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No Homo?: Heteronormativity and LGBTQ content in London Art Museums
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of ALM.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
No Homo? : Heteronormativitet och HBTQ på konstmuseer i London (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

Purpose - This thesis investigates how London art museums work to deconstruct heteronormative filters. The aim is to study how museums relate to LGBTQ content, and the influence of internal power structures. I have chosen to focus on the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Wallace Collection, and the British Museum. 

Method - To answer my questions, I interview eight individuals who work with LGBTQ content in museums. I am also doing some activity-based observations during several LGBT History month events.

Analysis - The qualitative data collected through interviews and observations will be analyzed and presented in case studies. I apply an intersectional perspective, and a critical theoretical method, encompassing queer theory.

Findings - The findings show that museums are slowly incorporating more LGBTQ content and perspectives. This may be due to changing social norms as well as a conscious effort to address various target audiences to diversify visitor demographics. The current focus is on visibility. Ideally, this will encourage updating terminol- ogy in databases and galleries, staff training, policies explicitly supporting LGBTQ content and LGBTQ staff, increased online presence, publications, and community co-creation, to name some aspects. Museums still think of LGBTQ interpretation as optional. People often work with these efforts in their spare time. Increasingly, the legacy of these events is being evaluated, as well as how museum terminology can become more inclusive. There are no coordinated efforts shared by the museums, but they often look to each other for inspiration. 

Originality/value - Previous research on LGBTQ museum projects has not evaluated their legacy. There hasn't been any particular focus on LGBTQ perspectives in art museums. I am taking into account aspects of gender and queer theory, discussing the act of labelling as a means to exercise power through language.

Paper type - Two years master's thesis in Archive, Library and Museum studies. 

Abstract [sv]

Syfte - Syftet med denna uppsats är att undersöka och jämföra de insatser som tre konstmuseum i London, Stor- britannien, gör för att dekonstruera heteronormativa filter. Målet är att observera hur olika museum jobbar med HBTQ som tema och innehåll. Jag studerar vem det är som initierar normkritiska projekt på museerna, samt de maktstrukturer som projekten anpassar sig efter.

Metod - Jag intervjuar åtta individer som på olika sätt jobbar med HBTQ på museum. Därtill företar jag mig ett antal aktivitetsbaserade observationer.

Analys - De kvalitativa data som insamlats genom intervjuer och observationer analyseras utifrån ett intersek- tionellt perspektiv. Teori och metod inspireras även av kritisk kulturteori samt queerteori.

Resultat - Resultaten visar bland annat att samhälleliga förändringar och besökarfokus öppnar upp för HBTQ- teman på museer. Synlighet ligger för närvarande i fokus. Detta kan utvecklas till arbete med t.ex. normkritisk personalutbildning, uppdaterade museipolicydokument som inkluderar HBTQ-fokus och skyddar HBTQ- personal, mer inklusiva etiketter och databaser, samt medskapande i dialog med olika sociokulturella grupper. 

Värde - Tidigare forskning fokuserar på teoretiska utgångspunkter, och har sällan utvärderat existerande HBTQ- museumprojekt. Konstmuseum och HBTQ har inte heller specifikt utvärderats utifrån ett normkri- tiskt/intersektionellt perspektiv som involverar kritisk teori och queerteoretiska aspekter.

Typ av uppsats - Tvåårig masteruppsats inom Arkiv-, biblioteks-, samt musei- och kulturarvsvetenskap. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 79 p.
Uppsatser inom musei- & kulturarvsvetenskap, ISSN 1651-6079 ; 107
Keyword [en]
LGBTQ, Sexual minorities, National museums, Art museums, Normativity, History month
Keyword [sv]
HBTQ, normer, konstmuseer, museisamlingar
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-296455Local ID: 107OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-296455DiVA: diva2:938437
Subject / course
Museum and Cultural Heritage Studies
Educational program
Master Programme in ALM
Available from: 2016-06-17 Created: 2016-06-16 Last updated: 2016-06-17Bibliographically approved

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