Welcome to my blog! For the past five years, I have been a museum educator, passionate about youth empowerment, social justice, and applying a critical eye on museum external and internal practices. While I love my current career in the day-to-day practice of museum work and youth programming, in 2018 I hope to begin making my way back to academia. I hope having a public forum for engaging with academic texts for the first time in years will build my confidence and help me focus on my interests as I begin the road of exploring graduate programs, scholars I’d like to work with, and ideas that excite me.
Even before I began exploring a career in museums, I was always interested in the intersections of critical theory and museum work. I double-majored in History and English, and for the majority of my college career, I either held fellowships or part-time jobs in museums. I remember reading Barthes, Baudrillard, Sontag for my English classes and being astonished at how these texts related to my work and my practical field, while also recognizing that once I graduated, I wouldn’t have time in my day-to-day or a community of learners with which I could fully parse these texts out with. Now with a few more years of practical experience, I see how these texts relate even more fully, and I see an even bigger disconnect between how the practical field of public history and museum work is disconnected from the critical theory of public memory surrounding our existence.
My goal with this blog is simple: over the next year, I will be reading new books and re-reading the books on my shelf devoted to memory (particularly the memory of war), and writing reviews of these work that relate them to ongoing issues within the museum field. I will use tags to organize my work, but because this is a personal project I will be working my way through a list in no particular order. I will also be doing exhibit reviews, fiction reviews, film and TV reviews, etc. that relate to my reading.
I’ll be starting off with a Viet Thanh Nguyen nonfiction book, and hope to be tackling critical theory, museum theory books, exhibits and fiction throughout this journey. Thanks for joining me! Please feel free to suggest any new books, ideas, or topics and I’d be happy to explore!
Bias disclaimer: I am a White, liberal, millennial museum professional and grew up in a White, conservative, suburban household. My in-laws are Cambodian, and that provided a point of reference to some of the texts I’ll be exploring this year. I am constantly working on myself and working to educate myself but if there are areas where I can do better in this, please feel free to call them out.