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.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Make no mistake, museums are political

In a tragic display of how charged certain kinds of museum subject matter are for some people, an 88-year-old white supremacist opened fire in the US Holocaust Museum in Washington today. Both he and the security guard he aimed at are in hospital with injuries. No visitors were hurt, and no artefacts were damaged.

It takes incidents like this to remind me that museology isn't just about "pushing dust around," as my mother says - museums are lightning rods for socio-cultural views. I'm just sad that instead of the Enlightenment dream of presenting and debating things reasonably and with evidence, this man decided to take the violent way.

2 comments:

Amy said...

Indeed.

Have just seen on the news that the security guard has died.

J said...

Yes, and apparently the shooter did time in 1981 for opening fire at the Federal Reserve Building (he was mad about interest rates); next stop, White House, so I'm glad he was stopped.