Inclusive Object Toolkit
Diversity and inclusion has become a byword in universities and museums. How might we apply such thinking to the ways we research and present objects? This toolkit sets cultural canons and canonicity as a problem, and examines the pressures these exert on academic disciplines and curatorial practices. It shares the perspectives and questions of museum visitors as well as undergraduate students. And it highlights efforts and experiments in the academy and the museum to build more critical cultural narratives.
Funded by a Teaching Innovation Grant from the Center for Educational Resources (CER), this toolkit was created to spark conversation in collections-based teaching and learning, offer historical background to some of the practices that both museums and academic disciplines take for granted, and share a variety of perspectives on them. The toolkit also includes a repository of case studies that all are welcome to replicate or re-use. It is far from comprehensive. Please contact email@example.com if you have content to share/add to the toolkit.
Terms and Terminology
- Taboo Incluseum EditionIn 2015 the Incluseum published a special edition of Taboo that focuses on words commonly used in diversity/inclusion talk that are highly coded based on context and association and whose meanings are often more implied than explicitly articulated. Play a round!
Communities of Practice
- MASS Action"Museum as a site for social action". A platform for public dialogues on a variety of topics and issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion. Includes a Toolkit first published in 2017.
- Museum HueAn arts platform for people of color. Offers tours and courses as well.
- Museums and Race: Transformation and JusticeA movement to challenge and re-imagine institutional policies and systems that perpetuate oppressions in museums. Includes a blog and reading resources.
- The IncluseumThe Incluseum blogs about all topics connected to inclusion in museums.
- Visitors of Color TumblrOffers perspectives on museums from people of various marginalized communities.
Unpacking Social Exclusion and Social Justice in the Museum
Step 1: Consider Richard Sandell's Typology of Social Exclusion in the Museum (image below). Make a list of which museum resources are implicated in each category
Step 2: Make a list of existing museum initiatives that respond to each category of exclusion
Step 3: Imagine how you might take this farther
Step 4: Check the slideshow for a model!
- Social Justice & Museums ResourceCrowdsourced project; Initiated and edited by La Tanya S. Autry, @artstuffmatters, July 2015
Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko gives a TED talk on decolonizing the museum.
- Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang, "Decolonization is Not a Metaphor," Indigeneity, Education and Society 1.1 (2012): 1-40.Tuck and Yang remind readers that decolonization is about the repatriation of indigenous land and things. We should be careful about using it as a metaphor for improving society. This links to a pdf of Tuck and Yang's article.
- How to Visit an Art Museum - A GuideSome of the topics covered include how to
- prepare for a museum visit;
- explore different areas of the museum;
- engage with the objects and exhibits on display;
- share thoughts about the museum visit with others;
- reflect on the experience of the visit and consider how it contributes to an understanding of art, art history, and art’s broader relationship to society.