Where are the Miners?: Museums, Industrial Heritage Sites, and Community Projects in Two Mexican Mining Towns
This work analyzes representations of miners in museums, industrial heritage sites, and monuments in the Mexican towns of Pachuca and Real del Monte since the end of the 1990s. Working closely with the business sector, curators have created a narrative that has erased the rich and diverse histories of miners while depicting employers as modernizers. In these sites, we discover the introduction of new technologies to Mexico but learn nothing about miners’ labor, militancy, and precarious lives in and outside the workplace. This sanitizing version has been challenged by scholars, intellectuals and community members. This paper explores these conflicting narratives.
Labor on Display: The Exhibition of U.S. Industrial and Post-Industrial Era Art Objects and Its Relationship to the Museum Labor Unionization Movement
While museums are public-facing institutions, they are also workplaces. Very recently there has been a renewed push toward labor unionization from workers both outside and inside museums. In consideration of the current bourgeois-influenced interpretation of art objects, the museum’s history of barring the people of lower economic classes from its collections, and the current museum workplace environment, a common thread of labor emerges. This paper seeks to investigate the relationship between museum labor and the Marxist art historical interpretation of labor in art objects.
Respondent: Christopher Cantwell, Loyola University
About the Labor History Seminar Series
The Labor History Seminar provides a forum for works in progress that explore the history of working class people, communities, and culture; class and state policy; unions and popular political movements; and other related topics.