Post-modernising the museum: the ration shed

Smith, Carly (2014) Post-modernising the museum: the ration shed. Historical Encounters: A Journal of Historical Consciousness, Historical Cultures, and History Education, 1 (1). pp. 32-49. ISSN 2203-7543

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The application of postmodern critical theory to the essentially modernist construct of the museum has significantly impacted the role of the contemporary museum within society. This article briefly describes the movement toward a ‘new museology’ and the subsequent emergence of the ‘post-museum’. It then presents a case study of the Ration Shed Museum in the historical precinct of Cherbourg, Queensland, as an example of this new ‘post-museum’. Through its application of postmodern critical theory, the Ration Shed Museum has détourned the construct of the modernist museum and applied its cultural logics in order to meet the specific needs of its local community. This museum presents a history previously overlooked by western grand narratives and offers insight into a contemporary local indigenous community on its own terms. It presents a public pedagogy where the agency of both the viewer and the museum itself is embraced, and promotes active engagement – a form of dialogue – between the viewer, the community and the museum’s curators.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © Author | This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Linguistics, Adult and Specialist Education
Date Deposited: 08 Aug 2014 08:41
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2017 06:22
Uncontrolled Keywords: museums, museology, post-museum, postmodernism, Cherbourg QLD
Fields of Research : 20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200211 Postcolonial Studies
21 History and Archaeology > 2102 Curatorial and Related Studies > 210204 Museum Studies
21 History and Archaeology > 2102 Curatorial and Related Studies > 210299 Curatorial and Related Studies not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9503 Heritage > 950302 Conserving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage
C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9599 Other Cultural Understanding > 959999 Cultural Understanding not elsewhere classified
C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950503 Understanding Australia's Past

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