Toward a pedagogy of feeling: understanding how museums create a space for cross-cultural encounters

Witcomb, Andrea 2015, Toward a pedagogy of feeling: understanding how museums create a space for cross-cultural encounters. In Witcomb, Andrea and Message, Kylie (ed), Museum theory, Wiley, Chichester, Eng, pp.321-344, doi: 10.1002/978118829059.wbihms116.

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Title Toward a pedagogy of feeling: understanding how museums create a space for cross-cultural encounters
Author(s) Witcomb, AndreaORCID iD for Witcomb, Andrea
Title of book Museum theory
Editor(s) Witcomb, AndreaORCID iD for Witcomb, Andrea
Message, Kylie
Publication date 2015
Series The international handbooks of museum studies
Chapter number 16
Total chapters 25
Start page 321
End page 344
Total pages 23
Publisher Wiley
Place of Publication Chichester, Eng
Keyword(s) Museum Theory
Museum Studies
pedagogy of feeling
cross-cultural encounters
terrible gift
Summary In this chapter I engage with two developments – a growing understanding that citizenship involves political activity on the part of citizens in the public sphere and that affective relationships are an important aspect of this activity – to engage with the increasing use of affective interpretation strategies within exhibitions. I argue that the use of these strategies can be understood as the beginning of a new moment in museological practice that is concerned not so much with finding ways to become more pluralistic in who is represented within museums but with building opportunities for cross-cultural encounters in ways that question established relationships between self and other. I call this new moment “a pedagogy of feeling,” marking it as distinctive from both “a pedagogy of walking,” a term used by Tony Bennett to encapsulate the specific exhibition strategies that supported evolutionary narratives, and “a pedagogy of listening,” which I suggest marks the moment when exhibition practices were concerned with finding ways to increase the number of voices found in museum exhibitions as part of a civic program to encourage greater degrees of tolerance. Central to a pedagogy of feeling is, I argue, the idea of a “terrible gift” (as Roger Simon calls it), which is enacted through an exhibition syntax that uses a wide variety of affective or sensorial interpretation strategies.
ISBN 9781118829059
Language eng
DOI 10.1002/978118829059.wbihms116
Field of Research 210204 Museum Studies
Socio Economic Objective 950303 Conserving Collections and Movable Cultural Heritage
HERDC Research category B1 Book chapter
Grant ID DP120100594
Copyright notice ©2015, Wiley
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