(National) History Museums in the 21st Century




Registration required!

The National Mall is the museum mile of the U.S. capital, Washington, D. C. In the immediate vicinity of the halls of government and numerous monuments are located the national history museums, almost all of which belong to the Smithsonian Institute, the largest museum complex in the world. Only one of the institutions focuses on American history as such, whereas the other (more successful) museums deal with specific aspects or individual groups.


We will examine the past and present of selected museums and explore the following questions: What political interests were behind the founding of the museums? What role did they play in their beginnings as venues for negotiating (national) identity? What effect has a changing historical and cultural policy had on the development of the collections and the schedule of exhibitions and events? What do the permanent collections say about the self-image of the institutions? How do they deal with the topic of genocide and trauma or victimhood and perpetrators? Who are the authors of the narratives and who are their target groups? What social responsibilities do those in charge currently regard as the most urgent? Are there perhaps new topics that are shaping the daily practice and identity of the museums? Where does the future of these institutions lie from a historical and museological perspective?


The event will centre on an analysis of the following institutions: National Museum of American History, National Portrait Gallery, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, National Museum of the American Indian, National Museum of African American History and Culture and Anacostia Community Museum. Our tours and discussions will be guided by local museum experts.







Washington, D.C. (USA)



250 €, reduced price 200 €


Registration and info
Museumsakademie Joanneum
T +43 (0) 316/8017-9805, Fax -9808


Please register via e-mail or fax. 

Museumsakademie Joanneum

Sackstraße 16
8010 Graz, Österreich
T +43-664/8017-9537