Disability in Museums: Then and now

Front cover of the book Representing Disability in Museums.Representing Disability in Museums: Imaginary and Identities is an e-book about how disability has been, and currently is, portrayed in museums. The aim of the publication is to show empathetic and ethical ways of representing difference in museums of all types.

Chapters cover the representation of disability in collections, the link between museums and disability, and cultural accessibility. The open access e-book comes from Europe where museums have a long history and play a large part in tourism activity. 

From the Introduction:

In recent years the representation of disability in museums has raised much interest among the academic community as a social group. However, disabled people remain sub-represented in museum narratives.

The discussion about the issues is regarded as an important way to better understand disability. In particular, its potential to gradually counteract forms of oppression and exclusion of disabled people in the museum context.

Integrating narratives on disability in museums’ shows how imagery has influenced the attitudes and social values towards disabled people. The ways disability is represented show how identities were subjected to discriminatory and exclusion practices.

The social function of the museum also refers to ways to deal with these shortcomings and has significant impacts both on the cultural approach to disability and on the construction of more positive identities which aim for the inclusion of disabled people in today’s society.

The title of the book is: Representing Disability in Museums: Imaginary and Identities; it is a 15MB PDF file.

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