Thought-provoking response to the new Jack the Ripper Museum in London, and current trends in public history. What do you think?
The revelation that a museum promising to be ‘the only dedicated resource in the East End to women’s history’ is instead opening as a Jack the Ripper Museum – telling the story of a Victorian serial killer – has rightly sparked outrage and astonishment. But eschewing social history in favour of misogyny and murder is far from uncommon in our public historical storytelling. One of those behind this museum, Mark Palmer-Edgecumbe, explained his decision to change its focus:
‘We did plan to do a museum about social history of women but as the project developed we decided a more interesting angle was from the perspective of the victims of Jack the Ripper.’
(You can read more of the original planning application here.)
This project is only the furthest extreme of a general trend in historical presentation, which takes ‘interesting history’ to mean ‘violent and masculine’. I had…
View original post 914 more words