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Cosmopolitan Ambassadors
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About the Author

Dr Lee Davidson is a Senior Lecturer in Museum & Heritage Studies at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, where she specialises in visitor studies, international exhibitions, natural heritage and heritage tourism. Her interdisciplinary research has been published in journals such as Leisure Sciences, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, International Journal of Travel Research and Visitor Studies. She is the co-author of Serious Leisure and Nature (with Robert A Stebbins) and has contributed chapters to volumes by major publishers across the fields of museum studies, leisure, tourism and anthropology, including a chapter on visitor studies in the volume Museum Practice (published by Wiley-Blackwell in 2015). Leticia Perez-Castellanos is a professor at the Escuela Nacional de Conservacion, Restauracion y Museografia del Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia (INAH) in Mexico, where she previously coordinated the Post Graduate Studies Program in Museology and obtained her Master's Degree. Her focus is on visitor studies and international exhibitions. She was the Coordinator of Visitor Studies at the Interactive Museum of Economy (MIDE) in Mexico City, before becoming Deputy Director of International Exhibitions at INAH. She collaborated with the Ibermuseos Program in the implementation of the Observatorio Iberoamericano de Museos and more recently has taught in several programs in Spain, Brazil, Guatemala, and Chile, at academic and government levels. She is a key actor in strengthening the visitor studies field in Latin America, encouraging professionalization and publications in Spanish including the series Estudios sobre publicos y museos, which she coordinates.

Reviews

In "Cosmopolitan Ambassadors," Lee Davidson and Leticia Perez Castellanos examine the highly complex multifaceted domain of the international exhibition, with all of its diplomatic, mission-related, and market-oriented intentions and realities. By utilizing case studies of several large cultural exhibitions exchanged between Mexico and New Zealand, the authors ground their discourse in concrete practice and provide a compelling narrative of the creation and exchange process as experienced by a variety of participants, including host museum staff, lending museum staff, and visitors to the exhibitions. Through rigorous research, detailed analysis, and diversity of interviews, the authors shape a dynamic theoretical framework for considering international exhibitions as "mobile contact zones" which can generate more cosmopolitan intercultural communication among participants in museums. Although the book focuses on international cultural exhibitions, in particular, I found the clearly articulated descriptions of a more cosmopolitan approach and the arguments for dialogue as participatory thinking of value to a wider spectrum of museum exhibitions. The lessons learned will certainly benefit the museum field writ large.Kathleen McLean
Independent Exhibitions principal. San Francisco; USA

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