Exhibiting the German Past: Museums, Film, and Musealization

Edited by Peter M. McIsaac and Gabriele Mueller

© 2015

While scholars recognize both museums and films as sites where historical knowledge and cultural memory are created, the convergence between their methods of constructing the past has only recently been acknowledged. The essays in Exhibiting the German Past examine a range of films, museums, and experiences which blend the two, considering how authentic objects and cinematic techniques are increasingly used in similar ways by both visual media and museums.

This is the first collection to focus on the museum–film connection in German-language culture and the first to approach the issue using the concept of “musealization,” a process that, because it engages the cultural destruction wrought by modernization, offers new means of constructing historical knowledge and shaping collective memory within and beyond the museum’s walls. Featuring a wide range of valuable case studies, Exhibiting the German Past offers a unique perspective on the developing relationship between museums and visual media.

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Product Details

  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 312 pages
  • Illustrations: 12
  • Dimensions: 6.4in x 1.1in x 9.3in
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SKU# SP003954

  • PUBLISHED AUG 2015

    From: $46.50

    Regular Price: $62.00

    ISBN 9781442649651
  • PUBLISHED SEP 2015

    From: $46.50

    Regular Price: $62.00

Quick Overview

Featuring a wide range of valuable case studies, Exhibiting the German Past offers a unique perspective on the developing relationship between museums and visual media.

Exhibiting the German Past: Museums, Film, and Musealization

Edited by Peter M. McIsaac and Gabriele Mueller

© 2015

While scholars recognize both museums and films as sites where historical knowledge and cultural memory are created, the convergence between their methods of constructing the past has only recently been acknowledged. The essays in Exhibiting the German Past examine a range of films, museums, and experiences which blend the two, considering how authentic objects and cinematic techniques are increasingly used in similar ways by both visual media and museums.

This is the first collection to focus on the museum–film connection in German-language culture and the first to approach the issue using the concept of “musealization,” a process that, because it engages the cultural destruction wrought by modernization, offers new means of constructing historical knowledge and shaping collective memory within and beyond the museum’s walls. Featuring a wide range of valuable case studies, Exhibiting the German Past offers a unique perspective on the developing relationship between museums and visual media.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 312 pages
  • Illustrations: 12
  • Dimensions: 6.4in x 1.1in x 9.3in
  • Reviews

    ‘Illuminating and fully researched essays… Highly Recommended.’


    B. W. Vetruba
    Choice Magazine vol 53:11:2016

    ‘This is one of the most cohesive collection of essays I have ever read… The essays all speak to each other, not only through parenthetical references but by engaging with many of the recurring themes… The book does a favor to future scholarship by illuminating how enriching further investigation could be.’


    Alexandria M. Hill
    German Studies Review vol 40:03:2017

    Exhibiting the German Past is an important contribution to a developing field that situates museums in relation to audio-visual media. I found this to be a really valuable collection of interesting and informative essays. There are many highlights and the contributors all provide excellent insight into current research in this interdisciplinary field."


    Michelle Henning, School of Arts and Media, University of Brighton
  • Author Information

    Peter M. McIsaac is an associate professor in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures and the Museum Studies Program at the University of Michigan.

    Gabriele Mueller is an associate professor of German Studies in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics at York University.
  • Table of contents

    Introduction (Peter M. McIsaac and Gabriele Mueller)

    1. The “Museal Gaze” and “Civic Seeing”: City, Film and Museum in Wim Wenders’ Der Himmel über Berlin (Simon Ward)

    2. Refracted Memory: Museums, Film, and Visual Culture in Urban Space (Mark W. Rectanus)

    3. Nikolaus Geyrhalter’s Unser täglich Brot: Preservation, the Food Industry, and the Interrogation of Visual Evidence (Alice Kuzniar)

    4. The Concealed Curator: Constructed Authenticity in Uli Edel’s Der Baader-Meinhof Komplex (Catriona Firth)

    5. Remembering and Historicizing Socialism: The Private and Amateur Musealization of East Germany’s Everyday Life (Anne Winkler)

    6. Object Lessons: Visuality and Tactility in Museums of the Socialist Everyday (Jonathan Bach)

    7. Historical Museum Meets Docu-Drama: The Recipient’s Experiential Involvement in the Second World War (Stephan Jaeger)

    8. Between Education and Entertainment: Visual Musealizations of the Nazi Past in Harlan—Im Schatten von Jud Süß (2008) & Jud Süß—Film ohne Gewissen (2009/2010) (Annika Orich and Florentine Strzelczyk)

    9. Moving Statues: Arthur Grimm, The “Entartete Kunst” Exhibition, and Installation Photography as Standfotografie (Kathryn M. Floyd)

    10. “In a Hundred Years of Cinema ...”: History and Musealization in Harun Farocki’s Arbeiter verlassen die Fabrik in elf Jahrzehnten (Workers Leaving the Factory in Eleven Decades, 2006) (Christine Sprengler)

    11. Sex on Display: Sexual Science and the Exhibition PopSex! (Michael Thomas Taylor and Annette F. Timm)

    12. Spaces in Motion and Cinematic Experiences: The Permanent Exhibition Film of the Deutsche Kinemathek—Museum für Film und Fernsehen (Museum for Film and Television) (Peter Mänz)