Friday, December 21, 2007

Articles requested for book on gender and museums

Articles requested for book on gender and museums

Deadline: April 15, 2008

I am collecting articles for a reader on gender in museums. Topics to be covered include (but are not limited to): representations of gays and lesbians in historic sites; careers for women in museums; gender and collecting; museum definitions of sex and gender; women’s museums; museums’ representations of rape and other forms of gendered violence; exhibits on sexuality; women in museum education; gender and museum audiences; museum exhibits on human reproduction. Preference will be given to articles combining a theoretical perspective with examples from US institutions. Articles focusing solely on representations of women in art works will not be accepted because of the abundance of published scholarship on this topic.
The history of women and museums is long and complex, beginning with the opening of the great European museums in the nineteenth century. As described in visitors’ accounts, novels, and other texts, museums offered some of the few public sites where respectable women could appear. Even as women engaged in spectatorship in the early museums, they found themselves objects of contemplation as the subjects of paintings and sculptures. In the twentieth-century, women became active in museum work, but remained under-represented in the ranks of curators and museum administrators. In contrast, while individuals who are gay, lesbian, or bisexual have gained prominence as museum employees, their lives and experiences have generally been invisible in history and art museum exhibits.

While a number of published articles and several books focus on women in museums, there has been no recent anthology on this topic, so current research remains scattered. Moreover, no book has concentrated on issues of sexual orientation in museums. I therefore plan to gather outstanding articles published in the past ten years as well as new essays focusing on these topics. Articles should be written for an audience of scholars and advanced students.

Amy Levin
Reavis 103
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115