Archive | 2021
Making Museums Relevant in a World of Diversity
In her new book About Museums, Culture, and Justice to Explore in Your Classroom Associate Professor Therese Quinn critically analyses the role of the museums in today’s world and discusses how teachers can use museums in order to teach students critical thinking and social justice. Combining critical museology with pedagogics the book offers theoretical approaches to the museum as an institution and examples on museum interventions and artivism around the world, as well as hands-on tools and projects through which students can engage with the museums and their collections. As Quinn is based in the United States, most of her examples and arguments come from the North American art and culture context, but she also includes many exciting cases and museums from other parts of the world and, also, outside the Western world. The book consists of ten chapters. In the first chapter “Introduction: Are Museums for Everyone?” Quinn claims that the mostly or partly publicly funded museums belong to us. Yet museums “are underused and undervalued” (2) and they are, in opposition to libraries, “often actually or perceptually inaccessible” and “located in special districts, charge admissions, feature monolingual programming” (3). Furthermore, museums “fail when they aren’t honest about their histories and don’t tell the stories of people of color, immigrants, and others who are underrepresented in cultural spaces” (5) and they are “still segregated workplaces, with whites now holding 84% of curator, conservator, and educator positions” (6).