Negotiating Race and Rights in the Museum  book cover
1st Edition

Negotiating Race and Rights in the Museum

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after November 30, 2020
ISBN 9780367435677
October 31, 2020 Forthcoming by Routledge
184 Pages - 12 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Negotiating Race and Rights in the Museum traces the evolution of pervasive racial ideas, and ‘post-race’ allusions, over more than a century of museum thinking and practice.

Drawing on the illuminating history of the Smithsonian Institution, this book offers an account of how museums have addressed and renegotiated wider calls for inclusion, ‘self-definition’ and racial justice, in ways that continually re-centre and legitimise the White frame. Charting the emergence of ‘post-race’ ideas in museums, Bunning demonstrates how and why ‘culturally-specific’ approaches have been met with suspicion and derision by powerful museum stakeholders against the backdrop of a changing United States of America, just as they have offered crucial vehicles for sectoral change. This study of the evolution of racial ideas in response to Black empowerment highlights deeply-entrenched forms of White supremacy that remain operative within the international museum sector today, and serves to reinforce urgent calls for the active disruption of racist ideas and the redesign of institutions.

Negotiating Race and Rights in the Museum will appeal to those working in the international fields of museum and heritage studies, cultural studies and American studies, and all who are interested in the production of racial ideas and White supremacy in the museum.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Museums, Race and Rights Movements;  1. White Supremacy and the Problem of Race;  2. Cultural Diversity: Racism Reframed;  3. The Problem of Identity Politics;  4. Negotiating Racial Histories;  5. Undesirable Museums in a ‘Post-Race’ America;  Conclusion: Race, Rights and Identity in a New Era

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Katy Bunning is Lecturer in Museum Studies at the University of Leicester, UK, and has a background in American Studies. Previous publications include A Museum Studies Approach to Heritage (co-edited with Sheila Watson and Amy Jane Barnes).