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Museums and Diversity
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Panamanian Museums and Historical Memory
Ana Luisa Sánchez Laws
146 pages, large format 8.5in x 11in, 52 color & b/w illus., bibliog., index
ISBN 978-0-85745-240-5 $59.95/£47.95 / Pb / Published (May 2011)
“At a time when issues of nationalism and national identity continue to exercise the minds of policy makers in governments around the globe, museums continue to play a key role in the cultural imagining of the nation. This innovative and timely volume examines the development of the representation of nationhood in a variety of museums and art installations within Panama. As such it makes a most useful and original contribution to the growing literature about the conceptualisation of the nation state within museums.” · Sheila Watson, University of Leicester
"Sánchez Law’s work is an important contribution to a much needed debate on Panamanian heritage issues. Her main conclusion, that the exclusion of contemporary conflicts from museums is a way to exclude a segment of the population from participating in the build-up of national identity, is both well argued and suggestive. As a platform for more socially responsible representations in Panamanian museums, this book is of interest not only to museum people but to everyone who is interested in the role of history in society." · Anders Johansen, University of Bergen
Panama is an ethnically diverse country with a recent history of political conflict which makes the representation of historical memory an especially complex and important task for the country’s museums. This book studies new museum projects in Panama with the aim of identifying the dominant narratives that are being formed as well as those voices that remain absent and muted. Through case analyses of specific museums and exhibitions the author identifies and examines the influences that form and shape museum strategy and development.
Ana Luisa Sánchez Laws is Associate Professor in Media and Design, Volda University College, Norway. Her research has focused on the use of new technologies to address contested topics in museums, and on issues of diversity and social inclusion in museums. Her most recent project is in the area of interaction design, and involves the creation of multitouch prototypes as support for pedagogical activities at the upcoming Museo de la Casa Colonial in Panama Viejo, Panama.
Subject: Museum Studies Memory Studies
Area: Latin America and the Caribbean
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