1st Edition

Museums, Art and Inclusion in a Climate Emergency

By Janice Baker Copyright 2023

    Museums, Art and Inclusion in a Climate Emergency considers the impact of the Anthropocene on history and memory, approaches to objects and agency and the incommensurability of western and Indigenous ontologies.

    Drawing on Indigenous knowledge, humanities and museological literature, continental philosophy, contemporary art and popular culture, Baker acknowledges the autonomous agency of geological forms, including soils, minerals and fossil fuels. Demonstrating that this has implications for an expanded idea of an ‘inclusive’ museum and its relationship to entities beyond ‘life’ and living species, the book argues that the ‘inclusion’ paradigm needs to include nonlife actors. Gesturing to a geontological ‘turn’ through developing notions of geo-inclusion, the mineralhuman and approaches to object agency that connect with Aboriginal ‘heritage’, Baker exposes the ongoing destruction of Country by mining interests in Western Australia and elsewhere. By addressing the need for urgent change through the artifice of the museum, the book identifies an expanded approach to inclusion beyond the limits imposed by the politics of identity.

    Museums, Art and Inclusion in a Climate Emergency theorises the potential of an expanded idea of the museum and will be of interest to scholars and students engaged in the study of museums and heritage, environmental humanities and geo-humanities, ecological art history and contemporary art.

    Introduction: Museums and transformation; 1 Disappearing soils: Toward a pithier pedagogy; 2 Sinking and melting: Glossing the climate problem; 3 Repurposing the inclusive museum; 4 Museums, climate fiction and the anthropocene; 5 White geology and displays of material power; 6 Coal and fossil capital; 7 Oil utopias and petro-invisibility; 8 Museums inside the earth; 9 Gold on show: The toxic glamour of the yellow rock; After neutrality: The relevant museum


    Janice Baker is an independent curator, writer and scholar based in Western Australia. Her work facilitates creative research projects and programmes that support artists and environmental art history. Her next book is a cultural study of seaweed through the lens of art, museums and climate change.