It's Valuable to Challenge Claims of "Authenticity"

By Laura Burd Schiavo

Berman Jewish Policy Archive at NYU Wagner (BJPA), March 1, 2016

Any serious analysis of museums that begins by bemoaning the loss of the "universalism" of the Enlightenment ideal, sidelining its imperialist and racist underpinnings as minor inconveniences, needs to be approached with caution. And indeed, there is much that gives me pause in Ed Rothstein's recent assessment of what he sees as a disappointing and even baffling lack of celebration of the "particular" in the interpretive framework of Jewish museums. First and foremost is his positing that museums about Jews fail to appropriately focus on what is essentially Jewish, which for Rothstein seems to be primarily religious, although the parameters and particulars are never made entirely clear. His use of terms such as "fully Jewish" and "Jewish vision" without qualification flies in the face of the valuable challenges to "authenticity" at the core of decades of scholarship about culture and change...

Topic: Museums and Exhibitions, Education

Name of Publication: BJPA Reader's Guides

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Genre: Essay

Language: English

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Schiavo, Laura Burd. It's Valuable to Challenge Claims of "Authenticity" . BJPA Reader's Guides. Berman Jewish Policy Archive at NYU Wagner (BJPA). 1 March 2016: http://www.bjpa.org/Publications/details.cfm?PublicationID=22562