Race-ing the Museum

A group of University of Pittsburgh faculty and students interested in the intersection of race, objects, collections, and museums

In our far from post-racial world, collecting institutions are not immune to the pressures of demographic change and urgent new campaigns for racial justice

Famous European museums are altering the titles of art works to eliminate demeaning terms; Confederate monuments are being dismantled in public space and sent to history museums for storage; museums across the U.S. are scrambling to shed their image as bastions of privilege and to diversify their audiences and supporters.

How have museums, as collections and as institutions, created, supported, or challenged constructions of race and racial identity?  How are museums and their objects implicated in the history of slavery, indigenous peoples, and race relations?  How have museums represented and interpreted these issues?  How can and should their collections tell different stories?  What can museums  and allied institutions in academia and the public sector  do to combat white privilege, and to become more inclusive in their institutional structures and their audiences?