Museums have undergone enormous changes in recent decades; an ongoing process of renewal and transformation bringing with it changes in priority, practice and role, as well as new expectations, philosophies, imperatives and tensions that continue to attract attention from those working in, and drawing upon, wide-ranging disciplines.
Museum Meanings presents new research that explores diverse aspects of the shifting social, cultural and political significance of museums and their agency beyond, as well as within, the cultural sphere. Interdisciplinary, cross-cultural and international perspectives and empirical investigation are brought to bear on the exploration of museums’ relationships with their various publics (and analysis of the ways in which museums shape – and are shaped by – such interactions).
Theoretical perspectives might be drawn from anthropology, cultural studies, art and art history, learning and communication, media studies, architecture and design and material culture studies, amongst others. Museums are understood very broadly – including art galleries, historic sites and other cultural heritage institutions – as are their relationships with diverse constituencies.
The Series Editors invite proposals that explore the political and social significance of museums and their ethical implications. If you have an idea for a book that you think would be appropriate for the series, then please contact the Series Editors to discuss further.
Exhibitions for Social Justice
Critical Practice: Artists, museums, ethics
Museums, Moralities and Human Rights
Museums and Social Activism: Engaged Protest
Museums, Equality and Social Justice
Joshua G. Adair, Amy K. Levin
December 17, 2019
Museums, Sexuality, and Gender Activism examines the role of exhibitionary institutions in representing LGBTQ+ people, cisgender women, and nonbinary individuals. Considering recent gender and sexuality-related developments through a critical lens, the volume contributes significantly to the...
Joyce Apsel, Amy Sodaro
October 28, 2019
Museums and Sites of Persuasion examines the concept of museums and memory sites as locations that attempt to promote human rights, democracy and peace. Demonstrating that such sites have the potential to act as powerful spaces of persuasion or contestation, the book also shows that there are...
July 22, 2019
Exhibitions for Social Justice assesses the state of curatorial work for social justice in the Americas and Europe today. Analyzing best practices and new curatorial work to support all those working on exhibitions, Gonzales expounds curatorial practices that lie at the nexus of contemporary...
Robert R. Janes, Richard Sandell
January 18, 2019
Only a decade ago, the notion that museums, galleries and heritage organisations might engage in activist practice, with explicit intent to act upon inequalities, injustices and environmental crises, was met with scepticism and often derision. Seeking to purposefully bring about social change was...
Suzanne MacLeod, Tricia Austin, Jonathan Hale, Oscar Ho Hing-Kay
July 02, 2018
The Future of Museum and Gallery Design explores new research and practice in museum design. Placing a specific emphasis on social responsibility, in its broadest sense, the book emphasises the need for a greater understanding of the impact of museum design in the experiences of visitors, in the...
February 02, 2017
Critical Practice is an ambitious work that blurs the boundaries between art history, museum studies, political science and applied ethics. Marstine demonstrates how convergences between institutional critique and socially engaged practice, as represented by the term ‘critical practice’, can create...
December 15, 2016
This book explores how museums, galleries and heritage sites of all kinds, through the narratives they construct and publicly present, can shape the moral and political climate within which human rights are experienced. Through a series of richly-drawn cases, which focus on gender diversity and...
August 26, 2014
The museum has become a vital strategic space for negotiating ownership of and access to knowledges produced in local settings. Museum as Process presents community-engaged "culture work" of a group of scholars whose collaborative projects consider the social spaces between the museum and community...
June 16, 2014
Recent decades have seen migration history and issues increasingly featured in museums. Museums and Migration explores the ways in which museum spaces - local, regional, national - have engaged with the history of migration, including internal migration, emigration and immigration. It presents the...
October 14, 2013
Museums and Social Activism is the first study to bring together historical accounts of the African American and later American Indian civil rights-related social and reform movements that took place on the Smithsonian Mall through the 1960s and 1970s in Washington DC with the significant but...
Richard Sandell, Eithne Nightingale
April 23, 2012
The last two decades have seen concerns for equality, diversity, social justice and human rights move from the margins of museum thinking and practice, to the core. The arguments – both moral and pragmatic – for engaging diverse audiences, creating the conditions for more equitable access to museum...
Suzanne Macleod, Laura Hourston Hanks, Jonathan Hale
February 28, 2012
Over recent decades, many museums, galleries and historic sites around the world have enjoyed an unprecedented level of large-scale investment in their capital infrastructure, in building refurbishments and new gallery displays. This period has also seen the creation of countless new purpose-built...