Decolonizing Museum Interpretations of the “Other”:
Principles for Applying Folklore Lenses to the Liminal Aspects of Educative Museum Pedagogies Cover Image
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Деколонизиране на музейните интерпретации на „Другия“: принципи на прилагане на фолклорната перспектива към лиминалните аспекти на музейната педагогика
Decolonizing Museum Interpretations of the “Other”: Principles for Applying Folklore Lenses to the Liminal Aspects of Educative Museum Pedagogies

Author(s): Maureen Porter
Subject(s): Anthropology, Social Sciences, Museology & Heritage Studies, Customs / Folklore, Library and Information Science, Cultural Anthropology / Ethnology, Culture and social structure
Published by: Институт за етнология и фолклористика с Етнографски музей при БАН
Keywords: Liminality; Educative experiences; Curation; Voice; Decolonization

Summary/Abstract: Moving beyond colonial relationships between Europeans, North Americans, and their “Others” requires that museum leaders decolonize their praxis. We need educative pedagogies that bring us into constructive dialogues and mutually respectful relationships, whether with previously colonized subjects, fellow citizens of other ethnicities, or with refugees of global diasporas. We need to create dynamic spaces, even though these liminal places of encounter may be fraught with challenges and risks. Folklore Studies offer important entry points for decolonizing museum interpretations. Prominent among these is the importance of recognizing and fostering liminal spaces for educative encounters. Ethnological museums that showcase folklore, whether from local, national, or world cultures, are pivotal institutions in this endeavor. This conceptual essay presents four guiding principles that I have distilled from years of systematic ethnographic research in Germany and Belgium. I offer vignettes from four museums to illustrate how the principles of dissenting, deconstructing, displaying, and deconstructing can foster best practices.

  • Issue Year: 2020
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 505-529
  • Page Count: 25
  • Language: Bulgarian