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Artifacts and AllegiancesHow Museums Put the Nation and the World on Display$
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Peggy Levitt

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780520286061

Published to California Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520286061.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Artifacts and Allegiances

Peggy Levitt

University of California Press

This book examines how museums create diverse communities both within and beyond their borders. Drawing on first-hand conversations with curators, policy makers, academics, museum directors, and educators in seven cities around the world between 2009 and 2013, the book looks at the kinds of citizens that museums are creating. It also considers how nationalism and cosmopolitanism get intertwined in museums in different cities and nations, and especially how the tension between globalism and nationalism plays out outside the West. By profiling art museums, ethnographic museums, constituency museums (institutions that focus on particular groups), and cultural history museums, the book highlights different stances along the nationalism–globalism spectrum. It argues that cultural institutions do not compete but instead fall along a continuum of cosmopolitan nationalism whose two constantly changing parts mutually inform and transform each other.

Keywords:   museums, nationalism, cosmopolitanism, cultural institutions, globalism, citizens, curators, museum directors, cosmopolitanism, nationalism

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