Museum Theory offers critical perspectives drawn from a broad range of disciplinary and intellectual traditions. This volume describes and challenges previous ways of understanding museums and their relationship to society. Essays written by scholars from museology and other disciplines address theoretical reflexivity in the museum, exploring the contextual, theoretical, and pragmatic ways museums work, are understood, and are experienced. Organized around three themes--Thinking about Museums, Disciplines and Politics, and Theory from Practice/Practicing Theory--the text includes discussion and analysis of different kinds of museums from various, primarily contemporary, national and local contexts. Essays consider subjects including the nature of museums as institutions and their role in the public sphere, cutting-edge museum practice and their connections with current global concerns, and the links between museum studies and disciplines such as cultural studies, anthropology, and history.
Table of contents:
List of Illustrations -- Editors -- General Editors – Contributors -- Acknowledgments
Editors’ Preface to Museum Theory and the International Handbooks of Museum Studies --
Introduction – Museum Theory: An Expanded Field Part I Thinking about Museums -- Thinking (with) Museums: From Exhibitionary Complex to Governmental Assemblage -- Foucault and the Museum -- What, or Where, Is the (Museum) Object?: Colonial Encounters in Displayed Worlds of Things -- Anarchical Artifacts: Museums as Sites for Radical Otherness -- (Post‐) Cartographic Urges: The Intersection of Museums and Tourism -- Museums, Human Rights, and Universalism Reconsidered -- The Democratic Horizons of the Museum: Citizenship and Culture -- Museums, Ecology, Citizenship -- Part II Disciplines and Politics -- Reflexive Museology: Lost and Found -- The Art of Anthropology: Questioning Contemporary Art in Ethnographic Display --
Change and Continuity: Art Museums and the Reproduction of Art‐Museumness -- Cool Art on Display: The Saatchi Phenomenon -- Contentious Politics and Museums as Contact Zones -- Emotions in the History Museum -- The Presence of the Past: Imagination and Affect in the Museu do Oriente, Portugal -- Toward a Pedagogy of Feeling: Understanding How Museums Create a Space for Cross‐Cultural Encounters -- The Liquid Museum: New Institutional Ontologies for a Complex, Uncertain World -- Part III Theory from Practice/Practicing Theory -- The Displaced Local: Multiple Agency in the Building of Museums’ Ethnographic Collections -- The World as Collected; or, Museum Collections as Situated Materialities -- Ambient Aesthetics: Altered Subjectivities in the New Museum -- Museum Encounters and Narrative Engagements --
Theorizing Museum and Heritage Visiting -- The Museum in Hiding: Framing Conflict -- Preserving/Shaping/Creating: Museums and Public Memory in a Time of Loss -- Sites of Trauma: Contemporary Collecting and Natural Disaster -- Index