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Democratising the Museum

Reflections on Participatory Technologies

Pille Runnel and Pille Pruulmann-Vengerfeldt

Democratising the museum is a collection of articles reflecting upon the problem of how participation, technologically mediated or not, can support the museum in the process of becoming more accessible. The open museum shares power with its visitors while negotiating professionalism and the role of the museum in a modern society. The book looks at the roles and struggles of audiences/visitors and professionals and the role of digital technologies in supporting the participatory museum. While different chapters draw on a variety of empirical examples, the main analytical backbone of the book comes from an extended participatory action research study conducted at the Estonian National Museum. This book aims at both academics and professionals working in the museum field.
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Agnes Aljas is a research secretary at the Estonian National Museum and a PhD student at the Institute of Social Studies, University of Tartu. Her PhD research focuses on changes in the concept of culture. Currently, she is participating as a researcher in the following research projects: “Changing Cultural Dispositions of Estonians through Four Decades: from the 1970s to the Present Time”, “Developing Museum Communication in the 21st Century Information Environment”, and “Actual Complexity of Cultural Communication and Methodological Challenges of Cultural Research”.

Nico Carpentier (PhD) is Associate Professor at the Communication Studies Department at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB – Free University of Brussels) and Lecturer at Charles University in Prague. His theoretical focus is on discourse theory; his research interests are situated in the relationship between the media, journalism, politics and culture, focussing on social domains such as war and conflict, ideology, participation and democracy.

Krista Lepik (PhD) is a lecturer at the Institute of Social Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences and Education, University of Tartu. Her research interests cover governmentality and cultural participation in museums and libraries, and information literacy education in an academic environment.

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