This page is for members of the Museums and Memory working group
Co-chairs: Amy Sodaro, Borough of Manhattan Community College/City University of New York and Victoria Grace Walden, University of Sussex
What role does the contemporary museum play in shaping collective and cultural memories? The concept of the ‘museum’ is transforming with decolonizing campaigns, the participatory museum manifesto, new museology, media technologies expanding the museum beyond its physical walls, and other recent developments. These new approaches challenge traditional ideas of the museum, established in the nineteenth century, particularly in regards to such institutions’ relationships to narrative, power, temporality, spatiality, materiality, and history and memory. Today, visitors can be empowered as co-curators, and museums exist in online-only formats or can be embedded within the sites to which they refer with the use of digital mapping software. Museum professionals are becoming more sensitive to the colonial histories inherent to normative practices and some are experimenting with radical techniques to dismantle these. Furthermore, whereas history used to be the dominant organizing trope in museums, today memory often supplants history as the framework through which museums address and represent the past.
The MSA Museums and Memory Working Group welcomes members interested in the relationship between the two titular fields. We encourage academics, curators, archivists, technologists, activists and other stakeholders working in relevant areas to join the group. We hope that it will develop to not only provide fruitful intellectual discussion but to create a productive space across museum practice, academia and activism through which we can create meaningful collaborations that break down perceived boundaries between theory and practice, and that might impact the transnational development of museums to produce and circulate memory.
To join the working group, please complete the form available here: https://forms.gle/ko6GBj6t1yALPY9U9