The Political Museum : Power, Conflict, and Identity in Cyprus book cover
1st Edition

The Political Museum
Power, Conflict, and Identity in Cyprus

ISBN 9781611329698
Published April 21, 2016 by Routledge
274 Pages

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Book Description

This engaging volume reveals how politics permeates all facets of museum practice, particularly in regions of political conflict. In these settings, museums can be extraordinarily influential for shaping identity and collective memory and for peace building. Using key Cypriote archaeological, historical, ethnographic, and art museums as examples, this book:

  • provides a multifaceted and deeper understanding of how politics, conflict, national agendas, and individual initiatives can shape museums and their narratives;
  • discusses how these forces contribute to the creation of, and conflict over, national, community and personal identities;
  • examines how museums use inclusion and exclusion in their collections, exhibitions, objects and interpretive material as a way of selectively constructing collective memories.

This book will be an important resource for museum professionals, as well as scholars interested in the effects of politics on museums and interpretations of the past.

Table of Contents

1  Introduction
2  Museums, Politics, Stakeholders, and Conflict
3  National Museums: Heritage and Identity
4  Archaeology and the Politics of the Past
5  Defining “Cypriotness”: Folk Museums, Communities,
6  History and Memory: Victims, Heroes, and Enemies
7  Visualizing War: Photography and Museums
8  Cultural “Wars,” Religious Artifacts, and Visitors:
9  Art and Politics and the Politics of Art
10  Conclusions

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Theopisti Stylianou-Lambert is an Assistant Professor at the School of Fine and Applied Arts at the Cyprus University of Technology and the founder and coordinator of its Visual Sociology and Museum Studies Lab ( Her research interests include museum studies and visual sociology with an emphasis on photography. Theopisti has published widely on museums and photography, most recent, she is the author of Museums and Visitor Photography (2015) and the editor of Displaying Death (forthcoming 2016).

Alexandra Bounia is an Associate Professor of Museology at the Department of Cultural Technology and Communication of the University of the Aegean. She is also currently the Head of Department and the Vice Rector of Academic Affairs and Quality Assurance of the University. Alexandra has edited numerous volumes focusing on collections, technology, and museum education. She is also the author of The Nature of Classical Collecting: Collectors and Collecting 100 BCE-100 ACE (2004) and Behind the Scenes of the Museum: Museum Collections Management (in Greek, 2009).