The Museum’s Borders demonstrates that museum practices are deeply entangled in border making, patrol, mitigation and erasure, and that the border lens offers a new tool for deconstructing and reconfiguring such practices.

Arguing that the museum is a critical institution for the operation of knowledge-based democracies, Knell investigates how they have been used by scientists, art historians and historians to construct our bordered world. Examining the role of museums in the Windrush scandal in Britain, the exclusion of Black artists in America, ideological and propaganda discourses in Europe and China, and the remembering of contested pasts in the Balkans, Knell argues for the importance of museums in countering unethical, nationalistic, post-fact political discourse.

Using the principles of Knell’s ‘Contemporary Museology’, The Museum’s Borders considers the significance of the museum for societies that wish to know and remember in ways that empower citizens and build cohesive societies. The book will be of great interest to students and academics engaged in the study of museums and heritage, art history, science studies, cultural studies, anthropology, memory studies and history. It is required reading for museum professionals seeking to adopt non-discriminatory practices.

part Part I|22 pages


chapter 21|20 pages

Border Violence, Democracy and the Museum

part Part II|14 pages


chapter 242|12 pages

The Border Lens

part Part III|52 pages

The borders of truth

chapter 383|22 pages

From Ethical Borders to Border Force

chapter 4|28 pages

The Museum's Ethical Rebordering

part Part IV|52 pages

The borders of memory

chapter 905|29 pages

The Borders of Historical Truth

chapter 6|21 pages

Border Armouries, Walls and Crossings

part Part V|47 pages

The borders of contemporary living

chapter 1427|15 pages

Contemporary Museology

chapter 8|30 pages

Knowing and Remembering Well