Museums of Language and the Display of Intangible Cultural Heritage presents essays by practitioners based in language museums around the world. Describing their history, mission, and modes of display, contributors demonstrate the important role intangible heritage can and should play in the museum.
Arguing that languages are among our most precious forms of cultural heritage, the book also demonstrates that they are at risk of neglect, and of endangerment from globalisation and linguistic imperialism. Including case studies from across Europe, North America, Africa, and Asia, this book documents the vital work being done by museums to help preserve languages and make them objects of broad public interest. Divided into three sections, contributions to the book focus on one of three types of museums: museums of individual languages, museums of language groups – both geographic and structural – and museums of writing. The volume presents practical information alongside theoretical discussions and state-of-the-art commentaries concerning the representation of languages and their cultural nature.
Museums of Language and the Display of Intangible Cultural Heritage is the first volume to address the subject of language museums and, as such, should be of interest to academics, researchers, and postgraduate students in the fields of museum and cultural heritage studies, applied linguistics, anthropology, tourism, and public education.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction Maia Wellington Gahtan, Nadia Cannata, and Margaret J-M. Sönmez; Part I: Museums of Individual Languages; 2. The Afrikaanse Taalmuseum en-Monument Michael Jonas; 3. The Lithuanian Hearth Language Museum Jolanta Zabarskaite; 4. Sòn de Lenga: Espaci Occitan Museum of Occitan Language and Culture, Dronero, Italy Rosella Pellerino; 5. The Adventurous World of the German Language in Köthen Castle Uta Seewald-Heeg and Julia Schinköthe; 6. The English Project, Winchester, England Marcus Barrett; 7. Dove il sì suona: A Journey Through the Italian Language Lucilla Pizzoli; Part II Museums of Languages, Linguistics, and Language Groups; 8. Operations at Mundolingua Mark Oremland; 9. The Canadian Language Museum: Developing Travelling Exhibits Elaine Gold; 10.The Ivar Aasen Centre, Ørsta, Norway: The Oldest Language Museum Ottar Grepstad; 11. Esperanto and Planned Languages: The Aims of the Museum and Department Bernhard Tuider; 12. Celebrating Languages and Multilingualism in the UK and Beyond: A Pop-Up Museum of Modern Languages for the UK Wendy Ayres-Bennett; 13. Eurotales: A Museum of the Voices of Europe Nadia Cannata, Margaret J-M. Sönmez, and Maia Wellington Gahtan; Part III: Museums of Writing; 14. Champollion, Writing Systems, and the Modern Installation in Figeac Stéphanie Lebreton; 15. World Writing in a Museum Setting: A Korean Case of a National Museum Plan Jiyeon Yang and Junghwa Kim; 16. The Ancient Chinese Writing System and Shanghai Museum’s Collection of Artifacts Liang Ge, translated by Mo Cheng; 17. Language Museums in Change: Politics of Memory and Diversity of Language Ottar Grepstad
Margaret J.-M. Sönmez is Associate Professor of World Languages and Literatures at the Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara, Turkey.
Maia Wellington Gahtan is Program Director of the MA in Museum Studies and Professor of Art History and Museology at the Istituto Lorenzo de’ Medici in Florence, Italy.
Nadia Cannata is Associate Professor in Italian Philology and History of the Italian Language at Sapienza, University of Rome in Italy.