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Dr. Jenna C Ashton is a researcher, writer, curator and artist working in the areas of heritage, archives, visual culture and the arts.
She specializes in women’s cultural heritage, spatial agency and activism, and participatory practices – intersecting with disciplines of art history, sociology, health, and geography. Her work is concerned with developing and evidencing methodologies of inclusive representation and heritage participation which support policy advocacy and social change for women and girls internationally.
Jenna holds an MA and PhD in Art History and Visual Studies from the University of Manchester.
She is Creative Director and Founder of Digital Women’s Archive North [DWAN], an arts and heritage organization supporting women and girls to identify, collect, disseminate and celebrate their cultural heritage through arts and digital interventions.
Her roles also include Global Cultural Fellow with the Institute for International Cultural Relations, Edinburgh University; Honorary Research Fellow in Sociology, University of Manchester; and curatorial advisor and research partner on women’s histories, arts and activism with the National Trust.
Katy Ashton | Director, People’s History Museum, Manchester
The breadth and depth of contributions from individuals and institutions in Feminism and Museums is engaging, inspiring and challenging. The task for us all is to read, to reflect and to respond. We need to continue to build on the thinking and the work that has come before, what is happening now and to do even more in the future – to be more ambitious, to shout louder and to involve more people in the discussion and debate. Our sector has so many opportunities to explore feminism through art and culture – let’s use this collection to inspire us all to do more!
Micol Hebron | Artist, Curator and Associate Professor, Chapman University, Southern California
From birth-rites to sex rights, cyberfeminism to the space of the woman’s body, post-structuralism to social practice, intimacy to institutional critique, Feminism and Museums offers a complex and comprehensive examination of the global issues affecting women in the arts and beyond. It serves to both rewrite and refocus museum studies through the much needed lens of women’s histories, but also provides a roadmap for moving forward in culture and society in a more integrated, intersectional, and conscientious way than we have seen before. This book should be required reading for all arts programmes – studio art, art history, and curatorial studies alike.
Jenni Sorkin | Associate Professor, History of Art & Architecture, University of California, Santa Barbara
Feminism and Museums is a behemoth enterprise that provides global context and case studies for the perseverance and strength of feminist art making, programming, and interventions that work against the structural inequities of cultural organizations, museums, and spaces worldwide. The importance of these two volumes transmits the continuity of a profound commitment to diversity, inclusivity, and representation that has been largely pioneered by women cultural workers everywhere.
Lara Perry | Principal Lecturer and Programme Lead, History of Art and Design, University of Brighton
This collection captures the vibrancy and urgency of the feminist work that is remaking museums all around the world. Invigorating and inspirational.
Angela Dimitrakaki | Programme Director of Modern and Contemporary Art and Senior Lecturer of Contemporary Art History and Theory, University of Edinburgh
This is not a book about "art" or "museums". Rather, it is a monumental document on the impact of a transnational social movement (feminism) on an institution (museum) that has shaped a global, discontinuous, contested modernity. As such, it is an invaluable and timely intervention, testifying to the complexity but also ubiquity of struggles for recognition and social change. It is a political work, made up of many and diverse voices, that deserves to be studied carefully. The analyses brought together here will resonate in many contexts, including the practice of curating, debates on sex as work, feminist historiography, and cultural critique.
Elissa Auther | Windgate Research and Collections Curator, Museum of Arts and Design, New York City, and a Visiting Associate Professor at the Bard Graduate Centre
This collection is an invaluable contribution to the developing field of feminism and museums that highlights some of the most interesting work being done today. A must-read for curators, scholars and students.
Sarah Perks | Artistic Director of Visual Art, HOME and Professor of Visual Art, Manchester Metropolitan University
This book comes at a vital time for all discourse around museums, galleries, collecting and the role of public institutions. How can any museum justify an unequal exploration of anything, however historic? Why does accepted discourse on diversity seem so far from actual reality and practice? Feminism and Museums is an important contribution to debates raging across international landscapes of museum and gallery studies and all conversations on feminism. This dynamically edited collection of contributors, continents and case studies suggests many ways forward.
Inna Shevchenko | Feminist activist and the leader of international women's movement FEMEN
This unique work about feminism and art compellingly demonstrates the "art of feminism". It is a powerful, rich and profound piece of work from academics, museum directors, art curators, artists and activists. Enormously helpful book that will both inform and inspire the reader.
Julie Ward: Member of the European Parliament for the North West of England
Feminism is under attack everywhere, even in the places where seeds had been sown and watered. Dr Ashton's edited volumes are therefore sorely needed in order to help provide an historical understanding of why we must continue to fight for true gender equality, and how we might do that by drawing inspiration from feminist actors globally. The invisibility of women in all areas of public life has its roots in an ancient patriarchy that relegated females to window dressing. The diverse stories of our sex were not told in the great cultural institutions built by conquering empires, or else our experiences were marginalised so as to maintain the macho status quo. The Women's Museum movement is one attempt to redress the imbalance, and these welcome volumes provide a wider framework of reference.
Feminism and Museums: Intervention, Disruption and Change. Volume 1
Editor Jenna C AshtonPages 624
Colour illustrations 113
Size 216 x 140 mm
Publication December 2017
Editions £75 [paperback] | £100 [hardback]
ISBN 978-1-910144-97-8 [paperback] | 978-1-910144-98-5 [hardback]
Feminism and Museums: Intervention, Disruption and Change. Volume 2
Editor Jenna C Ashton
Pages 624 (est)
Colour illustrations 100 (est)
Size 216 x 140 mm
Publication February 2018
Editions £75 [paperback] | £100 [hardback]
ISBN 978-1-910144-99-2 [paperback] | 978-1-912528-00-4 [hardback]