Museums of Language and the Display of Intangible Cultural Heritage: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Museums of Language and the Display of Intangible Cultural Heritage

1st Edition

Edited by Margaret J-M Sönmez, Maia Wellington Gahtan, Nadia Cannata


352 pages | 69 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138589483
pub: 2019-12-20
Available for pre-order. Item will ship after 20th December 2019

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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 endangerment from globalization 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, or 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 Zabarskaitė

4. Son 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 Travel 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 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

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

About the Editors

Margaret J-M Sönmez is Associate Professor of Western Philology at the Middle East Technical University (METU), in Ankara, Turkey.

Maia Wellington Gahtan is currently Program Director of the M.A. in Museum Studies and Professor of Art History and Museology at the Istituto Lorenzo de’ Medici in Florence, Italy.

Nadia Cannata is Professor in Italian Philology and History of the Italian Language at Sapienza, University of Rome in Italy.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Museum Studies

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ART / Museum Studies
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Library & Information Science / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Archaeology