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Paperback Reflections of a Culture Broker: A View from the Smithsonian Book

ISBN: 156098757X

ISBN13: 9781560987574

Reflections of a Culture Broker: A View from the Smithsonian

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

Drawing on his diverse experiences in producing exhibitions and public programs, the Smithsonian's Richard Kurin challenges culture brokers--museum professionals, filmmakers, journalists, festival producers, scholars, etc.--to reveal more clearly the nature of their interpretations. Kurin discusses the ethical and technical problems faced by anyone charged with representing culture in a public forum. 33 photos.

Customer Reviews

2 ratings

Fun and Informative

Reading this book you start to feel like you can predict what Kurin will say when faced with different situations. This is not a bad thing. What I mean is, you learn how he looks at his job as an anthropologist/ethnographer/broker of culture. The discussions of how the visiting teams and the American hosts had to overcome assumptions and produce accurate, honest, sensitive cultural events for the Smithsonian is really fascinating. We love Kurin from his first chapter (Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief) through the freedom he allows the Festival of India performers to transform the festival, into his head-butting with Soviet beaurocrats, and right to his conclusion when he discusses the future-- globalism, tourism, indigenous products, culture policy and more. Kurin is doing amazing work and I am thankful he found time to write this book and let us know about it.

Good Discussion of Public Folklore (and culture)

This book includes interesting essays on ways that cultural traditions are brokered in public programs and within academic research. The case studies are especially interesting and provide excellent ideas about major issues involved in coordinating public events. The chapters on the state of anthropology, the controversy over the Enola Gay exhibit, and the future development of public programs are especially strong. The writing will be useful to coordinators of events that display history, folklife, and culture to audiences, and the book will also appeal to anyone who attends festivals, concerts, museum exhibits, and other presentations of culture.
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