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A New Framing? Constitutional Representation at Philadelphia's National Constitution Center

Mariah Zeisberg
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Mariah Zeisberg: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

No 999, Working Papers from Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies.

Abstract: The National Constitution Center (NCC) in Philadelphia orients its representation of the Constitution around the role of We the People in the conduct of constitutional politics. The self-presentation of the NCC explicitly connects its participatory interpretation of the Constitution to the interactivity of the museum experience itself, and announces its aspiration that visitors "get involved"! In so doing the NCC is drawing upon an emerging edge in museum theory that emphasizes the capacity of museums to support political citizenship. Although the museum's aspiration to enact participatory citizenship is laudable, its exhibits -- because of their technologies, use of space, and content--- subvert, rather than sustain, the participatory ideal.

JEL-codes: Z11 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2007-10
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