Front doors to freedom, portal to the past: history at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, New York

Luke Desforges, Joanne Maddern

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    23 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Heritage sites and museums play a significant role in the production and legitimization of historical knowledges and social identities. The potential for these institutions to act in ways that maintain deep-rooted inequalities in the relative power of social groups has long been noted by academic commentators. A critique of the role of museums in reproducing ‘official’ histories is now well established. In this paper we explore new ways of conceptualizing and empirically exploring the production and politics of museum histories. By tracing the historical development of museums, we explore the power play between individual actors and institutions involved in production of the museum, and the multi-vocal histories and landscapes which result from the interaction between these actors. We illustrate these arguments through a case study of Ellis Island Immigration Museum in New York Harbor.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)437-457
    Number of pages21
    JournalSocial and Cultural Geography
    Volume5
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2004

    Keywords

    • Museums
    • Heritage
    • Social identity
    • Multicultural diversity
    • Immigration
    • New York

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Front doors to freedom, portal to the past: history at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, New York'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this