216 pages | 26 B/W Illus.
Museums and Social Change explores the ways museums can work in collaboration with marginalised groups to work for social change and, in so doing, re-think the museum.
Drawing on the first-hand experiences of museum practitioners and their partners around the world, the volume demonstrates the impact of a shared commitment to collaborative, reflective practice. Including analytical discussion from practitioners in their collegial work with women, the homeless, survivors of institutionalised child abuse and people with disabilities, the bookdraws attention to the significant contributions of small, specialist museums in bringing about social change. It is here, the book argues, that the new museum emerges: when museum practitioners see themselves as partners, working with others to lead social change, this is where museums can play a distinct and important role.
Emerging in response to ongoing calls for museums to be more inclusive and participate in meaningful engagement, Museums and Social Change will be essential reading for academics and students working in museum and gallery studies, librarianship, archives, heritage studies and arts management. It will also be of great interest to those working in history and cultural studies, as well as museum practitioners and social activists around the world.
List of contributors
Introduction - Neither helpful nor unhelpful – a clear way forward for the useful museum
Museums and co-creation
1Behind barbed wire: Co-producing the Danish Welfare Museum
2. Rewriting the script: Power and change through a Museum of Homelessness
Jessica and Matthew Turtle
3. March of Women and the dynamism of equality at Glasgow Women’s Library
4.‘In the Name of the Museum’: The Cultural Actions and Values of the Togo Rural Art Museum, Taiwan
Revealing hidden narratives
5. Revealing Hidden Stories at The Danish Welfare Museum: A Collaborative History
Jeppe Wichmann Rasmussen
6. Doors, stairways and pitfalls: Care Leavers’ memory work at the Danish Welfare Museum
Stine Grønbæk Jensen
7. ‘We cannot change the past, but we can change how we look at the past’: The use of creative writing in facing up to personal histories at the Danish Welfare Museum
8. Invite, Acknowledge and Collect with Respect: Sensitive Narratives at the Vest-Agder Museum, Norway
9. ‘Nothing about, us without us’: The journey to cultural democracy at Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales
Sioned Hughes and Nia Williams
10. Slow, Uncomfortable, and Badly Paid: DisPLACE and the Benefits of Disability History
Manon S. Parry, Corrie Tijsseling, and Paul van Trigt
Part III: Taking back
11. The act of emancipating oneself: The museum and the release of adult Care Leavers' case records
Jacob Knage Rasmussen
12. A call to justice at the National Museum of Australia
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.