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Exhibiting Europe in Museums: Transnational Networks, Collections, Narratives, and Representations

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Volume 6

Museums and Collections

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Exhibiting Europe in Museums

Transnational Networks, Collections, Narratives, and Representations

Wolfram Kaiser, Stefan Krankenhagen and Kerstin Poehls
Translated from the German

254 pages, 16 color & b/w illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78238-290-4 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (April 2014)

ISBN  978-1-78533-260-9 $29.95/£23.95 Pb Published (March 2016)

eISBN 978-1-78238-291-1 eBook

Hb Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $29.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


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

“This study is an impressive synthesis in clear accessible language of the complex process of Europeanization of museums. It illuminates the connections between European debates and practices in academia, the public, politics and museums.” · Werkstatt Geschichte

“I recommend this book as a meticulous and illuminating history of the development of the European ideal, the political background to the European Parliament’s House of European History to be opened in 2015, and as an insightful examination of the thoughts and arguments of pro-Europeans and how history is understood, by some politicians, as an Orwellian instrument to control the masses.” · Museum Anthropology


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.

Wolfram Kaiser is Professor of European Studies at the University of Portsmouth in England and Visiting Professor at the College of Europe. He has been Visiting Senior Fellow at the Free University of Berlin, the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies, and the University of Edinburgh. His most recent book is Writing the Rules for Europe. Experts, Cartels, and International Organizations (2014, with J. Schot).

Stefan Krankenhagen is Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Hildesheim in Germany. He has been Research Fellow at the Centre for Advanced Studies at LMU Munich and the German American Academic Council in Washington, D.C. He has edited The Development of European Narratives in Museums, Collections, and Exhibitions (2011, special issue of Culture Unbound) and Geschichte kuratieren. Beiträge zu einer Ästhetik der An-Ordnung von Geschichte (2016).

Kerstin Poehls is Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology at the University of Hamburg in Germany. She completed her PhD in European Ethnology at Humboldt University in Berlin and has been Visiting Scholar at the University of the Aegean in Mytilini/Greece in 2011. Her books include MuseumX (2011, edited with F. Bose et al.) and Sammeln on collecting as an everyday, museal and academic practice (2015, edited with Stephan Faust).

Subject: Museum Studies Memory Studies
Area: Europe



Introduction: Exhibiting Europe? Europeanisation as Cultural Practice

Chapter 1. Musealising Europe: Compensation, Negotiation, and the Conquest of the Future
Chapter 2. Governing Europe: State Institutions and European Cultural and Museum Policy
Chapter 3. Networking Europe: Societal Actors in the Europeanisation of the Museum Field
Chapter 4. Collecting Europe: Strategies and Challenges in Transnational Collection Practice
Chapter 5. Narrating Europe: The Story and Stories of European Integration
Chapter 6. Crossing Europe: Migration and Mobility in Museal Spaces

Conclusion: Exhibiting Europe: The Practice of Europeanisation in Museums


Museums and Exhibitions

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