The Attic (a name which commemorates our first physical location) is, first and foremost, a site for the research students of the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester: a virtual community which aims to include all students, be they campus-based and full-time, or distance-learning and overseas. But we welcome contributions from students of museum studies - and allied subject areas - from outside the School and from around the world. Here you will find a lot of serious stuff, like exhibition and research seminar reviews, conference alerts and calls for papers, but there's also some 'fluff'; the things that inspire, distract and keep us going. After all, while we may be dead serious academic types, we're human too.

Monday, September 17, 2007

A bumper crop of new publications from the Department of Museum Studies

This is going to be a loooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnngggggggggg post - sorry!

Museums and Education: Purpose, Pedagogy, Performance (Museum Meanings) (Hardcover)

by Eilean Hooper Greenhill (Author)

At the beginning of the 21st century museums are challenged on a number of fronts. The prioritisation of learning in museums in the context of demands for social justice and cultural democracy combined with cultural policy based on economic rationalism forces museums to review their educational purposes, redesign their pedagogies and account for their performance.

The need to theorise learning and culture for a cultural theory of learning is very pressing.If culture acts as a process of signification, a means of producing meaning that shapes worldviews, learning in museums and other cultural organisations is potentially dynamic and profound, producing self-identities.

How is this complexity to be 'measured'? What can this 'measurement' reveal about the character of museum-based learning? The calibration of culture is an international phenomenon, and the measurement of the outcomes and impact of learning in museums in England has provided a detailed case study.

Three national evaluation studies were carried out between 2003 and 2006 based on the conceptual framework of Generic Learning Outcomes. Using this revealing data "Museums and Education" reveals the power of museum pedagogy.

Product details

Hardcover: 256 pages Publisher: Routledge (1 Sep 2007) Language English ISBN-10: 0415379350 ISBN-13: 978-0415379359 Price: £70 (Hardcover) £23.99 (Papercover)

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Museum Revolutions How Museums Change and are Changed

by Sheila Watson, Suzanne MacLeod, and Simon Knell

This single-volume museum studies reference title explores the ways in which museums are shaped and configured and how they themselves attempt to shape and change the world around them. Written by a leading group of museum professionals and academics from around the world and including new research, the chapters reveal the diverse and subtle means by which museums engage and in so doing change and are changed.

The authors span over 200 years discussing national museums, ecomuseums, society museums, provincial galleries, colonial museums, the showman's museum, and science centres.

Topics covered include: disciplinary practices, ethnic representation, postcolonial politics, economic aspiration, social reform, indigenous models, conceptions of history, urban regeneration, sustainability, sacred objects, a sense of place, globalization, identities, social responsibility, controversy, repatriation, human remains, drama, and learning and education.

Capturing the richness of the museum studies discipline, "Museum Revolutions "is the ideal text for museum studies courses, providing a wide range of interlinked themes and the latest thought and research from experts in the field.

Product details

Hardcover: 352 pages Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (1 Jun 2007) Language English ISBN-10: 0415444667 ISBN-13: 978-0415444668 RRP: £76.99 (Hardcover) £25.99 (Paperback)

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Museums in the Material World

by Simon Knell (Editor)

"Museums in the Material World" seeks to both introduce classic and thought-provoking pieces and contrast them with articles which reveal grounded practice. The articles are selected from across the full breadth of museum disciplines and are linked by a logical narrative, as detailed in the section introductions.

The choice of articles reveals how the debate has opened up on disciplinary practice, how the practices of the past have been critiqued and in some cases replaced, how it has become necessary to look beyond and outside disciplinary boundaries, and how old practices can in many circumstances continue to have validity.

"Museums in the Material World" is about broadening horizons and moving museum studies students, and others, beyond the narrow confines of their own disciplinary thinking or indeed any narrow conception of collections. In essence, this is a book about the practice of interpretation and will therefore be of great use to those students and museum practitioners involved in the field of material culture in museums.

Product details

Hardcover: 392 pages Publisher: Routledge; New Ed edition (7 Jun 2007) Language English ISBN-10: 041541699X ISBN-13: 978-0415416993 Product Dimensions: 24.2 x 17.4 x 2.4 cm RRP: £27.50 (Hardcover)

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Recoding the Museum: Digital Heritage and the Technologies of Change

by Ross Parry (Author)

"Recoding the Museum" is a cultural reading of how 'new media' has coded the practices, aspirations and perceptions of the modern museum.

Through an historical approach, Ross Parry excavates cultural assumptions and values that provide the basis of museum information management and display, and that are still used to this day. The book analyzes topics such as digitization techniques, database management, virtual reality and hypermedia.

Parry resists models of technological determinism, passive media, and the notions of the museum as a constant institution transmitting knowledge, and instead predicates : that communication technologies are as formed (as they inform) society; that new media as a cultural product is an active contributor to any message it transmits; and that museums themselves are an adaptive medium that tend to be part of dynamic interactions with a diverse and active audience.

For students and professionals in the field, this is a hugely interesting and enlightening book full of ideas and arguments to make you think.

Product details

Hardcover: 192 pages Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (1 Sep 2007) Language English ISBN-10: 0415353874 ISBN-13: 978-0415353878 RRP: £65 (Hardcover) £22.99 (Papercover)

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