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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.

32 Series Titles

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Museums and the Working Class

Museums and the Working Class

1st Edition

Edited 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...

Museums and the Interpretation of Visual Culture

Museums and the Interpretation of Visual Culture

1st Edition

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 ...

Curating Under Pressure International Perspectives on Negotiating Conflict and Upholding Integrity

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

1st Edition

Edited 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 ...

Museums and Social Change Challenging the Unhelpful Museum

Museums and Social Change: Challenging the Unhelpful Museum

1st Edition

Edited 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 ...

Museum Diplomacy in the Digital Age

Museum Diplomacy in the Digital Age

1st Edition

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 ...

Museums, Sexuality, and Gender Activism

Museums, Sexuality, and Gender Activism

1st Edition

Edited 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 ...

Museums and Sites of Persuasion Politics, Memory and Human Rights

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

1st Edition

Edited 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 ...

Exhibitions for Social Justice

Exhibitions for Social Justice

1st Edition

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 ...

Museum Activism

Museum Activism

1st Edition

Edited 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 ...

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

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

1st Edition

Edited 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 ...

Critical Practice Artists, museums, ethics

Critical Practice: Artists, museums, ethics

1st Edition

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...

Museums, Moralities and Human Rights

Museums, Moralities and Human Rights

1st Edition

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 ...

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