Museums Connect: Teaching Public History through Transnational Museum Partnerships

Richard J. W. Harker

Abstract


Museums Connect is a program funded by the US Department of State and administered by the American Alliance of Museums that sponsors transnational museum partnerships. This program provides one model for teaching public history in a transnational context, and this article analyzes the experiences of two university-museums—the Museum of History and Holocaust Education (MHHE) in the United States and the Ben M’sik Community Museum (BMCM) in Morocco—during two grants between 2009 and 2012. In exploring the impact of the program on the staff, faculty, and students involved and by analyzing the experiences and reflections of participants, I argue that this program can generate positive pedagogical experiences. However, in addition to the successes of the MHHE and BMCM during their two grants, the participants encountered significant power differentials that manifested themselves in both the processes and products of the grants. It is the conclusion of this article that both partners in a public history project need to address and confront potential power issues at the outset in order to achieve a more balanced, collaborative partnership.


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References

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5130/phrj.v22i0.4753

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