Museums and Difference

Museums and Difference

Daniel Sherman
Distribution: World
Publication date: 12/26/2007
Format: Paperback 58 b&w photos
ISBN: 978-0-253-21935-0
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Museums, modern concepts of culture, and ideas about difference arose together and are inextricably entwined. Relationships of difference—notably, of gender, ethnicity, nationality, and race—have become equally important concerns of scholarship in humanities and contemporary museum practice. Museums and Difference offers the perspectives of scholars and museum professionals in tandem, using the concept of difference to reexamine how museums construct themselves, their collections, and their publics. Essays explore a wide range of examples from around the world and from the 19th century to the present, including case studies of special exhibitions as well as broad surveys of institutions in Europe, the United States, and Japan.

Author Bio

Daniel J. Sherman is Professor of History and Director of the Center for 21st Century Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. He is author of The Construction of Memory in Interwar France and editor (with Terry Nardin) of Terror, Culture, Politics (IUP, 2006).


“[D]emonstrates both the centrality and rapidly changing significance of difference in museum practice and poses a number of critical questions for future scholarship, such as, for example, whether or not aesthetic distinctions can ever be employed in museums in a manner that does not privilege the identity of one or another social group. —David O'Brien, University of Illinois at Urban”
 — Champaign

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Table of Contents


Introduction Daniel J. Sherman

Part 1. Representing Difference
1. Art Museums and Commonality: A History of High Ideals Andrew McClellan
2. "The Last Wild Indian in North America": Changing Museum Representations of Ishi Ira Jacknis
3. National Museums and Other Cultures in Modern Japan Angus Lockyer
4. Cultural Difference and Cultural Diversity: The Case of the Musée du Quai Branly Nélia Dias
5. Gunther von Hagens's Body Worlds: Exhibitionary Practice, German History, and Difference Peter M. McIsaac

Part 2. Representing Differently
6. Meta Warrick's 1907 "Negro Tableaux" and (Re)Presenting African American Historical Memory W. Fitzhugh Brundage
7. Skulls on Display: The Science of Race in Paris's Musée de l'Homme, 1928<N>1950 Alice L. Conklin
8. Dossier: "Inventing Race" in Los Angeles Ilona Katzew and Daniel J. Sherman
9. Living and Dying: Ethnography, Class, and Aesthetics in the British Museum Lissant Bolton
10. Museums and Historical Amnesia William H. Truettner


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