Representing Nation: Reader in Heritage and Museums

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Gathering key writings from leading thinkers in cultural studies, cultural history, and museum studies, Representing the Nation: A reader explores the role cultural institutions play in creating and shaping our sense of ourselves as a nation.

With an international perspective focusing on the USA, France, Australia, the UK and India, leading figures and authors, including Tony Bennet, Ralph Samuel and Carol Duncan examine the way the past is preserved, represented and consumed as our ‘heritage’.

Written in three sections, the book examines:

  • strategies involved in creating and sustaining a national culture
  • the growth of heritage culture, from the founding of the National Trust in 1895 to the heritage acts of the 1980s
  • why it has become important for nations to preserve the past and in whose name is it preserved and displayed
  • the historical development of the public museum
  • issues and difficulties facing museums today and the competing demands and interests of public funding bodies, tourists and local communities.

For the disciplines of both museum studies and cultural studies this will be vital reading material, and is also perfect as a course reader for a new MA in media and cultural studies.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415208697
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 6/28/1999
  • Pages: 488
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

David Boswell is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the Open University. Jessica Evans is Lecturer in Cultural and Media Studies at the Open University.

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Table of Contents

List of illustrations ix
Acknowledgements xiii
Introduction: Nation and Representation 1
Part 1 Culture, community and nation 9
Introduction to Part One 11
1 Tradition and Translation: National Culture in its Global Context 15
2 Culture, Community, Nation 33
3 History and Modernity: Reflections on the Theory of Nationalism 45
4 Mass-Producing Traditions: Europe, 1870-1914 61
5 Englishness and the National Culture 87
Part 2 Representing the past as heritage and its consumption 109
Introduction to Part Two 111
6 Trafficking in History 115
7 The Climate of Decline 151
8 Resurrectionism 163
9 Fatal Attractions 185
10 Gazing on History 208
Part 3 Museums as classificatory systems and their prehistories 233
Introduction to Part Three 235
11 National Monuments 240
12 Fear of Circuses: Founding the National Museum of Victoria 258
13 The Chicago World's Columbian Exposition of 1893: "And Was Jerusalem Builded Here?" 273
14 From the Princely Gallery to the Public Art Museum: The Louvre Museum and the National Gallery, London 304
15 The Exhibitionary Complex 332
Part 4 Museums and cultural management 363
Introduction to Part Four 365
16 Attempts to Define 'Museum' 371
17 Useful Culture 380
18 Cultural Policy: Research and the Government Imperative 394
19 Museums are Good to Think: Heritage on View in India 404
20 Rewriting The Museums' Fictions: Taxonomies, Stories and Readers 421
21 Museums as Contact Zones 435
Index 459
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