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The Politics of Display : Museums, Science, Culture - Sharon Macdonald

The Politics of Display

Museums, Science, Culture

By: Sharon Macdonald (Editor)

Hardcover

Published: 25th December 1997
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The assumption that museum exhibitions, particularly those concerned with science and technology, are somehow neutral and impartial is today being challenged both in the public arena and in the academy. The Politics of Display brings together studies of contemporary and historical exhibitions and contends that exhibitions are never, and never have been, above politics. Rather, technologies of display and ideas about 'science' and 'objectivity' are mobilized to tell stories of progress, citizenship, racial and national difference. The display of the Enola Gay, the aircraft which dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima is a well-known case in point.
The Politics of Display charts the changing relationship between displays and their audience and analyzes the consequent shift in styles of representation towards interactive, multimedia and reflexive modes of display. The Politics of Display brings together an array of international scholars in the disciplines of sociology, anthropology and history. Examples are taken from exhibitions of science, technology and industry, anthropology, geology, natural history and medicine, and locations include the United States of America, Australia, the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands and Spain.
This book is an excellent contribution to debates about the politics of public culture. It will be of interest to students of sociology, anthropology, cultural studies, museum studies and science studies.

Notes on contributors
List of illustrations
Preface
Exhibitions of power and powers of exhibitions: an introduction to the politics of display
Speaking to the eyes: museums, legibility and the social order
The visibility of difference: nineteenth century French anthropological collections
Reifying race: science and art in 'Races of Mankind' at the Field Museum of Natural History
Making nature 'real' again: natural history and public rhetorics of science at the Smithsonian
On interactivity: consumer, citizens and culture
Supermarket science? Consumers and 'the public understanding of science'
Nations on Display: technology and culture in Expo '92
Strangers in paradise: an encounter with fossil man at the Dutch Museum of Natural History
Can science museums take history seriously?
'Birth and Breeding: politics on display at the Wellcome Institute of Medical History
Balancing acts: science, Enola Gay and history wars at the Smithsonian
Afterword: From war to debate?
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780415153256
ISBN-10: 0415153255
Series: Heritage: Care-Preservation-Management
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 264
Published: 25th December 1997
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.9  x 2.31
Weight (kg): 0.66
Edition Number: 1