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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Language, Community, and Translations: An Analysis of Current Multilingual Exhibition Practices among Art Museums in New York City
by Manzano, Raul, Ph.D., Union Institute and University, 2015, 175; 10060087
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation provides an analysis of current multilingual practices among art museums in New York City. This study is located within the current theoretical analysis of 1) museums as sites of cultural production and 2) the politics of language, interpretative material, and technology. This study demonstrates how new roles for museums embracing multilingual exhibitions and technology may signal new ways of learning and inclusion.

The first part is a theoretical-based approach. The second part consists of a mixed-method research design using qualitative and quantitative methods to create three different surveys: of museum staff, of the general public, and finally my observations of museum facilities and human subjects.

Multilingual exhibitions are complex and require changes at all levels in a museum's organizational structure. Access to museum resources can provide more specific data about language usage. The survey responses from 175 adults provides statistics on multilingual settings and its complexity. The survey responses from 5 museums reveals the difficulty, and benefits, of dealing with this topic. Visual observations at 36 museums indicate that visitors pay attention to interpretative material, while production cost, space, and qualified linguistic staff are concerns for museums. Technology is a breakthrough in multilingual offerings, for it can help democratize a museum's culture to build stronger cultural community connections.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Richard-Allerdyce, Diane
School: Union Institute and University
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-A 77/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Fine arts, Language, Museum studies
Keywords: Cultural Identity, Diversity, Minorities, Monolingual, Multiculturalism, Representation
Publication Number: 10060087
ISBN: 978-1-339-56859-1
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