Starting with a Question: “Making Waterford Our Home”

(photo courtesy of the Waterford Museum) When considering museums that tell the story of immigration, institutions like The Lower East Side Tenement Museum often come to mind.  Often overlooked are smaller, local institutions that seek to tell the immigrant stories of their community and tie them to the greater national narrative.  These exhibits can facilitate […]

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Who Owns History?

Thinking more about our discussion on Tuesday, and having read this New York Times article and the reactions to it, I want to explore the topic of “ownership” of the Holocaust a little more.  I am increasingly frustrated with the point of view that any one group should “own” history. It is critical that we […]

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Creating the Future Through the Past

Is a museum a place where cultures go to die, or where they go to live?  According to James Clifford, the answer is increasingly the latter.  Museums are becoming places of cultural exchange, reciprocity, and contest.  They are becoming contact zones, where cultures enter into ongoing relationships.  According to Clifford, “When museums are seen as […]

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Displaying Ethnographic Objects

Museum exhibits have a purpose:  they tell a story, they teach you something, and they make you think.  Behind the scenes at a museum, people are working to help us learn and understand this story, but who should decide what we should learn from a museum? This question becomes even more complicated when we consider […]

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Similar Bank Accounts

One more point that struck me as I was reading Nickel and Dimed was the similarities between low-income workers and museums.  Ehrenreich points out over and over how there is simply an imbalance in the amount of money earned and the amount of amount of money needed to survive.  During my thesis research I looked […]

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