Plantation to Nation: Caribbean Museums and National Identity explores the evolution of Caribbean museums from colonial-era institutions that supported imperialistic goals to today's museums that aim to recover submerged or marginalized histories, assert national identities and celebrate cultural diversity. This book is the first to focus on the growth and development of Caribbean museums and museology, to address museums across the region regardless of nation or language, and to allow for much-needed discourse on their evolution. Museologists from across the region and internationally address the challenges faced by museums in the Caribbean, both historically and in the contemporary setting.
Museums in Human Development attempts to answer four inter-related questions: What is happening to our world? Why is it happening? How can we think about and understand these first two questions? What are some solutions to the challenges posed by contemporary modernity? Museums in Human Development is a sweeping review of global trends and risks, a summary of approaches to understanding these trends, a study of civil society and those UN systems that incorporate heritage, sustainability, human rights, and distributive and cultural equity. It argues that cultural institutions, in particular museums, can provide the vectors of positive, transformative change for a world in crisis. New museology as a principle and the ecomuseum as a site share much in common with other inter-disciplinary approaches, such as urban planning and health promotion, which are approaches that respond to human necessities and the human condition in fair, consensual, flexible, sustainable, and creative ways. In the future—in a world that is increasingly urban, crowded, conflicted, resource poor, and where cultures, people, and faiths encounter each other as never before—museums can be sites of collective, democratic decision making, where information is sublimated into knowledge, global problems are faced at the local level, and the dehumanised is rehumanised.
This book draws on the experiences of the author as the director of the Cobb+Co Museum in Toowoomba, Australia since its opening in 1987. It charts the changing dynamics between the museum and its community that have provided enormous benefits to both the institution and the community itself. The engagement process and subsequent outcomes between museums and their stakeholder communities are often neglected by both practitioners and academics. Much has been written and spoken about the need for museums to engage with and be responsive to their communities, but many museums, in practice, still remain indifferent to their key stakeholders. Museums can play substantial leadership roles within communities. This occurs when the relationship between the museum and its community becomes entrenched with shared values. These values can facilitate social, cultural, and economic benefits for both museums and their communities. This book explores these values and their expression within a regional museum context.