In the summer of 2010, I spent two weeks at the Rockefeller Archive Center (RAC) as part of my preliminary dissertation research into the domestic and international activities undertaken by U.S. museums during World War II and its immediate aftermath. A core focus of this project, currently entitled "A Cultural Arsenal for Democracy: The War Work of U.S. Museums, 1930-1955," is the ways in which museum exhibitions contributed to the construction of national belonging, civic identity, conceptions of America's place in the world, and the public's relationships, as both citizens and consumers, to war and its technologies. Additionally, my aim is to situate the embodied ways of knowing, constructed by museums within the broader matrix of exhibitory practices pursued by government agencies, many times in partnership with museums.
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