Destination Culture Tourism, Museums and Heritage

ISBN-10: 0520209664
ISBN-13: 9780520209664
Edition: 1998
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Description: Destination Culture takes the reader on an eye-opening journey from ethnological artifacts to kitsch. Posing the question, "What does it mean to show?" Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett explores the agency of display in a variety of settings: museums,  More...

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Book details

List price: $38.95
Copyright year: 1998
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 9/5/1998
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 346
Size: 7.00" wide x 10.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 2.134
Language: English

Destination Culture takes the reader on an eye-opening journey from ethnological artifacts to kitsch. Posing the question, "What does it mean to show?" Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett explores the agency of display in a variety of settings: museums, festivals, world's fairs, historical re-creations, memorials, and tourist attractions. She talks about how objects--and people--are made to "perform" their meaning for us by the very fact of being collected and exhibited, and about how specific techniques of display, not just the things shown, convey powerful messages. Her engaging analysis shows how museums compete with tourism in the production of "heritage." To make themselves profitable, museums are marketing themselves as tourist attractions. To make locations into destinations, tourism is staging the world as a museum of itself. Both promise to deliver heritage. Although heritage is marketed as something old, she argues that heritage is actually a new mode of cultural production that gives a second life to dying ways of life, economies, and places. The book concludes with a lively commentary on the "good taste/bad taste" debate in the ephemeral "museum of the life world," where everyone is a curator of sorts and the process of converting life into heritage begins.

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction
The Agency of Display
Objects of Ethnography
Exhibiting Jews
A Second Life as Heritage
Destination Museum
Ellis Island
Plimoth Plantation
Undoing the Ethnographic
Confusing Pleasures
Secrets of Encounter
Circulating Value
Disputing Taste
Notes
Index

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