The Ohio State University at Newark

Weiser to Discuss Museum Rhetorics of Nationalism

NEWARK, OH, November 14, 2017 — Is nationalism a source of communal pride, or is it a danger to human well-being? Is it a protection against war or a call to arms? Nationalism—both unifying and dividing—is woven into the story promoted to citizens by their national museums. Through her research of museum narratives in over 22 countries, Elizabeth Weiser, Ph.D., professor of English, proposes that their cultural approach to nationalism can counter division and aim for the “unity in diversity” that is so often the dream of geopolitical debates. Weiser will discuss heritage museums’ rhetorics of nationalism during an upcoming Faculty Talks Outside the Box lecture.

Her lecture will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017, at 3 p.m. in the Norman R. and Alethea E. Sleight Community Room located in the John L. and Christine Warner Library and Student Center, 1219 University Drive, Newark, Ohio 43055. It is free and open to the public.

Combining rhetorical analysis with museum studies in her just-published book Museum Rhetoric: Building Civic Identities in National Spaces, Weiser examines the varieties of cultural approaches to national identity that are shaped and reflected in museum exhibits. Examples from her decade of research in museums across the globe illustrate how nationalism is realized in museum spaces, as museums serve as both cultural glue, preserving national heritage, and cultural goad, presenting diverse visions for the future. Their unique place in society allows the best of them to serve as some of the only remaining public spaces where dialogue over values and visions is still undertaken.

During Faculty Talks Outside the Box, Ohio State Newark professors present informal discussions of their recent research as it relates to our society. The next talk will be held in late January with Feride Tiglay, Ph.D., assistant professor of mathematics and a specialist in differential equations and mathematical physics.

The Ohio State University at Newark offers an academic environment that’s inclusive of diversity, challenging but supportive with world-renowned professors and access to Ohio State’s more than 200 majors. It’s where learning comes to life. Research, study abroad and service learning opportunities prepare students for their careers in ways they never expected.