Museums Today: Queering the Museum

Mannequin in a museum display wearing a purple, short-sleeved dress, a beard and a beige hat
Richard Boyle, "Lavender Marriage." Photo by Kellie Greene.


Join Nikki Sullivan and Craig Middleton for a discussion of their book. Queering the Museum develops a queer analysis of the ways in which museums construct themselves, their core business and their publics through the, often unconscious, use of inherited ways of knowing and doing.

Providing a critique of both the practices and conventions associated with the modern public museum, and the ontological assumptions that inform them, the authors consider recent discourse around inclusion in museums and explore the ways this has been taken up in practice. Highlighting the limits of particular approaches to inclusion, and the failure to move away from a traditional museological paradigm, the authors outline an alternative critical museological approach that they refer to as “queer.”

About Nikki Sullivan

Nikki Sullivan was manager of the History Trust of South Australia’s Centre of Democracy. She is now working as a project coordinator in a not-for-profit sexual health organization. Dr. Sullivan is also adjunct associate professor in the School of Humanities at the University of Adelaide.

About Craig Middleton

Craig Middleton is a senior curator at the National Museum of Australia and an honorary lecturer at the Australian National University. He is a widely published author whose research interests are in critical museology, LGBTIQ+ histories and the intersection of museum practice and digital technologies.

How to Participate

This program will take place on Zoom. To participate, please register online, and we will email you a link and instructions for joining. Simply follow that link at the time the program starts (6 p.m. EDT / 3 p.m. PDT). When you register, you can also request to receive a reminder email one day before the program with the link included. 

About the Museums Today Series

Each month during the academic year, museum leaders lead lively online discussions about critical issues in the field. This series is presented in partnership with the Association of Academic Museums and Galleries. Browse upcoming programs