Defining Memory: Local Museums and the Construction of by Amy K. Levin

By Amy K. Levin

Defining Memory makes use of case reports of shows from round the state to ascertain how neighborhood museums, outlined as museums whose collections are neighborhood in scope or whose audiences are essentially neighborhood, have either formed and been formed via evolving neighborhood values and feel of historical past. Levin and her participants argue that those small associations play a key position in defining America's self-identity and may be studied as heavily as extra nationwide associations just like the Smithsonian and the Metropolitan Museum of paintings.

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Additional info for Defining Memory: Local Museums and the Construction of History in America's Changing Communities

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APPLYING THE BIG THEORIES The Geneva History Center, the Louisiana Art and Folk Festival Museum, and the Continental Sculpture Hall take on different characters when explored through the lenses of Schwab’s commonplaces of education and Huebner’s ways of valuing educational experiences. Applying these curriculum models EXPLORING LOCAL MUSEUMS THROUGH CURRICULUM THEORY 37 suggests questions that can be asked of local museums to assess their value, their impact, and their potential as community resources.

2. ” 3. Ross Atkin, “Museum Makeover,” Christian Science Monitor, March 10, 2000. 4. org/visit (accessed 28 June 2006). 5. ” 6. Gaynor Kavanaugh, History Curatorship (Leicester: Leicester University Press, 1990), 4. A. 2 Like other similar sites, Colonial Williamsburg not only bills itself as a mimetic representation—an “authentic” replication—of an era in which diverse peoples were “becoming Americans,”3 it also claims that it is a place where contemporary citizens of the nation-state can reexperience a kind of personal identification with a national identity.

3 Museums’ dynamics are different from those of schools, but it is instructive to analyze museums in terms congruent with our traditional definitions and expectations of educational institutions. The similarities and differences between museums and schools are both evident and surprisingly complex; the special case of the local museum suggests criteria that can shape our notions of educational theory in general and enlighten our uses of these special educational settings in particular. This chapter presents two traditional models from the field of curriculum theory and analyzes three local museums through these powerful lenses.

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