Speaker spotlight: Amy K. Levin

Not in the textbook: training professionals for inclusivity

“I will outline a postgraduate museum course focusing exclusively on intersections of race, class, and gender. Course case studies have included the Leather Museum and Archives in Chicago and exhibits on “third” gender individuals in several cultures. Taken by practitioners and prospective museum employees, as well as by future public historians, academics, anthropologists, and others, this course provides institutions with employees trained to recognize heterosexual privilege, ask difficult questions about margins, and break down borders. Published research by former students has also led existing institutions to alter their practices, rendering sites more welcoming to staff and members of the public who identify as LGBTQI. While such courses are valuable for public, private, and academic institutions, the topics offer engaging material for public education programs in grassroots settings as well.”

amylevinAmy K. Levin

Amy Levin researches and teaches on race, class, and gender in museums. Her books include Global Mobilities: Refugees, Exiles, and Immigrants in Museums and Archives (forthcoming, 2016); Gender, Sexuality, and Museums (2010), and Defining Memory: Local Museums and the Construction of History in America’s Changing Communities (2007). Before becoming Chair of English in 2012, she directed the Women’s Studies Program and coordinated Museum Studies at Northern Illinois University. In 2013, Levin served as the first US Fulbright Scholar at a Myanmar public university in over thirty years. Levin began a new career as an independent scholar in January 2016.

Northern Illinois University is a mid-sized public institution about 60 miles from Chicago. We have a small museum studies program as well as a public history program, both on the postgraduate level. Our work in gender studies is more extensive.

Amy will be speaking on day 3 of the conference

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