Living History Museums: Undoing History Through Performance examines the performance techniques of Living History Museums, cultural institutions that merge historical exhibits with costumed live performance. Institutions such as Plimoth Plantation and Colonial Williamsburg are analyzed from a theatrical perspective, offering a new genealogy of living museum performance.
Scott Magelssen is associate professor of Theatre at Bowling Green State University. He has published articles on living history museums in many theatre journals, including Theatre History Studies and The Drama Review. The author won the 2005 Gerald Kahan Award for the Best Essay in Theatre Studies by a Younger Scholar for his article "Performance Practices of [Living] Open-Air Museums (And a New Look at 'Skansen' in American Living Museum Discourse)," published in Theatre History Studies in 2004.
Part 1 Acknowledgments Part 2 Introduction Part 3 Chapter 1 The Dilemmas of Contemporary Living History Museum Historiography in Theory and Practice Chapter 4 The Progressive Development Narrative of Living History Museum History Chapter 5 Progressive Histories: Major Works Chapter 6 The Progressive Development Narrative in Practice Chapter 7 (In)authentic Revolutions: Time, Space, and Living History Museums Chapter 8 Plimoth Plantation Chapter 9 Colonial WIlliamsburg Chapter 10 Old Sturbridge Village Chapter 11 Storytelling vs. Scientific Discourse Part 12 Chapter 2 Toward a New Genealogy of Living History Museum Performance Chapter 13 A Historiography of Immanence Chapter 14 Defining the Episteme Chapter 15 An Emergence within a Shifting Field Chapter 16 Capitalizing on the Past-Capitalizing on Loss Chapter 17 Social History and the Trajectory of Living Museum Performance Chapter 18 The Naturalistic Ideal Chapter 19 Living History as Pleasure Part 20 Chapter 3 Performace as Historiography at Living History Museums Chapter 21 The Historiography of Performance Chapter 22 The Field Chapter 23 Missed Opportunities Chapter 24 Alternatives to the Naturalistic Mode Chapter 25 Post-Tourists and Living History Performace Part 26 Conclusion Part 27 Appendix: Selected Living History Programming Sites Part 28 Bibliography Part 29 Index Part 30 About the Author