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Celebrating International Museum Day

International Museum Day 2017

 

The worldwide community of museums celebrates International Museum Day on and around 18 May each year. This day is an occasion to raise awareness on how important museums are in the enrichment of cultures, development of society, and cooperation and peace among people. For more information on the theme and calendar of events for this year’s observance, visit the International Council of Museums webpage.

 

To join the celebration, we’re offering a 25% discount on all Museum Studies titles for the next 30 days! Just visit our webpage and enter code IMD17 at checkout.

 

 


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Museum Worlds
Advances in Research

 

Museum Worlds: Advances in Research is a multidisciplinary, refereed, annual journal that publishes work that significantly advances knowledge of global trends, case studies, and theory relevant to museum practice and scholarship around the world.
Recommend to your Library

 


 

Please see a range of our latest titles and a key series on our Museum Studies list:

 

New in Paperback

WINNER OF THE 2016 PROSE AWARD FOR ANTHROPOLOGY

EUROPEAN PRODUCTS
Making and Unmaking Heritage in Cyprus
Gisela Welz

 

“Despite modernization and growing tourism, regardless of class, [Cypriot society has retained social practices]; people are helpful and inviting. Visitors can enjoy much in this very good, well-written book, not the least being a very impressive culinary selection. For readers at all levels, and probably a number of individuals who are not academics or social scientists. Highly recommended.” · Choice

On the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, rural villages, traditional artefacts, even atmospheres and experiences are considered heritage. Heritage making not only protects, but also produces, things, people, and places. Since the Republic of Cyprus joined the European Union in 2004, heritage making and Europeanization are increasingly intertwined in Greek-Cypriot society. Against the backdrop of a long-term ethnographic engagement, the author argues that heritage emerges as an increasingly standardized economic resource, a “European product.” Implemented in historic preservation, rural tourism, culinary traditions, nature protection, and urban restoration projects, heritage policy has become infused with transnational market regulations and neoliberal property regimes.

Read Introduction

 

HAVING AND BELONGING
Homes and Museums in Israel
Judy Jaffe-Schagen

Volume 5, Material Mediations: People and Things in a World of Movement

 

The home and the museum are typically understood as divergent, even oppositional, social realms: whereas one evokes privacy and familial intimacy, the other is conceived of as a public institution oriented around various forms of civic identity. This meticulous, insightful book draws striking connections between both spheres, which play similar roles by housing objects and generating social narratives. Through fascinating explorations of the museums and domestic spaces of eight representative Israeli communities—Chabad, Moroccan, Iraqi, Ethiopian, Russian, Religious-Zionist, Christian Arab, and Muslim Arab—it gives a powerful account of museums’ role in state formation, proposing a new approach to collecting and categorizing particularly well-suited to societies in conflict.

Read Introduction

 

New in Paperback!

DISTRIBUTED OBJECTS
Meaning and Mattering after Alfred Gell
Edited by Liana Chua and Mark Elliott

 

“…profound scholarly reflections on the distributed effects of Alfred Gell’s endeavor to identify an anthropological theory of …a captivating pendant piece to Gell’s original publication. Itis not meant as a guidebook to understanding Gell’s work; rather it is a collection of complex studies that capture distinct engagements with Gell’s ideas around an anthropology of art.” · Material World

One of the most influential anthropological works of the last two decades, Alfred Gell’s Art and Agency is a provocative and ambitious work that both challenged and reshaped anthropological understandings of art, agency, creativity and the social. It has become a touchstone in contemporary artifact-based scholarship. This volume brings together leading anthropologists, archaeologists, art historians and other scholars into an interdisciplinary dialogue with Art and Agency, generating a timely re-engagement with the themes, issues and arguments at the heart of Gell’s work, which remains salient, and controversial, in the social sciences and humanities. Extending his theory into new territory – from music to literary technology and ontology to technological change – the contributors do not simply take stock, but also provoke, critically reassessing this important work while using it to challenge conceptual and disciplinary boundaries.

Read Introduction: Adventures in the Art Nexus

 

New in Paperback! 

FROM ANTIQUITIES TO HERITAGE
Transformations of Cultural Memory
Anne Eriksen

Volume 1, Time and the World: Interdisciplinary Studies in Cultural Transformations

 

“Eriksen is a lucid writer. Her case studies are highly informative and reveal a detailed knowledge of Norway’s past that few scholars could match.“ · Museum Anthropology

Eighteenth-century gentleman scholars collected antiquities. Nineteenth-century nation states built museums to preserve their historical monuments. In the present world, heritage is a global concern as well as an issue of identity politics. What does it mean when runic stones or medieval churches are transformed from antiquities to monuments to heritage sites? This book argues that the transformations concern more than words alone: They reflect fundamental changes in the way we experience the past, and the way historical objects are assigned meaning and value in the present. This book presents a series of cases from Norwegian culture to explore how historical objects and sites have changed in meaning over time. It contributes to the contemporary debates over collective memory and cultural heritage as well to our knowledge about early modern antiquarianism.

Read Introduction

 

In Paperback

EXTREME COLLECTING

Challenging Practices for 21st Century Museums
Edited by Graeme Were and J. C. H. King

 

“We learn a lot [in this volume] about how museums think and work and by implication the self-representation of societies.” · Social Anthropology/Anthropologie sociale

By exploring the processes of collecting, which challenge the bounds of normally acceptable practice, this book debates the practice of collecting ‘difficult’ objects, from a historical and contemporary perspective; and discusses the acquisition of objects related to war and genocide, and those purchased from the internet, as well as considering human remains, mass produced objects and illicitly traded antiquities. The aim is to apply a critical approach to the rigidity of museums in maintaining essentially nineteenth-century ideas of collecting; and to move towards identifying priorities for collection policies in museums, which are inclusive of acquiring ‘difficult’ objects. Much of the book engages with the question of the limits to the practice of collecting as a means to think through the implementation of new strategies.

Read Extreme Collecting: Dealing with Difficult Objects

 

WORLD HERITAGE ON THE GROUND
Ethnographic Perspectives
Edited by Christoph Brumann and David Berliner

Volume 28, EASA Series

 

The UNESCO World Heritage Convention of 1972 set the contemporary standard for cultural and natural conservation. Today, a place on the World Heritage List is much sought after for tourism promotion, development funding, and national prestige. Presenting case studies from across the globe, particularly from Africa and Asia, anthropologists with situated expertise in specific World Heritage sites explore the consequences of the World Heritage framework and the global spread of the UNESCO heritage regime. This book shows how local and national circumstances interact with the global institutional framework in complex and unexpected ways. Often, the communities around World Heritage sites are constrained by these heritage regimes rather than empowered by them.

Read Introduction: UNESCO World Heritage – Grounded?


 

Museums and Collections Series 

Museum collections are increasingly being recognized as material archives of human creativity and as invaluable resources for interdisciplinary research. Museums provide powerful forums for the expression of ideas and are central to the production of public culture: they may inspire the imagination, generate heated emotions and express conflicting values in their material form and histories. This series explores the potential of museum collections to transform our knowledge of the world, and for exhibitions to influence the way in which we view and inhabit that world. It offers essential reading for those involved in all aspects of the museum sphere: curators, researchers, collectors, students and the visiting public.

 

Volume 8

MUSEUM WEBSITES AND SOCIAL MEDIA
Issues of Participation, Sustainability, Trust and Diversity
Ana Luisa Sánchez Laws

 

Online activities present a unique challenge for museums as they harness the potential of digital technology for sustainable development, trust building, and representations of diversity. This volume offers a holistic picture of museum online activities that can serve as a starting point for cross-disciplinary discussion. It is a resource for museum staff, students, designers, and researchers working at the intersection of cultural institutions and digital technologies. The aim is to provide insight into the issues behind designing and implementing web pages and social media to serve the broadest range of museum stakeholders.

Read Introduction

 

Volume 7 Forthcoming in Paperback

THE ENEMY ON DISPLAY
The Second World War in Eastern European Museums
Zuzanna Bogumił, Joanna Wawrzyniak, Tim Buchen, Christian Ganzer and Maria Senina

 

“The study contains a multitude of interesting details and observations pertaining to various regimes of collective memory, the specifics of national and local commemorations, and the inclusion of contested past into the fabric of museum exhibitions.” · Laboratorium: Russian Review of Social Research

Eastern European museums represent traumatic events of World War II, such as the Siege of Leningrad, the Warsaw Uprisings, and the Bombardment of Dresden, in ways that depict the enemy in particular ways. This image results from the interweaving of historical representations, cultural stereotypes and beliefs, political discourses, and the dynamics of exhibition narratives. This book presents a useful methodology for examining museum images and provides a critical analysis of the role historical museums play in the contemporary world. As the catastrophes of World War II still exert an enormous influence on the national identities of Russians, Poles, and Germans, museum exhibits can thus play an important role in this process.

Read Introduction: The Enemy on Display

 

Volume 6 New in Paperback!

EXHIBITING EUROPE IN MUSEUMS
Transnational Networks, Collections, Narratives, and Representations
Wolfram Kaiser, Stefan Krankenhagen and Kerstin Poehls
Translated from the German

 

“Exhibiting Europe marks the first critical analysis of the process of Europeanization of museums. I recommend the book to anyone interested in Europe and museum practitioners.” · H-Soz-Kult

Museums of history and contemporary culture face many challenges in the modern age. One is how to react to processes of Europeanization and globalization, which require more cross-border cooperation and different ways of telling stories for visitors. This book investigates how museums exhibit Europe. Based on research in nearly 100 museums across the Continent and interviews with cultural policy makers and museum curators, it studies the growing transnational activities of state institutions, societal organizations, and people in the museum field such as attempts to Europeanize collection policy and collections as well as different strategies for making narratives more transnational like telling stories of European integration as shared history and discussing both inward and outward migration as a common experience and challenge. The book thus provides fascinating insights into a fast-changing museum landscape in Europe with wider implications for cultural policy and museums in other world regions.

Read Introduction: Exhibiting Europe? Europeanisation as Cultural Practice

 

Volume 5

BORDERS OF BELONGING
Experiencing History, War and Nation at a Danish Heritage Site
Mads Daugbjerg

 

In an era cross-cut with various agendas and expressions of national belonging and global awareness, “the nation” as a collective reference point and experienced entity stands at the center of complex identity struggles. This book explores how such struggles unfold in practice at a highly symbolic battlefield site in the Danish/German borderland. Comprised of an ethnography of two profoundly different institutions – a conventional museum and an experience-based heritage center – it analyses the ways in which staff and visitors interfere with, relate to, and literally “make sense” of the war heritage and its national connotations. Borders of Belonging offers a comparative, in-depth analysis of the practices and negotiations through which history is made and manifested at two houses devoted to the interpretation of one event: the decisive battle of the 1864 war in which Otto von Bismarck, on his way to uniting the new German Empire, led the Prussian army to victory over the Danish. Working through his empirical material to engage with and challenge established theoretical positions in the study of museums, modernity, and tourism, Mads Daugbjerg demonstrates that national belonging is still a key cultural concern, even as it asserts itself in novel, muted, and increasingly experiential ways.

 

For a full list of titles in the series please visit the webpage.