution in the Museum: Envisioning African Origins book cover

    Rethinking Evolution in the Museum

    Envisioning African Origins, 1st Edition

    By Monique Scott

    Rethinking Evolution in the Museum explores the ways diverse natural history museum audiences imagine their evolutionary heritage. In particular, the book considers how the meanings constructed by audiences of museum exhibitions are a product of dynamic interplay between museum iconography and…

    Paperback – 2007-11-15
    Museum Meanings

  • Museums and Education: Purpose, Pedagogy, Performance book cover

    Museums and Education

    Purpose, Pedagogy, Performance, 1st Edition

    By Eilean Hooper-Greenhill

    At the beginning of the 21st century museums are challenged on a number of fronts. The prioritisation of learning in museums in the context of demands for social justice and cultural democracy combined with cultural policy based on economic rationalism forces museums to review their educational…

    Paperback – 2007-11-01
    Museum Meanings

  • Museum Texts: Comunication Frameworks book cover

    Museum Texts

    Comunication Frameworks, 1st Edition

    By Louise Ravelli

    Answering key questions in the study of how museums communicate, Louise Ravelli provides a set of frameworks to investigate the complexities of communication in museums: * What is an appropriate level of complexity for a written label?* Why do some choice in language make a more direct relation to…

    Paperback – 2005-12-19
    Museum Meanings

  • Reshaping Museum Space book cover

    Reshaping Museum Space

    1st Edition

    Edited by Suzanne Macleod

    Reshaping Museum Space pulls together the views of an international group of museum professionals, architects, designers and academics highlights the complexity, significance and malleability of museum space,  and provides reflections upon recent developments in museum architecture and…

    Paperback – 2005-05-31
    Museum Meanings

  • Pasts Beyond Memory: Evolution, Museums, Colonialism book cover

    Pasts Beyond Memory

    Evolution, Museums, Colonialism, 1st Edition

    By Tony Bennett

    Contributing to current debates on relationships between culture and the social, and the the rapidly changing practices of modern museums as they seek to shed the legacies of both evolutionary conceptions and colonial science, this important new work explores how evolutionary museums developed in…

    Paperback – 2004-05-20
    Museum Meanings

  • Liberating Culture: Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Museums, Curation and Heritage Preservation book cover

    Liberating Culture

    Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Museums, Curation and Heritage Preservation, 1st Edition

    By Christina Kreps

    Using examples of indigenous models from Indonesia, the Pacific, Africa and native North America, Christina Kreps illustrates how the growing recognition of indigenous curation and concepts of cultural heritage preservation is transforming conventional museum practice. Liberating Culture …

    Paperback – 2003-01-23
    Museum Meanings

  • Re-Imagining the Museum: Beyond the Mausoleum book cover

    Re-Imagining the Museum

    Beyond the Mausoleum, 1st Edition

    By Andrea Witcomb

    Re-Imagining the Museum presents new interpretations of museum history and contemporary museum practices. Through a range of case studies from the UK, North America and Australia, Andrea Witcomb moves away from the idea that museums are always 'conservative' to suggest they have a long history of…

    Paperback – 2002-12-05
    Museum Meanings

  • Museums, Society, Inequality book cover

    Museums, Society, Inequality

    1st Edition

    Edited by Richard Sandell

    Museums, Society, Inequality explores the wide-ranging social roles and responsibilities of the museum. It brings together international perspectives to stimulate critical debate, inform the work of practitioners and policy makers, and to advance recognition of the purpose, responsibilities and…

    Paperback – 2002-01-24
    Museum Meanings

  • Museums and the Interpretation of Visual Culture book cover

    Museums and the Interpretation of Visual Culture

    1st Edition

    By Eilean Hooper-Greenhill

    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…

    Paperback – 2000-09-28
    Museum Meanings

  • Museum, Media, Message book cover

    Museum, Media, Message

    1st Edition

    Edited by Eilean Hooper-Greenhill

    Collecting together a group of talented writers, Museum, Media, Message considers, in depth, the most up-to-date approaches to museum communication including: museums as media; museums and audience; and the evaluation of museums. Addressing the need for museums to develop better knowledge of…

    Paperback – 1998-12-17
    Museum Meanings

  • Learning in the Museum book cover

    Learning in the Museum

    1st Edition

    By George E. Hein

    Learning in the Museum examines major issues and shows how research in visitor studies and the philosophy of education can be applied to facilitate a meaningful educational experience in museums. Hein combines a brief history of education in public museums, with a rigorous examination of how the…

    Paperback – 1998-03-12
    Museum Meanings

  • Colonialism and the Object: Empire, Material Culture and the Museum book cover

    Colonialism and the Object

    Empire, Material Culture and the Museum, 1st Edition

    Edited by Tim Barringer, Tom Flynn

    Drawing together an international group of scholars from a variety of disciplinary and cultural backgrounds, Colonialism and the Object explores the impact of colonial contact with other cultures on the material culture of both the colonized and the imperial nation. The book includes intensive…

    Paperback – 1997-12-18
    Museum Meanings