Vinsamlegast notið þetta auðkenni þegar þið vitnið til verksins eða tengið í það: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/16506
The issues discussed in the paper concern contentious issues in museums, including taboo subjects, revisionist histories, political, and social controversies.
This thesis discusses and examines the role controversies play in contemporary museums. The thesis reflects upon such questions as: Where does controversy belong in museums today; Are modern museums exclusive and socially divisive institutions of canonical truth and cultural authority or non-elite, inclusive and community-focused sites; The role of culture wars in the emergence of contentiousness in the previously sacred places? There are several factors to account for emergence of controversy in today’s museums. Political, economic and social pressures underlie the controversy in museums and overlapping issues impinge on museums as they engage with contentious subjects. Museums have to tackle with different constraints, difficulties and challenges while inviting contentiousness into their space. The effect of controversy could not be always predicted. Museum professionals have to redefine their institutions into places that promote an egalitarian approach and respect for different groups. The thesis examines different kinds of controversy and the reasons museums willingly or unwillingly turn towards exhibiting contentious topics today. Museums have an impact on communities and bear the responsibility towards communities they serve. The role of museums as mediators of social, cultural and political messages cannot be ignored.
This thesis is based on literary sources and open-ended interviews with five former and current museum professionals who reflect different perspectives on the nature of controversy, the ways to deal with controversy, and whether controversy is inevitable or an inherent result of the contemporary museums practice.
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