Place, identity and migration and European museums

Whitehead, C., Mason, R., Eckersley, S. and Lloyd, K. (2015) Place, identity and migration and European museums. In: Whitehead, C., Eckersley, S., Lloyd, K. and Mason, R. (eds.) Museums, Migration and Identity in Europe: Peoples, Places and Identities. Ashgate: Farnham, Surrey, pp. 7-60. ISBN 9781472425188

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.

Publisher's URL:


One major contention of this book and of the research that we have undertaken for the MeLa project is that place is a fundamental epistemological structure and referent within museums. This initial chapter draws on our research into European museum representations of place as well as providing an initial sense of some of the qualitative research into staff and visitor perspectives. The chapter is in three parts. We will offer some theoretical resources for understanding place within museums: (1) as a force within identity work; (2) as something inextricably connected with temporality; and (3) as an entity made manifest in material objects in museums. We also discuss the scales of place representations, from global to local and ‘multi-geographical’, involving a discussion of the nature of historical representation in museums and the significance of place for the construction of history more generally. This corresponds loosely to the thematic structuring of our research in clusters, including ‘Placing the Nation’, ‘European Cities and their Others’ and ‘Peoples, Borders, Movements’, articulating different ways of representing place and place identities in museums. Finally, we make suggestions for rethinking contemporary museum practice, with particular regard to issues around migration and its discursive configuration relative to ideas such as multiculturalism, exchange, solidarity and belonging.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Lloyd, Dr Katherine
Authors: Whitehead, C., Mason, R., Eckersley, S., and Lloyd, K.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Information Studies

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record