Traveling Histories: Tourism and Transnationalism in the US and South Africa Open Access

Melton, Sarah Van Horn (2017)

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In this study, I seek to better understand the resonances of local and global histories of oppression, segregation, and violence. Through a multi-sited ethnography of three museums in the US and South Africa--the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, the Apartheid Museum, and the District Six Museum--I ask four main questions: 1) How do these histories travel, and how are they changed in new contexts?; 2) How do specific exhibition strategies mediate and express particular interpretations of complex and violent histories of race and segregation?; 3) How do the pressures and realities of a global system of cultural tourism affect these exhibitionary strategies and visitor interpretations of sites?; and 4) How do these sites challenge or uphold the category of museum?

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Chapter 1

Toyi-toying in Birmingham: The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute 44

Chapter 2

The Apartheid Museum: Making a Global Tourism Site 89

Chapter 3

Curating and Contesting at the District Six Museum 143

Conclusion 187

Bibliography 204

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