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Culture as Curriculum

Education and the International Expositions (1876-1904)


Eugene F. Provenzo, Jr.

The great International Expositions of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries brought together the world's political, intellectual, and industrial leaders for the exchange of information and ideas. They also promoted specific cultural values and belief systems. In this book, Eugene F. Provenzo, Jr. looks specifically at the educational exhibits at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition, the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, and the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition. In doing so, he demonstrates how the educational exhibits functioned as critical transfer points for the exchange of educational ideas and innovations between Europe, Asia, and the United States. In addition, he examines how many of the exhibits reflected a dominant Western hegemony and racist assumptions about the superiority of Western culture and education.