Museums Bibliography

Over the past decade, discussions regarding the role and purpose of museums have become markedly more vigorous. This period has seen a surge in publications focusing on critical issues like power dynamics, interpretation, and ownership. Highlighted here is a selected list of these expanding resources, which addresses topics such as class, race, gender, sexuality, colonialism, and activism in the museum sector.

Adivasi Art and Activism: Curation in a Nationalist Age

Author : Alice Tilche
Publisher ‏: ‎University of Washington Press, 2022

“Adivasi Art and Activism: Curation in a Nationalist Age” by Alice Tilche examines the changing aesthetics, lifestyles, and cultural heritage of India’s indigenous tribal communities, known as adivasis, in the context of the country’s aggressive economic development. With over 800 communities and a population exceeding a hundred million people, adivasis face poverty exacerbated by the suppression of their cultural identity. Drawing on anthropological fieldwork in rural western India, Tilche explores shifts in adivasi aesthetics, attire, food, and religiosity resulting from interactions with Hinduization, development, and globalization. The book documents curatorial projects not only in formal institutions but also in the domestic sphere, the body, and the landscape. It raises crucial questions about the preservation and curation of indigenous material, offering a critical analysis of the aesthetics and politics of Hindu nationalism.

Archiving an Epidemic: Art, AIDS, and the Queer Chicanx Avant-Garde

Author : Robb Hernández
Publisher ‏: ‎NYU Press. 2019

“Archiving an Epidemic: Art, AIDS, and the Queer Chicanx Avant-Garde” by Robb Hernández queers the archive and extends beyond its institutional boundaries, exploring the absences and remnants of human loss from AIDS. Employing a unique methodology of ‘queer detrital analysis,’ Hernández brings the body and space into focus, reimagining the American avant-garde since the 1960s through the lens of queer Chicanx artists, groups, and spaces in Southern California. The book provides a detailed and sensitive account of the precarious histories of queer Chicanx artists during the early decades of the ongoing AIDS crisis. It not only serves as a groundbreaking historical recovery but also reflects on loss, absence, silence, and the threat of erasure, making it essential for those studying queer art, Chicanx art, and the AIDS pandemic.

Collecting Activism, Archiving Occupy Wall Street

Author : Kylie Message
Publisher ‏: ‎Routledge,. 2019

“Collecting Activism, Archiving Occupy Wall Street” explores the material collections generated by participants in the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011, providing insight into the experiences and agency of ‘the 99%.’ Focusing on the sociology of protest and reform movements, the book investigates the processes of collection development as a means to understand activism through the lens of material culture. It poses critical questions about the potential contributions of studying the material culture of dissent and the creation of collections documenting it. Drawing on interdisciplinary fields such as museum studies, collection studies, archive studies, cultural studies, and public history, the book serves as a valuable resource for scholars and practitioners interested in cause-based collecting, activist archiving, public history, and the cultural politics of social reform movements. It also provides strategies for activating historical archives and engaging with collections-based data.

Cultural Democracy Now

Author : Owen Kelly
Publisher ‏: ‎Routledge, 2022

“Cultural Democracy Now” by Owen Kelly delves into the historical roots and contemporary relevance of cultural democracy, exploring its intersection with movements like the creative commons, open source, and maker movements. The book revisits foundational concepts, examining the meaning of personhood in the twenty-first century, the essence of cultural democracy, and why it is worth pursuing. Kelly untangles the historical evolution of the term, addressing its co-option and suggesting a renewed examination to revitalize its strength. Situating cultural democracy within broader progressive political and social movements, the book also considers the impact of digital technologies. Aimed at students, scholars, practitioners, and policymakers in the arts, the book offers a theoretical perspective, fostering both contemplation and action in the realm of cultural democracy.

Culture Strike: Art and Museums in an Age of Protest

Author : Laura Raicovich
Publisher ‏: ‎Verso, 2021

“Culture Strike: Art and Museums in an Age of Protest” by Laura Raicovich offers a compelling examination of how museums present themselves as progressive while upholding the status quo. Drawing on interviews and conversations across the art world, Raicovich provides a roadmap for understanding the current state of museums, offering a blueprint for transformative change. The book critically analyzes the complicity of museums in perpetuating capitalism, colonialism, and white supremacy, acknowledging power imbalances and biases within the sector. Raicovich challenges the myth of neutrality, urging a reimagining of museums as spaces for radical democracy. With insightful case studies and historical lessons, the author advocates for a more inclusive, egalitarian, and public cultural sphere. “Culture Strike” encourages readers to envision and actively participate in creating a just and transformative cultural landscape.

Curating Access: Disability Art Activism and Creative Accommodation

Author : Amanda Cachia
Publisher ‏: ‎Routledge, 2022

“Curating Access: Disability Art Activism and Creative Accommodation” is a collection of interdisciplinary essays that critically examines contemporary exhibitions and artistic practices, placing a spotlight on the conceptual and creative aspects of access. The book challenges the conventional approach of adding access as an afterthought and explores the idea of making access an integral and critical part of the artistic process. Can access itself be a creative and experimental element in artwork? The essays, contributed by artists, curators, and scholars, delve into ad-hoc, experimental, and underground approaches within exhibition-making and artistic practices. The volume considers how collaborative efforts between artists, curators, and the public can turn access into a shared responsibility, transforming it into a zone of intellectual and creative “accommodation” rather than just a policy discourse. The book offers innovative case studies, providing templates for implementing diverse modalities of access within cultural institutions.

Curatorial Activism: Towards an Ethics of Curating

Author : Maura Reilly
Publisher ‏: ‎Thames & Hudson , 2018

“Curatorial Activism” serves as a handbook for innovative curatorial strategies aimed at addressing racial and gender disparities within the art world. Against a backdrop of disheartening statistics, the book explores the ongoing struggle for gender and race equality in the art realm, citing examples such as the underrepresentation of female artists at the Venice Biennale and the limited display of nonwhite artists at MoMA. The thematic sections on feminism, race, and sexuality examine groundbreaking exhibitions that challenged traditional boundaries, from Linda Nochlin’s “Women Artists” in the 1970s to Jean-Hubert Martin’s “Carambolages” in 2016. Profiling key exhibitions by influential curators like Okwui Enwezor and Nan Goldin, the book, with a foreword by Lucy Lippard, provides practical insights for those advocating institutional change and serves as inspiration for the next generation of curators committed to fostering inclusivity in the art world

Decolonize Museums

Author : Shimrit Lee, Editor : Bhakti Shringarpure
Published by OR Books, 2022

“Curatorial Activism” serves as a handbook for innovative curatorial strategies aimed at addressing racial and gender disparities within the art world. Against a backdrop of disheartening statistics, the book explores the ongoing struggle for gender and race equality in the art realm, citing examples such as the underrepresentation of female artists at the Venice Biennale and the limited display of nonwhite artists at MoMA. The thematic sections on feminism, race, and sexuality examine groundbreaking exhibitions that challenged traditional boundaries, from Linda Nochlin’s “Women Artists” in the 1970s to Jean-Hubert Martin’s “Carambolages” in 2016. Profiling key exhibitions by influential curators like Okwui Enwezor and Nan Goldin, the book, with a foreword by Lucy Lippard, provides practical insights for those advocating institutional change and serves as inspiration for the next generation of curators committed to fostering inclusivity in the art world

Introducing Peace Museums

Author : Joyce Apsel
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Routledge, 2015

“Introducing Peace Museums” explores the often overlooked but globally multiplying phenomenon of peace museums, delving into their diverse stories and exhibits that promote cultures of peace. From Japan, which boasts the largest number of such museums, to locations like Bradford, UK, and Guernica, Spain, the book examines the varied approaches of these institutions. Some focus on popular peace symbols, while others highlight alternative narratives about conscientious objection and civil disobedience. The book distinguishes between different types of museums associated with peace and debates the distinctions between peace museums and museums for peace. This pioneering work critically evaluates the exhibits and activities of peace museums, paving the way for “critical peace museum studies” to analyze their diverse emphasis and content. It provides a valuable introduction to the challenges and opportunities faced by these institutions today and in the future.

Museum Activism

Edited by Robert R. Janes, Richard Sandell
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Routledge, 2010

“Museum Activism” explores the evolving role of museums, galleries, and heritage organizations as agents of social change. In a shift from traditional perspectives that deemed activism incompatible with the professional values of these institutions, the book brings together over fifty contributors from six continents to examine and reflect on the increasing significance of museums in activism. Addressing inequalities, injustices, and environmental challenges, the volume showcases diverse expressions of museums as forces for good and active contributors to civil society. With contributions from practitioners, artists, activists, and researchers, “Museum Activism” encourages experimentation and enriches the ongoing debate on the transformative potential of museums. This groundbreaking work is essential reading for scholars, students, practitioners, and leaders in museum and heritage studies, arts, and politics.

Museums and Racism

Author : Kylie Message
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Routledge, 2019

“Museums and Racism” delves into the pressing issue of racism within the museum context, using the Immigration Museum in Melbourne, Australia, as a focal point. The analysis spans from the museum’s conceptualization in the mid-1990s to its most recent permanent exhibition in 2011, aligning with a new multicultural policy for Australia. The book examines the National Museum of Australia in Canberra as a comparative case study, providing a broader national context. The narrative underscores the intricate interplay between museum development and exhibitions on one side and policy, politics, and public opinion on the other. By drawing examples from the United States and other relevant contexts, the book asserts the global significance of its insights. “Museums and Racism” is essential for students and scholars in museum and cultural studies worldwide, offering valuable perspectives for museum practitioners and policymakers engaged in multiculturalism.

Museums and Social Activism: Engaged Protest

Author : Kylie Message
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Routledge, 2013

“Museums and Social Activism: Engaged Protest” offers an in-depth look at the African American and American Indian civil rights movements at the Smithsonian Mall in the 1960s and 1970s, highlighting changes within the National Museum of American History’s Division of Political and Reform History. It reveals the untold story of museum transformation and curatorial activism, combining insights from Museum Studies, Public History, Political Science, and Social Movement Studies. The book examines the interplay between museums, curators, and political entities, providing valuable perspectives on the cultural and political significance of modern museums. It stresses the importance of historical practices in understanding current museum challenges and opportunities. This work is a crucial resource for scholars and practitioners interested in the evolving role of museums in social activism.

Museums and Social Change: Challenging the Unhelpful Museum

Edited by Adele Chynoweth, Bernadette Lynch, Klaus Petersen,Sarah Smed
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Routledge, 2020

“Museums and Social Change: Challenging the Unhelpful Museum,” edited by Adele Chynoweth, Bernadette Lynch, Klaus Petersen, and Sarah Smed, examines museums’ role in driving social change through collaboration with marginalized communities. This global perspective includes accounts from museum professionals highlighting successful partnerships with diverse groups like women, the homeless, abuse survivors, and disabled individuals. The book argues that even small, specialized museums play a significant role in societal transformation through cooperative practices. It suggests a new museum paradigm where practitioners are active partners in social change. This work is crucial for those in academia, museum work, and social activism, emphasizing the need for inclusivity and engagement in cultural institutions

Museums as Agents for Social Change: Collaborative Programmes at the Mutare Museum

Author : Njabulo Chipangura, Jesmael Mataga
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Routledge, 2021

“Museums as Agents for Social Change: Collaborative Programmes at the Mutare Museum” is a pioneering exploration of museum practice in a decolonized context, going beyond traditional roles of object collection and presentation. Focused on Mutare museum in Eastern Zimbabwe, the book delves into how museums with colonial legacies adapt to new environments. It scrutinizes Mutare museum’s activism in addressing community issues, utilizing innovative engagement methods to attract diverse audiences and confront challenges such as economic livelihoods, poverty, displacement, climate change, and education. The authors, Chipangura and Mataga, showcase how the museum transforms into a decolonial agent of social change and a vital community institution. This comprehensive text serves as a valuable resource for academics, students, and museum professionals seeking insights into decolonizing museums and redefining their roles beyond traditional practices.

Museums as Agents of Change: A Guide to Becoming a Changemaker

Author : Njabulo Chipangura, Jesmael Mataga
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Routledge, 2021

“”Museums as Agents of Change,” by Mike Murawski, emphasizes the evolving role of museums in society as essential, dynamic entities committed to community service and social transformation. This book offers practical advice for museum professionals on becoming changemakers, focusing on the processes and practices needed for creating a different future. Murawski, an independent consultant and change leader, pens a tribute to those effecting change in museums, advocating for their role in promoting social justice and equity. The book is a compilation of experiences, honest reflections, thoughtful provocations, and practical strategies from various contributors, serving as critical reading for anyone in the museum field aiming to translate ideas into action. Murawski, also the founding editor of and co-producer of the “Museums Are Not Neutral” campaign, resides in Portland, Oregon, and is known for his advocacy for equity-based transformation in museums.

Museum of Emotion

Author : Kader Attia
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Hayward Gallery, 2019

“Museum of Emotion” by Kader Attia delves into the artistic realm of the French-Algerian multidisciplinary artist, offering a comprehensive guide to his work. Attia’s art challenges cultural and historical constructions, bridging the divide between Western and non-Western worlds through re-appropriated objects and installations. The book features an in-depth interview with Hayward Gallery director Ralph Rugoff, exploring Attia’s major themes, while art historians and experts provide detailed examinations of specific aspects of his work. Attia’s exploration of memory wounds, such as colonization and slavery, is depicted through diverse mediums like video, installation, sculpture, and photography. The book celebrates Attia’s exceptional perspective on human existence, prompting readers to question societal narratives. With a focus on ethics and aesthetics, Attia’s art serves as a poignant testimony to historical injustices and the potential for cathartic transformation in contemporary art.

Museums, Equality and Social Justice

Author : Richard Sandell and Eithne Nightingale
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Routledge, 2012

“Museums, Equality and Social Justice” critically examines the evolving role of museums in addressing issues of equality, diversity, and social justice over the past two decades. The book acknowledges the progress made in engaging diverse audiences and promoting equitable access to museum resources, while recognizing ongoing challenges and inequalities within the museum sector. It reflects on the shifting landscape of identity politics and the need for museums to construct narratives that represent a plurality of experiences and histories. Drawing on new research from academics, practitioners, artists, activists, and commentators, the book explores how museums navigate the complexities of the contemporary equalities terrain. It aims to inform ongoing debates in museum research, policy, and practice, considering the potential for museums to contribute to more equitable and just societies in a global context marked by contested rights-related issues..

Museums, Refugees and Communities

Author : Domenico Sergi
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Routledge, 2021

“Museums, Refugees and Communities” investigates the responses of museums in Germany, The Netherlands, and the UK to the intricate ethical challenges involved in addressing contemporary refugee displacements. Rooted in an ethnographic study in the UK with refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo, the book explores how object-led approaches can offer fresh perspectives on analyzing refugee experiences and the engagement of European museums with their communities. Focusing on the social, cultural, and practical aspects of community engagement practices with refugees, the book contributes to the growing research on museums’ involvement with human rights and informs discussions on museums as sites of activism. This interdisciplinary examination is valuable for researchers, academics, and students interested in museums, heritage, migration, ethics, community engagement, culture, sociology, and anthropology.

Museums, Sexuality, and Gender Activism

Edited by : Joshua Adair and Amy Levin
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Routledge, 2020

“Museums, Sexuality, and Gender Activism” critically explores museums’ roles in representing LGBTQ+ individuals, cisgender women, and nonbinary people, marking a significant contribution to gender and sexuality activism in exhibition spaces. Building upon “Gender, Sexuality, and Museums,” this book features global contributions from both established and emerging voices. It covers diverse topics like transgender representation, two-spirit identities, third genders, and activism in heritage sites. The chapters discuss issues like erasure, gender and sexuality exhibitions, HIV/AIDS representation, and efforts for enhanced queer visibility. Offering a global perspective, the book includes insights from racial and ethnic minorities, extending beyond US and European contexts. It provides a thorough critique of current policies, theories, and practices, making it vital for students and professionals in museum studies, gender, sexuality, culture, history, and anthropology, as well as researchers in these fields.

Radicalizing Care: Feminist and Queer Activism in Curating

Edited by : Elke Krasny, Sophie Lingg, et al
Publisher ‏ : ‎ ‎Sternberg Press, 2022

“Radicalizing Care: Feminist and Queer Activism in Curating” delves into how feminist and queer care ethics intersect with curatorial practices. The book compiles critical essays, case studies, and manifestos, offering insights from various global contexts. It examines projects from diverse geographies, including marginalized perspectives at the Schwules Museum Berlin, the Queer Trans Intersex People of Colour Narratives Collective in Brighton, Métis Kitchen Table Talks in Canada, and responses to censorship in China and Japan. It also explores collaborations with First Nations artists in Melbourne, and the revival of community in immigrant and diasporic settings in Vienna and Stockholm. Key strategies discussed are cripping, decolonizing, and digital caring labor like curating and organizing online events, especially relevant during the pandemic. This collection provides a comprehensive look at the transformative impact of care ethics in the realm of curating

Re-Presenting Disability: Activism and Agency in the Museum

Edited by : Richard Sandell , Jocelyn Dodd, et al
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Routledge, 2013

“Re-Presenting Disability: Activism and Agency in the Museum” focuses on the representation of disability in museums and galleries, a subject of growing interest in academic and cultural circles. The book, comprising contributions from researchers, practitioners, and academics, scrutinizes both the presence and absence of disability narratives in museum exhibitions. It discusses historical depictions, current trends in museum practice, and intersections with disability studies and public history, probing how disability has been portrayed and how modern practices challenge stereotypes. The volume explores methods for uncovering disability histories in existing collections, contemporary collection challenges, and the hurdles faced by curators, educators, and designers in creating meaningful displays. It also examines audience reactions and how interpretative strategies can transform prevailing disability representations and affect current perceptions. “Re-Presenting Disability” offers vital perspectives on inclusive museum practices and contributes significantly to dialogues about diversity in cultural institutions.

Reconstructing Exhibitions in Art Institutions

Edited by : Natasha Adamou, Michaela Giebelhausen
Publisher ‏ : ‎ ‎Routledge, 2013

“Reconstructing Exhibitions in Art Institutions” is an interdisciplinary exploration of exhibitions as political resistance and cultural critique across global contexts, including South Africa, Latin America, Eastern Europe, the USA, and West Europe. The book delves into diverse themes such as anti-apartheid activism, trade unions in Argentina, Civil Rights movements in Baltimore, neoliberal museum self-critique, reframing feminisms in the USA, and revisiting Cold War Modernisms in Eastern Europe. With contributions from various fields, including art history, social sciences, anthropology, museum studies, and curating, the volume examines exhibition reconstructions as both symptomatic of advanced capitalism and geopolitical dynamics and as critiques of imperial and capitalist violence. Art historical areas covered include conceptualism, minimalism, modern painting, global modernisms, archives, and community arts. Suitable for art historians, curators, museum professionals, and scholars across disciplines, the book offers a global perspective on the political dimensions of exhibition practices.

Sex Museums: The Politics and Performance of Display

Author : Jennifer Tyburczy
Publisher ‏ : ‎ University of Chicago Press, 2016

In “Sex Museums: The Politics and Performance of Display,” Jennifer Tyburczy critically examines the role of museums in shaping Western sexuality and the formation of categories of sexual normalcy and perversity. The book challenges the assumption that white, patriarchal heterosexuality represents the national sexual culture in museum exhibits, exposing the history of heteronormativity in museum displays. Tyburczy proposes alternative approaches for future public display projects and introduces the concept of “queer curatorship” to exhibit diverse sexualities in the twenty-first century. The book delves into the theatrics of culture wars within museums, where civic struggles over the relationship between sex and public space, notions of taste and beauty, and performances of sexual identity unfold. “Sex Museums” unpacks the complex history of museums and their intersections with the history of sexuality, arguing that museums play a pivotal role in constructing modern sexual subjectivity from their inception to the present.

Sting in the Tale: Art, Hoax and Provocation

Author : Antoinette LaFarge
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Doppel House Press, 2021

“Sting in the Tale: Art Hoax and Provocation” by Antoinette LaFarge is an illustrated survey exploring the intriguing realm of artist hoaxes. LaFarge, a practitioner of “fictive art,” delves into the historical and contemporary landscape of artistic deceptions, including impersonations, fabricated scientific objects, and forgeries. The book highlights various instances, such as the Cottingley fairy photographs and the Museum of Jurassic Technology, where artists challenge assumptions by blurring the lines between fact and fiction. In an era of rampant misinformation, fictive art emerges as a radical form, employing evidentiary objects, historical artifacts, and scientific language to create a temporary suspension of disbelief. The book engages readers in contemplating the role of art in shaping discourse and challenging societal trust.

Tear Gas Epiphanies: Protest, Culture, Museums

Author : Kirsty Robertson
Publisher ‏ : ‎ McGill -Queen’s University Press, 2019

Museums are often at the center of cultural and political tension, serving as crucial sites for the intersection of arts, culture, government, corporations, and the public. This makes them both targets and platforms for political activism. “Tear Gas Epiphanies” explores the history of political protests in Canadian museums from the early 20th century to today, revealing the varied ways museums respond to protests, from support to rejection. It highlights the importance of including political conflict in the understanding of museums’ roles in society. The book is an in-depth study that challenges conventional views of museums, emphasizing their significant yet complex position in addressing and archiving contentious politics, making it a valuable resource for students, scholars, and museum professionals

The Art of Relevance

Author : Nina Simon
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Museum 2.0, 2016

“The Art of Relevance” by Nina Simon explores how mission-driven organizations can become more meaningful to a broader audience. Drawing on her experience as a museum director and cultural activist, Simon provides dozens of inspiring examples, case studies, and frameworks for creating vital and relevant cultural institutions. The book emphasizes the importance of making cultural experiences connected to the needs, assets, and interests of the community. Simon shares practical steps and insights into participatory design, offering a new perspective on user experience for libraries and cultural institutions. Divided into five parts, the book covers topics such as understanding relevance, engaging outsiders, connecting with the community, aligning with the mission, and the transformative power of relevant experiences.

The text is available online at


The Disobedient Museum: Writing at the Edge

Author : Kylie Message
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Routledge. 2017

“The Disobedient Museum: Writing at the Edge” by Kylie Message challenges the conventional ways of writing about museums and encourages a reimagining of this activity as a form of protest against disciplinary stagnation. Message explores the intersections between cultural, theoretical, and political approaches to critique, seeking to establish links between contemporary methods and historical or disciplinary crises. The book positions writing about museums as a potent form of activism that can contribute to cultural and political agendas for change. As the inaugural volume in Routledge’s ‘Museums in Focus’ series, this work is a significant contribution to the field, offering insights for scholars, students, and museum practitioners interested in the evolving role of museums in addressing social activism and contemporary challenges.


The Museum of Innocence

Author : Orhan Pamuk
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Faber & Faber, 2010

“The Museum of Innocence” by Orhan Pamuk, a Nobel Prize-winning Turkish writer, is a novel that delves into the complexities of love, societal conventions, and the clash between tradition and modernity in Istanbul. The protagonist, Kemal, is set to marry Sibel, but a chance encounter with Füsun, a saleswoman and distant cousin, disrupts his life. Kemal navigates a tumultuous journey of love, infidelity, and loss as he searches for Füsun after her disappearance. Pamuk skillfully pastiches sentimental novels and Turkish cinema of the 1970s, capturing the old-fashioned charm of Istanbul.

The novel also explores themes of societal expectations, the clash between tradition and modernity, and a psychological condition called syllogomania, manifested in Kemal’s obsessive collection of objects related to Füsun. Pamuk goes beyond fiction by creating a real “Museum of Innocence” in Istanbul, mirroring the one in the novel, exhibiting artifacts evoking the period’s daily life and culture. This museum won the European Museum of the Year Prize in 2014.


The Museum of Other People

Author : Adam Kuper
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Profile Books 2023

“The Museum of Other People” by Adam Kuper examines the history and evolution of anthropology museums, focusing on their displays of arts, artifacts, dioramas, and skeletal collections from foreign and prehistoric peoples. Originating as colonial endeavors, these museums now face critical questions about their purpose, the handling of their collections, and their role in fostering cross-cultural understanding. Kuper, leveraging extensive research and scholarship, addresses complex issues surrounding race, colonialism, cultural differences, and appropriation. This insightful work challenges readers to consider how these institutions can contribute to the respectful coexistence of diverse cultures, making it essential reading for those interested in the intersection of museums, anthropology, and societal development.


The Participatory Museum

Author : Nina Simon
Publisher ‏ : ‎ , 2010

“The Participatory Museum” by Nina Simon is a practical guide that addresses the contemporary need for visitor participation in cultural institutions like museums, art galleries, and science centers. Simon, a museum consultant and exhibit designer, offers innovative design techniques and case studies to advocate for participatory practices, making a compelling case for dynamic and relevant cultural spaces. The book has been acclaimed as a “future classic of museology” and an “indispensable guide.” Simon emphasizes the practical aspects of implementing participatory activities in museums while also delving into the philosophy and rationale behind such practices. With a focus on inclusivity and relevance, “The Participatory Museum” serves as a valuable resource for museum directors, designers, and anyone interested in transforming traditional museum models.

The text is available online at


The Politics of Display: Museums, Science, Culture

Edited by : Sharon Macdonald
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Routledge, 1997

“The Politics of Display: Museums, Science, Culture” challenges the assumption that museum exhibitions, especially those related to science and technology, are neutral and impartial. The book contends that exhibitions are inherently political, as technologies of display and concepts of ‘science’ and ‘objectivity’ are harnessed to construct narratives of progress, citizenship, and racial and national difference. Using examples like the controversial display of the Enola Gay, the aircraft that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, the book explores the evolving relationship between displays and their audiences. It traces the shift in representational styles towards interactive, multimedia, and reflexive modes of display. Drawing on international perspectives, the book features examples from various exhibition categories and locations, offering a valuable contribution to debates on the politics of public culture. It is suitable for students in sociology, anthropology, cultural studies, museum studies, and science studies.


What about Activism?

Edited by : Steven Henry Madoff, Carolyn Christov-Bakarg, et al
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Sternberg Press, 2019

“What about Activism?” brings together over twenty leading curators and thinkers in contemporary art to explore how cultural institutions can serve as sites of resistance and sanctuary in a world marked by nationalist and authoritarian politics. Against the backdrop of a global politics of shock, the contributors present case studies from their own work, offering historical and theoretical perspectives to guide cultural producers in engaging audiences in creative forms of protest and advocacy. The book addresses the urgent need for cultural institutions to confront political challenges through innovative and thought-provoking means. From curatorial strategies to theoretical reflections, the contributors provide insights into the potential paths of resistance that cultural producers can navigate to tackle the pressing political issues of today and tomorrow.