Museums, Emotion, and Memory Culture examines the politics of emotion in history museums, combining approaches and concerns from museum, heritage and memory studies, anthropology and studies of emotion. Exploring the meanings and politics of memory contests in Turkey, a site for complex negotiations of identity, the book asks what it means for museums to charge the past with political agendas through spectacular, emotive representations.
Providing an in-depth examination of emotional practice in two Turkish museums that present contrasting representations of the national past, the book analyses relationships between memory, governmentality, identity, and emotion. The museums discussed celebrate Ottoman and Early Republican pasts, linking to geo- and party politics, people's senses of who they are, popular memory culture, and competing national stories and identities vis-a-vis Europe and the wider world. Both museums use dramatic, emotive panoramas as key displays and the research at the heart of this book explores this seemingly anachronistic choice, and how it links with memory cultures to prompt visitors to engage imaginatively, socially, politically and morally with a particular version of the past.
Although the book focuses on museums in Turkey, it uses this as a platform to address broader questions about memory culture, emotion, and identity. As such, Museums and Memory Culture should be of great interest to academics and students around the world who are engaged in the study of museums, heritage, culture, history, politics, anthropology, sociology, and the psychology of emotion.