Non-Fiction Books:

The Politics of Display

Museums, Science, Culture

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The Politics of Display

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The assumption that museum exhibitions, particularly those concerned with science and technology, are somehow neutral and apolitical is being challenged both in the academy and in the public arena. The Politics of Display brings together case studies of contemporary and historical exhibitions to argue that exhibitions always carry social and political messages, no matter how much they claim objectivity. Scientific displays are often mobilised to make prescriptive statements about progress, citizenship and racial, national and gendered superiority and difference. The studies in this collection take examples from exhibitions of science, industry, anthropology and medicine from a variety of locations, including the USA, Australia, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Spain. They demonstrate that exhibitions are essentially political, whether in high-profile cases, like that of the display of the Enola Gay , the aircraft which dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, to the most local, seemingly neutral exhibition.

Author Biography

Sharon Macdonald is lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Sheffield. She is author of Remaining Culture (1997), editor of Inside Identities (1993) and co-editor of Theorizing Museums (1996) and The Sociological Review.
Release date NZ
December 25th, 1997
Edited by Sharon Macdonald
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
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