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Museums in Focus


About the Series

Committed to the articulation of big, even risky, ideas in short-format publications, Museums In Focus challenges authors and readers to experiment with, innovate, and press museums and the intellectual frameworks through which we view these. It offers a platform for approaches that radically rethink the relationships between cultural and intellectual dissent and crisis and debates about museums, politics and the broader public sphere.

Museums In Focus is motivated by the intellectual hypothesis that museums are not innately ‘useful’, safe’ or even ‘public’ places, and that recalibrating our thinking about them might benefit from adopting a more radical and oppositional form of logic and approach. Examining this problem requires a level of comfort with (or at least tolerance of) the idea of crisis, dissent, protest and radical thinking, and authors might benefit from considering how cultural and intellectual crisis, regeneration and anxiety have been dealt with in other disciplines and contexts.

Books published in the series are between 30,000 and 50,000 words in length and fully refereed.  If you would like to discuss submitting a proposal, please contact the series editor: [email protected]

Further information about Professor Message's work can be found here: https://www.routledge.com/authors/i14753-kylie-message.

11 Series Titles

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Queering the Museum

Queering the Museum

1st Edition

Nikki Sullivan, Craig Middleton
November 12, 2019

Queering the Museum develops a queer analysis of the ways in which museums construct themselves, their core business, and their publics through the, often unconscious, use of inherited ways of knowing and doing. Providing a critique of both the practices and conventions associated with the modern...

Anti-Museum

Anti-Museum

1st Edition

Adrian Franklin
November 05, 2019

Anti-Museum charts the development of the anti-museum as a concept and as it has been realised in practice. Drawing on a range of case studies, including the New Museum and PS1 in New York, Mona in Australia, Art42 in Paris and Donald Judd’s Marfa, the book assesses their potential to engage museum...

Museums, Infinity and the Culture of Protocols: Ethnographic Collections and Source Communities

Museums, Infinity and the Culture of Protocols: Ethnographic Collections and Source Communities

1st Edition

Howard Morphy
October 29, 2019

Museums, Infinity and the Culture of Protocols enters a dialogue about museums’ responsibility for the curation of their collections into an infinite future while also tackling contentious issues of repatriation and digital access to collections. Bringing into focus a number of key debates...

Collecting Activism, Archiving Occupy Wall Street

Collecting Activism, Archiving Occupy Wall Street

1st Edition

Kylie Message
September 17, 2019

Collecting Activism, Archiving Occupy Wall Street explores the material collections produced by participants of Occupy Wall Street in 2011 that bear witness to the experience and agency of ‘the 99%’. Examining processes of collection development as a lens through which to investigate the...

Science Museums in Transition: Unheard Voices

Science Museums in Transition: Unheard Voices

1st Edition

Hooley McLaughlin, Judy Diamond
September 03, 2019

Science Museums in Transition: Unheard Voices considers how museums can adapt their exhibits, programs, and organizational structures to the diversity of ideas, people, and cultures that speak to modern science. This collection contains individual expressions by museum insiders addressing a range...

A Museum in Public: Revisioning Canada’s Royal Ontario Museum

A Museum in Public: Revisioning Canada’s Royal Ontario Museum

1st Edition

Susan L.T. Ashley
August 20, 2019

Not satisfied with the assertion that museums have taken great strides in becoming representative, relevant and open in their preoccupations, A Museum in Public contends that the supposedly public nature of their institutional role continues to be a rhetorical one. This book critically examines...

Global Trends in Museum Diplomacy: Post-Guggenheim Developments

Global Trends in Museum Diplomacy: Post-Guggenheim Developments

1st Edition

Natalia Grincheva
July 02, 2019

Global Trends in Museum Diplomacy traces the transformation of museums from publicly or privately funded heritage institutions into active players in the economic sector of culture. Exploring how this transformation reconfigured cultural diplomacy, the book argues that museums have become...

Interpreting Objects in the Hybrid Museum: Convergence, Collections and Cultural Policy

Interpreting Objects in the Hybrid Museum: Convergence, Collections and Cultural Policy

1st Edition

Helena Robinson
March 12, 2019

Interpreting Objects in the Hybrid Museum examines the recent trend for converged collecting institutions and uses its investigation as a catalyst for critical reflection by all stakeholders on the risks, as well as advantages, of integration for cultural engagement. Drawing on three case...

Sharing Authority in the Museum: Distributed objects, reassembled relationships

Sharing Authority in the Museum: Distributed objects, reassembled relationships

1st Edition

Michelle Horwood
November 13, 2018

Sharing Authority in the Museum provides a detailed and fully contextualised study of a heritage assemblage over time, from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day. Focussing on Māori objects, predominantly originating from the Ngā Paerangi tribe, housed in Oxford’s Pitt Rivers Museum, the...

Museums and Racism

Museums and Racism

1st Edition

Kylie Message
May 15, 2018

Racism is a hot topic in museums today, as well as an urgent social issue. Focused on the broad field of multicultural policy, Museums and Racism examines how the Immigration Museum in Melbourne, Australia, has responded to political culture and public debate around racism. Analysis focuses on the...

The Disobedient Museum: Writing at the Edge

The Disobedient Museum: Writing at the Edge

1st Edition

Kylie Message
October 03, 2017

The Disobedient Museum: Writing at the Edge aims to motivate disciplinary thinking to reimagine writing about museums as an activity where resistant forms of thinking, seeing, feeling, and acting can be produced, and to theorize this process as a form of protest against disciplinary...

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